From the Life of President Heber J. Grant


Charitable Businessman

Adapted from Emerson Roy West, Profiles of the Presidents (1972), 209–10, 213; Bryant S. Hinckley, Heber J. Grant: Highlights in the Life of a Great Leader (1951), 203–5, 207, 216.

Heber J. Grant tried his hand at several business ventures: lumber, wool, vinegar manufacturing, sugar refining, insurance, ranching, newspaper publishing, soap making, and beekeeping, to name a few.

His greatest talent in business was banking. He did all he could to learn about it, starting at a young age and eventually becoming president of a bank.

Heber was now in a position to help others.

Friend: Heber, how can you afford to spend hundreds of dollars giving books away to your friends?

Heber: I don’t spend any more on giving books away than you do on some of your hobbies. Giving is my hobby—it makes others happy, and it makes me happy too.

Heber gave much more than books. He bought a poor family some land to farm, and he bought a house for one of his relatives. He often paid for patients’ hospital bills.

He had never even met some of the people he helped.

Daughter: Look, Papa. There’s an article in the newspaper about a widow who has two sons on missions. It sounds like she’s struggling with money.

Heber: Tell me her name, and I’ll contact her. I can help keep those two boys on missions.

One day a poor artist came to the door selling paintings. Heber didn’t have any wall space for a new painting.

Heber: Here is another $50 for the lovely piece I bought from you a while back. I’ve always felt bad that I let you sell it to me for so little.

Artist: Thank you, sir!

Heber: Now go sell this painting to someone who will have the space to enjoy it.

Heber continued sharing until the end of his life. Only a few days before he died, he wrote a letter to a widow. He would forever be remembered for his love and generosity.

Letter: Will you please tell me how much you are owing on your home and let me join with you 50-50 in paying it off at once?