Other than members of his own family, few knew Spencer W. Kimball better than his personal secretary, D. Arthur Haycock.
In a Sept. 9, 1980, devotional address at BYU, Brother Haycock described President Kimball, who was then 85: "President Kimball is no ordinary man. He was born and reared in humble circumstances and that humility and common touch are his hallmark. The Lord has had him under His watchcare from the very beginning, preparing him for the call that he would someday receive to be His prophet and preside over His Church and kingdom here upon the earth."Speaking of President Kimball's many illnesses (see accompanying article), Brother Haycock said, "He never wavers and never complains. He is always about his Father's business, in season and out of season. He is the finest example of faith and courage and patience that I have ever seen. I believe that even Job could learn from President Kimball. . . ."
Of President Kimball's love for the Lamanites, Brother Haycock said, "I remember more than 30 years ago when he President KimballT had been an apostle only three or four years, President George Albert Smith, whose secretary I was, called President Kimball down to his office and handed him the torch that he had been holding for many years and asked President Kimball to carry on the work among the Indians."
Brother Haycock then quoted a passage from President Kimball's journal concerning that event:
"I went down to the office of President George Albert Smith at his request . . . relative to the Indians. We talked about the Navajos in the mission. He then said, `Now I want you to look after the Indians - they have been neglected. You watch all the Indians. I want you to have charge and look after all the Indians in the world and this includes those in the islands also.' I told him I would do my best." Of that promise, Brother Haycock said, "I don't have to tell you how well President Kimball carried out that assignment by President George Albert Smith more than three decades ago." (Church News, Nov. 10, 1985.)
President Kimball's love for the Indians can be traced to his childhood. His father, Andrew Kimball - a son of Heber C. Kimball, apostle and counselor to Brigham Young - was president of the Indian Territory Mission for more than 10 years.
President Kimball said his father would "come home every few months to earn a little money to take care of the family and to help with his mission expenses and then he would return to the mission field."
Articles on this page may be used in conjunction with the gospel doctrine course of study.
Information compiled by Gerry Avant
Sources: Church News, Jan. 5, 1974; Nov. 10, 1985; Spencer W. Kimball, by Edward L. Kimball and Andrew E. Kimball Jr.