Spencer W. Kimball, President, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

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Spencer Woolley Kimball

Birthdate: (90)
Birthplace: Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, United States
Death: November 5, 1985 (90)
Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, United States
Place of Burial: Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Andrew Kimball and Olive Kimball (Woolley)
Husband of Camilla Kimball
Father of Private; Private User; Private User and Private
Brother of Maude Kimball; Olive Clare Kimball; Andrew Gordon Kimball; Delbert Gheen Kimball; Ruth Woolley Udall and 7 others

Managed by: Private User
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Immediate Family

About Spencer W. Kimball, President, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Wikipedia Biographical Summary:

"...Spencer Woolley Kimball (March 28, 1895 – November 5, 1985) was the twelfth president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) from 1973 until his death...."

"...Kimball was born in Salt Lake City, Utah Territory to Andrew Kimball and Olive Woolley, sister of Mormon fundamentalist pioneer John W. Woolley. When Spencer was three, his father was called to preside as president of the St. Joseph stake and his family relocated to the town of Thatcher in southeastern Arizona..."

"...During this time he courted Camilla Eyring, sister of the famous chemist Henry Eyring, and they married civilly on November 16, 1917 in Pima, Arizona. Seven months later, on June 7, 1918, the couple were sealed in a marriage ceremony in the Salt Lake Temple. They eventually had four children: Spencer L., Olive Beth, Andrew E., and Edward L..."

"...On July 8, 1943 Kimball was extended the call to be a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles by J. Reuben Clark of the First Presidency. He was ordained an apostle and set apart as a member of that quorum on Thursday, October 7, 1943 in the Salt Lake Temple by church president Heber J. Grant..."

"...Harold B. Lee, who ranked above him in seniority in the Quorum, died suddenly in December 1973. Kimball then became the 12th president of the church..."

"...He constantly counseled church members to "lengthen their stride". Temple building went forward at a pace never before seen in the church..."

"...Despite Kimball's age and history of poor health, major developments occurred during his presidency. Notable is the 1978 declaration conferring the priesthood on all worthy male members..."

SOURCE: Wikipedia contributors, 'Spencer W. Kimball', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 17 May 2011, 18:09 UTC, <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Spencer_W._Kimball&oldid=429595786> [accessed 26 May 2011]

Life Chronology:



He was born 28 March 1895 in Salt Lake City, Utah, to Andrew and Olive Woolley Kimball.


A patriarch stated that he would work among the Lamanites.


His mother died (1906).


He graduated with highest honors from Gila Academy (1914).


He served a mission to the central United States (1914–16).


He married Camilla Eyring (16 Nov. 1917).


He was president of the Mount Graham Stake (1938–43).


He was ordained an Apostle by President Heber J. Grant (7 Oct. 1943).


He was chairman of the Church Indian Committee (1946).


He suffered cancer of the throat; one and a half vocal cords were removed (1957).


He supervised missionary work in South America (1964–67).


His book The Miracle of Forgiveness was published (1969); he became Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (23 Jan. 1970).


He was set apart as President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (7 July 1972).


He became President of the Church (30 Dec. 1973).


He addressed the regional representatives of the Twelve, initiating expanded missionary work (4 Apr. 1974); he dedicated the Washington D.C. Temple (19 Nov. 1974).


He dedicated the Church Office Building (24 July 1975); fifteen stakes were created from five in Mexico City, Mexico (9 Nov. 1975); the building of temples in Brazil, Japan, Mexico, and Washington state was announced (1975).


Two revelations were added to the Pearl of Great Price (now D&C 137–38; 3 Apr. 1976); Assistants to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles became members of the First Quorum of the Seventy (1976).


The First Presidency announced the revelation that every faithful man in the Church may receive the holy priesthood (8 June 1978).

84, 86

New editions of the scriptures, cross-referenced to each other, were printed (1979, 1981).


He dedicated the Orson Hyde Memorial Garden in Jerusalem (24 Oct. 1979).


Area Presidencies were first called (1984).


A new edition of the hymnbook, with additional hymns of the Restoration, was printed; he died in Salt Lake City, Utah (5 Nov. 1985).

SOURCE: Unknown

Biographical Summary #2:

"...Spencer Woolley Kimball was born 28 March 1895 in Salt Lake City, Utah, to Andrew and Olive Wooley Kimball. The next January, Utah was granted statehood. The Manifesto was five years old, the economy was going into an upswing, and the Saints were entering an era of relative calm.

He Grew Up in Thatcher, Arizona

When Spencer W. Kimball was three years old, his family moved to Thatcher, Arizona. There he had cows to milk, gardens to weed, and buildings to paint. He demanded much of himself. In school, in church, and at play, he sought excellence. He abstained totally from whatever would pollute the body. He was president of his deacons quorum and continued in leadership positions, serving in each position with steadfastness and devotion.

“Like Nephi of old, [Spencer W. Kimball] may thank the Lord that he came of goodly parentage. His two grandfathers were outstanding colonizers and peers among men. Heber C. Kimball was an apostle of the Lord, friend and disciple of the Prophet Joseph, counselor to President Young, and missionary extraordinary for his church; Edwin D. Woolley was a colorful Salt Lake leader, business manager for President Young, and a great bishop of the Thirteenth Ward for a period of forty years. His own father, Andrew Kimball, was likewise a most remarkable man. Energetic and zealous always, as an advocate of the restored gospel, he presided over the mission in the Indian Territory for ten years and at intervals returned to Salt Lake to earn a living for his family. For twenty-six and a half years, from 1898 to the day of his death, he was president of the St. Joseph Stake of Zion, the stake which had been named at the suggestion of President John Taylor in honor of the Prophet Joseph. His ability as a builder and organizer did much toward the development of a great agricultural empire in eastern Arizona, and in the years of his administration the stake developed from a few wards on the Gila River to some seventeen wards and branches of the church, extending from Miami, Arizona, to El Paso, Texas” (Jesse A. Udall, “Spencer W. Kimball, the Apostle from Arizona,” Improvement Era, Oct. 1943, 590).

Spencer W. Kimball returned home from his mission in January 1917. That August he reported on his mission in a stake conference. At that stake conference was Camilla Eyring, a young woman to whom Spencer had been casually introduced before his mission. Four days later they met at a bus stop. Spencer reintroduced himself and they had their first personal conversation sitting together on the bus. He inquired, during the conversation, if he could call on Camilla. She responded in the affirmative.

“But she did not expect him to call unannounced. When he arrived at her home one evening soon after their bus ride she was dressed in a kimono, hair up in curlers, preparing to go dancing with a boyfriend and some other friends. Camilla did not know what to do. So she sat with young Mr. Kimball on the porch and talked, expecting his visit to end at any moment, until it became obvious he had no intention of leaving.

“‘I was in a pickle,’ Camilla later said. Though she wanted to favor Spencer, she already had a date, so she fudged. She told Spencer that a crowd was going dancing. Did he want to come? Spencer, delighted with his good luck, said yes, so when Alvin drove up in his car with the others, Camilla asked if a friend could come along. The two piled in the car and Alvin let his rage out through his foot. He drove, said Camilla, ‘like the devil was after him.’ By the time the car pulled up to the dance hall in Layton, Alvin was through with Camilla. He wouldn’t dance with her again for fifteen years. ‘I played a shabby trick,’ Camilla admitted” (Kimball and Kimball, Spencer W. Kimball, 84; see also Gibbons, Spencer W. Kimball, 63–64).

Their relationship blossomed, and Spencer and Camilla were married on 16 November 1917. The following tribute was later paid to Camilla:

“How much a man’s success depends upon his wife! Elder Kimball has been favored with a charming helpmate who has been constant, patient, full of understanding and encouragement. Her training in, and teaching of, home economics has enabled her to feed and clothe her family well, even though the income sometimes was small. Camilla is the daughter of Edward Christian Eyring and Caroline Romney. They had come to Arizona from Mexico in 1912 as a result of the Mexican revolution. It was in 1917 when she was teaching at the Gila Academy at Thatcher that she met Spencer, and it was not many months before their courtship ripened into marriage. It is said that ‘transplanted flowers are usually the fairest’ and so it was in her case; the blue-eyed, golden-haired girl with the Spanish name, transplanted from Mexico, blossomed into glorious womanhood as an intelligent, well-trained woman, prominent in her own right” (Udall, Improvement Era, Oct. 1943, 591).

They eventually had four children: Spencer L., Olive Beth, Andrew E., and Edward L. Spencer.

In 1943, after serving for years in Stake callings, he was called to the Quorum of the Twelve. He felt woefully inadequate and was depressed for days before receiving a confirmation that the calling was of God. He sold his business, moved his family to Salt Lake City, and at the October General Conference in 1943 received the sustaining vote of the Church's membership and was that same day ordained an apostle by President Heber J. Grant.

Elder Kimball suffered a heart attack in 1948 and throat cancer a few years later. Removal of most of his vocal cords left him with a distinctive weak, raspy voice. In 1972 he underwent open-heart surgery to replace an obstructed artery and a failing valve.

Thus when, with the death of President Harold B. Lee in 1973, Spencer W. Kimball was sustained as President of the Church, most observers expected a short, uneventful, caretaker Presidency. Another surprise! Among the achievements of President Kimball's administration were almost doubling the membership of the Church, granting the Priesthood to all worthy members, articulating for the first time the Three-fold Mission of the Church, organizing the First Quorum of the Seventy for the first time since the days of Joseph Smith, establishing operating Areas and Area Presidencies to decentralize Church government, establishing the three-hour Block Meeting Schedule, and increasing the operating temples from fifteen to thirty-one.

President Spencer W. Kimball died on 5 November 1985. Under his leadership the members of the Church accepted the challenge to “lengthen their stride” by increasing their efforts in missionary work, temple building, and all aspects of the gospel. He had served for thirty years as an Apostle before becoming President of the Church. Those who worked with him could barely match his pace and admired him for his many abilities. He set high standards for himself and for the Church. His declaration to “Do it” motivated everyone to do their best and not procrastinate away time that could be used to build the kingdom of the Lord..."

SOURCE: Unknown

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Spencer W. Kimball, President, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints's Timeline

March 28, 1895
Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, United States
October 5, 1907
Age 12
October 16, 1914
Age 19
November 5, 1985
Age 90
Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, United States
November 9, 1985
Age 90
Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, United States