Friend to Friend


Elder James A. Cullimore

Elder Cullimore believes that he still holds the record in Utah County for picking the most cases (thirty-eight) of strawberries and the most bushels (one hundred) of apples in one day. As a young boy in Lindon, Utah, he earned spending money by helping to harvest the plentiful fruit of that area.

There were twelve children in the Cullimore family—six boys and six girls—and Elder Cullimore was the seventh child. Remembering those childhood days, Elder Cullimore says, “Father owned a store in Lindon and also a farm. I think my father got the farm just to keep us all busy. During the day we’d thin and top sugar beets or cut grain. Each fall Father would divide the money from the sugar company among us boys. Sometimes after a hard day’s work the store still had so many customers that we had to help out there until it closed at nine o’clock. And there were chores at home to do as well!

“My father was the most influential person in my life. His life was exemplary. He was a bishop for twenty-six years. When I was growing up, I didn’t even know any other bishop. We had what we called ‘home nights’ every week. And on Sundays it was just expected that we’d all go to church. Whether working on the farm or in the store, our large family always felt very close to each other.”

Remembering his mother as one who “did a masterful job in managing the household and the family,” Elder Cullimore recalls that “the most important thing my mother taught me was how to work. She did it by her example. Many times after we’d worked late at the store helping father, we’d go home to milk the cows and find that Mother had already milked them.

“Mother gave us opportunities to prepare meals and to do many other things, for which we were all grateful. She would often say ‘James, will you get dinner tonight?’ And so I learned to cook. It helped me on my mission and later in my married life.

“One of my regular jobs at home was to catch, kill, and pluck chickens for Sunday dinners. I often made a freezer of ice cream for Sunday dinners or for special occasions. Sometimes Mother would suggest that I had robbed too many pans of their cream for ice cream.”

Elder Cullimore recently completed his personal history, and in doing so, he found that he lacked certain information about his youth. To help others avoid a like problem, he says, “In my personal history I suggest to my children and other members of my family that they keep a record of each of their children until those children are old enough to do it for themselves.

“I would encourage children everywhere who are old enough to write, to work on their personal histories now. Some information about their infancies can be supplied by their mothers or fathers or some other knowledgeable and helpful relatives.”