The Power of Example


Adapted from Edward L. Kimball and Andrew E. Kimball Jr., Spencer W. Kimball (1977), 68–71; Francis M. Gibbons, Spencer W. Kimball: Resolute Disciple, Prophet of God (1995), 41–43; and Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball (2006), xix.

The Power of Example

Spencer W. Kimball(click to view larger) Events in the life of Spencer W. Kimball(click to view larger)

Illustrations by Sal Velluto and Eugenio Mattozzi

When Spencer decided to serve a mission, he moved away for the summer to work at a dairy to earn money.

Spencer: The work is hard. Our hands bleed. But I don’t shy away from work!

At the dairy, Spencer became friends with a returned missionary. While on long walks in the Arizona hills, they discussed missionary work and gospel subjects.

Friend: We have so much to be grateful for. Let’s get down on our knees and thank the Lord.

Spencer: Here?

Friend: You can pray anywhere.

Not everyone in town liked members of the Church.

Man: Are you all right?

Spencer: Two workers from the dairy attacked me. I’m glad you found me.

But Spencer and his friends had earned the respect of many—including their cigar-smoking boss.

Boss: The Mormons seem like decent people. I’ll have no troublemakers here. You two are fired.

When Spencer left for his mission, his boss threw a party. All the employees attended. Spencer had made a good impression on everyone.

Boss: We want you to have this gold watch.

Spencer: I’m touched that you would give me such a valuable and useful gift.

These experiences prepared Spencer W. Kimball to be a good missionary.