A Simple Act of Service


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

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

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.