Singing with Elder Kimball

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“Singing with Elder Kimball,” Ensign, Mar. 1982, 12

Singing with Elder Kimball

It happened in the days when stake conferences consisted of two sessions during the day and a stake fireside in the evening. The visiting General Authority always attended the 10 A.M. and the 2 P.M. sessions and occasionally remained as the speaker for the evening fireside. On one particular day it was our good fortune in the Wasatch Stake (Heber City, Utah) to have Elder Spencer W. Kimball as the guest for the day. Our family had been somewhat acquainted with Elder Kimball and were overjoyed when he accepted our parents’ invitation to have dinner with us and remain at our home until time for the evening meeting.

My eight sisters and I did a great deal of singing during the time we grew up and were accustomed to invitations that didn’t give us a great deal of time for preparation. However, on that conference afternoon, the telephone rang and I heard the voice of our stake president, H. Clay Cummings, on the other end. He told me that the person previously asked to sing the musical number for the evening fireside couldn’t perform and wondered if our family would provide some music. I placed my hand over the phone while I relayed the message and asked the others for their opinion. I mentioned to them that it was extremely short notice and that perhaps we should tell him no.

While a short discussion ensued, our guest taught us all a great lesson: “Tell President Cummings we’d love to,” Elder Kimball remarked. “Your father and I will do the men’s parts and two of you girls can do the others, and we’ll sing them one of the beautiful hymns.”

I sheepishly gave the message to President Cummings and hung up the phone. Immediately, we gathered around the piano and prepared our presentation for that evening.

Can you imagine the thrill of singing that number with a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, the future president of the Church? It was an experience I shall never forget.

Illustrated by Scott Snow