Learn from President Kimball how serving others and sharing the gospel can help you—and help you help others—stride over hurdles in your life.
“Lengthen your stride.” You’ve probably heard this quote from President Spencer W. Kimball’s (1895–1985) October 1974 address urging members to engage in missionary work. (Also see “Lengthen Your Stride“). The life of President Kimball, as described by his son Edward L. Kimball in the Encyclopedia of Mormonism, will show you how service can help you overcome setbacks.
Young Spencer Kimball lost four sisters and his mother but still chose to serve a full-time mission for the Church. As a newlywed, he lost all his savings when the bank where he worked failed during the Great Depression. He then worked hard to become an entrepreneur while also devoting time to serve as president over a three-state, 250-mile-wide stake (portions of Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas) and as a statewide community leader.
He later inspired others to serve in spite of financial difficulties: in his travels he enjoyed giving a dollar each to twelve-year-old boys to save for their missions. His own experiences enabled him to help others see the need to “lengthen their stride” unselfishly.
Despite severe health issues—including a heart attack, brain hemorrhages, and throat cancer—President Kimball served with great vision as president of the Church. During his presidency, the membership of the Church nearly doubled—from 3.3 million to 6 million—because of an increase in the missionary force. He also announced the revelation that the priesthood was available to all worthy males.
Find out more about President Kimball in the full article by his son, Edward L. Kimball.
Source: Encyclopedia of Mormonism
—Leah Davis, Mormon Insights
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Catch these clips on President Kimball’s life.