A Simple Act of Service

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Adapted from Edward L. Kimball and Andrew E. Kimball Jr., Spencer W. Kimball (1977), 334 and Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball (2006), 79–81.

A Simple Act of Service

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

It was a stormy winter night. At the airport in Chicago, Illinois, many people were stranded due to delayed or canceled flights. A young pregnant woman stood in the long check-in line, nudging her two-year-old daughter forward with her foot.

Many people made disapproving comments, but no one offered to help.

Man: Why doesn’t she pick up that screaming child?

Woman: What a terrible mother.

With a kind smile, Elder Kimball walked up to the woman.

Elder Kimball: Can I help you?

Mother: Thank you. I’ve had four previous miscarriages. My doctor told me I can’t lift anything—not even my own child.

Elder Kimball picked up the crying child, rubbed her back, and gave her a piece of candy. When the girl was comforted, he informed the other passengers and the airport workers of the woman’s condition.

Airport worker: We’ll have you on the next available flight.

Supervisor: Come and sit and rest until your departure.

The woman’s stress was lessened. Later, she saw a picture of Elder Spencer W. Kimball of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

Mother: That’s him! That’s the man who helped me.

A few months after that, she gave birth to a healthy baby boy.

Twenty-one years later, President Kimball received a letter. It was from the son of that young mother.

Student: I served a faithful mission and am now a student at Brigham Young University. Thank you for helping my mother that terrible night!

President Kimball was happy that his small act of service had resulted in so much good.