Tributes and Messages of Appreciation

“Tributes and Messages of Appreciation,” Ensign, Dec. 1985, 25

In Memoriam: Spencer W. Kimball, 1895–1985

Tributes and Messages of Appreciation

Many Church, government, and business leaders offered tributes and messages of sympathy on learning of President Spencer W. Kimball’s death. Following are excerpts from some of those messages.

President Ezra Taft Benson, newly ordained President of the Church:

“With the passing of President Spencer W. Kimball, the Church and the world have lost a great and true servant of God. For more than forty years we have sat together in council meetings. I have lost a dear friend and brother.

“I know of no man who has more completely dedicated his time, talents, and interests to the work and ministry of our Lord. He has been a sterling example of love for his fellowmen and our Lord, Jesus Christ.

“As a great Christian leader, deeply beloved by millions of our Father’s children, he will be greatly missed by all of us.

“May God bless and keep ever alive the memory of his devoted life of faith and service.”

The Council of the Twelve Apostles:

“President Spencer W. Kimball was a man for the hour. The Church prospered under his leadership and all mankind was blessed by his prophetic ministry. He will be forever remembered for his personal courage, his love of people, and his Christlike qualities. He was a great exemplar of righteousness, an extraordinary missionary. We testify by personal association that he was indeed a prophet, a seer, and revelator.

“His vision and leadership focused on the threefold mission of the Church—to proclaim the gospel, to perfect the Saints, and to redeem the dead.

“During his administration, the Church experienced dynamic growth and progress throughout the free world. Notably, thousands of the sons and daughters of Lehi, in fulfillment of scriptural prophecy, came into the Church. In addition, the revelation of June 1978 extended priesthood and temple blessings to all worthy males of the Church, thus furthering missionary progress among the nations of the earth.

“President Kimball encouraged, lifted, and inspired all of our Father’s children to free themselves from the taint of sin and demonstrated by word and example the path to godliness. The crowning achievement of his administration is the publication of the new editions of the scriptures that will help to sanctify the Saints.

“He provided great impetus to temple work by building temples near those Saints who otherwise could not go to the temples. Thus, he greatly facilitated temple ordinance work for the living and the dead.

“We pray that his family and all members of the Church will be consoled with the knowledge that the death of a man of God is never untimely and that Spencer Woolley Kimball now goes to his eternal reward.

“To members of the Church, we affirm the words of Spencer Woolley Kimball on the day he was ordained and set apart as President of the Church: ‘Our hope is that our people will live the commandments of the Lord.’”

United States President Ronald W. Reagan:

“Spencer W. Kimball was a man whose love of God and country touched us all. … He made a significant and lasting contribution to this country by weaving tighter our moral fabric.”

William S. Cook, chairman of the board, president, and chief executive officer of Union Pacific Corporation:

“His distinguished stewardship … was an inspiration … and we are confident that the legacy of his good works will extend far into the future.”

Rear Admiral John R. McNamara, chief of chaplains, United States Navy:

“His leadership has been a credit, not only to members of the LDS Church, but to individuals of our service.”

David M. Roderick, chairman of the board, United States Steel Corporation:

He “was a true counselor and valued friend. … We share with our fellow employees … a sense of loss.”

Right Reverend Otis Charles, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Utah and dean of the Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, Massachusetts:

“We have been enhanced by the strength, energy, and vision of Spencer Kimball’s presidency. He was a man without guile, open to the leading of the Holy Spirit.”

Aliki Christopher, Athas, Archontissa, Ecumenical Patriarchate of the Greek Orthodox Church:

“His sense of the divine in all things human remains as an abiding legacy for all generations.”