Spencer W. Kimball


With the death of President Lee, many members of the Church wondered, as Elder W. Grant Bangerter expressed it in general conference last fall, “What will we do now? . . . We had never expected Spencer W. Kimball to become the president, and we had not looked to him for the same leadership evident in the life of Harold B. Lee. We knew, of course, that he would manage somehow, until the next great leader arose, but it would not be easy for him and things would not be the same. ‘O Lord,’ we prayed, ‘please bless President Kimball. He needs all the help you can give him'” (Ensign, November 1977, p. 26).

Since that time Spencer W. Kimball has announced the first additions to the canon of scripture in our century, has activated and nearly filled the First Quorum of Seventy, and has sought and received a revelation giving blacks the priesthood. With his call to “lengthen our stride,” and by his own example, he has sparked an explosion of new energy and growth in the whole Church. In just four years, the number of full-time missionaries has increased fifty percent and convert baptisms have doubled. Organized Stakes of Zion have gone from 600 to nearly 1,000 and membership has increased from three to over four million. Half again as many temples are in process or announced. New countries, including Poland, have given the Church official standing; there is expectation that other countries will be opened and many more temples built and that his goal of 45,000 missionaries, many from other countries, will soon be met. That energy-that quickening spirit of expectation-pervades the Church, and there is a surge of faith that the Kingdom will indeed soon fill the whole earth and the Savior come.

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