Spencer W. Kimball is the 12th Prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Spencer was born in Salt Lake City on the twenty-eighth of March 1895. His parents were Andrew and Olive Kimball.
President Spencer W. Kimball is the grandson of Heber C. Kimball.
Spencer grew up in Thatcher Arizona where his father was the president of the St. Joseph Stake in Gila Valley.
After graduating from grade school at fifteen, Spencer attended Gila Academy. Spencer was voted class president for each year he spent there. During his senior year he was voted Student Body President.
When Spencer was only 11 years old his mother died and only a short time later, his little sister also passed away. It was devastating to the young boy.
When Spencer graduated from Gila Academy he planned on attending University of Arizona. At his graduation, Spencer and his father were speakers of the ceremony. It was at the graduation when his father announced that Spencer would not be going to the University but would serve a mission instead. Everyone was surprised including Spencer. He ended up getting his call to Swiss-Austrian Mission, but World War 1 broke out and he was sent to the Central States Mission instead. He served from 1914 to 1916.
On November 16, 1917 Spencer married Camilla Eyring.
When Spencer was 48 years old he was called to be an Apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints by Heber J. Grant.
At 51, President Kimball received an assignment from President George Albert Smith to work with the American Indians. Growing up in the Gila Valley helped immensely with his future assignments.
President Kimball had many health problems throughout his life. He suffered from Bell’s Palsy, which paralyzed his face, typhoid fever, small pox, heart attacks, throat cancer(which caused his voice to change), subdural hematomas, strokes and boils.
At one point President Russel M. Nelson was President Kimball’s heart surgeon.
President Spencer W. Kimball was called to be the prophet after the death of Harold B. Lee in 1974. He served as prophet for nearly 12 years.
In 1978 President Kimball addressed the Church to announce that the Priesthood of God would be extended to all worthy male members. President Kimball was 83 at the time of the announcement.
After brain surgery in 1979 President Kimball had more health problems. In 1981 President Kimball could no longer attend to his duties as President of the Church. Elder Gordon B. Hinckley took over most of the responsibilities for the prophet.
President Kimball died November 5, 1985 at the age of ninety, he is buried in the Salt Lake City Cemetery.
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Places to Visit:
Gila Valley, Arizona Temple
Salt Lake City Cemetery