Elder F. Arthur Kay was born in the small, southern Utah farming town of Annabella. He lived there until he was nineteen years old, when he left to attend Utah State Agricultural College (Utah State University).
Elder Kay believes that “among the strongest forces in my life and the lives of my five sisters was the complete knowledge that we were loved by our parents and that our parents loved each other. Though times and circumstances during the Depression were difficult, the love that we felt in our home satisfied every need.
“Our parents set the example of complete devotion to the gospel. In our home the teaching and the example were the same. They really practiced what they preached.
“I well remember having family home evenings when I was a child, though I’m not certain what we called them then. The refreshments were usually limited to honey candy, taffy candy, popcorn, or other homemade delights. We read serially The Call of the Wild and many other books. And we sang a lot. Dad had a good voice, and he played the harmonica. We also had an old phonograph and some Stephen Foster records. Personal stories, scriptural stories, and missionary experiences were a part of our family nights too.
“I remember the many times I rode with Dad on a wagon into the hills to get a load of piñon logs. And we’d take our own wheat to a mill and have it ground in exchange for part of it. We cured much of our meat ourselves, and we were always able to supply our own dairy products. I know how to make a living from the soil and could go back to it anytime.
“When I think of my childhood, I remember some of Mother’s favorite sayings. She would say, ‘Once a task has begun, never leave it till it’s done. Whether the task be great or small, do it well or not at all.’ She was especially fond of quoting Benjamin Franklin. ‘A penny saved is a penny earned’ is just one of his adages that she used to teach us.”
Elder Kay’s father died when Arthur was eleven years old. “My youngest sister was born just three weeks before Father passed away,” Elder Kay recounts. “So there were five children younger than I. Mother had been afflicted with a series of strokes that left her partially paralyzed. But the things that I remember most about her were her faith, her courage, her devotion, and her trust. Whatever our family circumstances, Mother’s faith never waned. And she never complained. She was the town clerk for a number of years, and even though her lower limbs were not very functional, she had an excellent hand and kept immaculate records. She earned a few dollars that way; the farm supplied the rest of our income.
“I have fond recollections of my aunts, uncles, and cousins too. We were a close family and met together often for fun and for family dinners. A special treat was the five-gallon freezer of ice cream that Grandmother often made.
“I can’t think of anything in my life that I would change, except, perhaps, my reactions to some things. As I look back now, every experience has been a blessing. I know absolutely that God lives and that the Savior is real and that He is our Redeemer. I have a strong testimony of the divine calling of the great men who preside over the Church.
“Several times my life has been preserved because of the warning of the still, small voice. I’ve learned to listen to that voice. I’ve also learned to trust the Lord with all my heart, might, mind, and strength. And I tell the children of the world that I know that He hears and answers prayers.”