Spencer W. Kimball Quotes
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Spencer Woolley Kimball was an American business, civic, and religious leader, and was the 12th president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The grandson of early Latter-day Saint apostle Heber C. Kimball, Kimball was born in Salt Lake City, Utah Territory. He spent most of his early life in Thatcher, Arizona, where his father, Andrew Kimball, farmed and served as the area's stake president. He served an LDS mission from 1914 to 1916, then worked for various banks in Arizona's Gila Valley as a clerk and bank teller. Kimball later co-founded a business, selling bonds and insurance that, after weathering the Great Depression, became highly successful. Kimball served as a stake president in his hometown from 1938 until 1943, when he was called to serve as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
Like most other LDS Church apostles, Kimball traveled extensively to fulfill a wide variety of administrative and ecclesiastical duties. Early in his time as an apostle, Kimball was directed by church president George Albert Smith to spend extra time in religious and humanitarian work with Native Americans, which Kimball did throughout his life. He initiated the Indian Placement Program, which helped many Native American students gain education in the 1960s and 1970s while they stayed with LDS foster families.
In late 1973, following the sudden death of church president Harold B. Lee, Kimball became the twelfth president of the LDS Church, a position he held until his death in 1985. Kimball's presidency was noted for the 1978 announcement ending the restriction on church members of black African descent being ordained to the priesthood or receiving temple ordinances. Kimball's presidency saw large growth in the LDS Church, both in terms of membership and the number of temples. Kimball was the first church president to state publicly that the church expects all able-bodied male members to serve missions in young adulthood, resulting in an increase in missionary service.