From the Life of President Heber J. Grant


Feeling the Spirit

Adapted from Improvement Era, April 1939, 201.

When Heber J. Grant was a young man, he took a grammar class.

Teacher: Your assignment is to listen to people speak. When they use incorrect grammar, write down what was said and correct it. Hand in four corrected sentences each week.

On Sunday, Heber attended church. The bishop stood to speak, and Heber took out a piece of paper to take notes. He quickly realized that he could do his homework.

Heber: His grammar is terrible! By the end of the meeting, I’ll have so many incorrect sentences I’ll never need another one.

Heber wrote down the first sentence, but that was all. The Spirit came upon him as the bishop bore testimony of Joseph Smith.

By the end of the meeting, Heber still had only one sentence written down. Tears of gratitude ran down his cheeks for the testimony that had been shared. He loved feeling the Spirit. It was the first time he had felt the Spirit this way.

Heber: I truly know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God.

The bishop’s talk made such an impression on Heber’s testimony that he didn’t use the one sentence he had written for homework. It was too sacred to mock.

Heber: I have never been annoyed by grammatical errors of those who preach the gospel. To judge a man’s spirit by the way he speaks is like judging a man by the clothes he wears. Some have never had the chance for education, and some have never had money for nice clothes. I have tried to judge men and women only by the spirit that they have.

As President of the Church, Heber used this experience to warn members to not harshly judge others.