Reading the Bible


From Edward L. Kimball and Andrew E. Kimball Jr., Spencer W. Kimball (1977), 56–57; and Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball (2005), 59–60.

Reading the Bible

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

Illustrations by Sal Velluto and Eugenio Mattozzi

When Spencer was about 14 years old, he went to stake conference. Brigham Young’s daughter Susa Gates spoke.

Sister Gates: How many of you have read the Bible through?

Spencer looked around. There were about 1,000 people in the hall, but only five or six hands went up.

Spencer: I read the funny papers all the time. I’ve read so many books, yet I’ve never read the Holy Bible. Why?

Spencer: I’m going to read the Bible from cover to cover, like Sister Gates said. I will, I will, I will.

When he got home, he found the family Bible, went up to the unfinished attic where he slept, lit a lamp, and opened to the first chapter of Genesis.

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth …”

He read every night, even when he was confused by what he read.

Spencer: I don’t really understand this part, but I’m sure it will be worth it to keep reading. At least I’ll have some idea of what’s in the Bible when I’m finished.

A year later he closed the book, having read the whole thing. He had learned not only more about the Bible but also that he could set a goal and achieve it.