Best Penmanship
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“Best Penmanship,” Friend, Apr. 2004, 10–11

Best Penmanship

Adapted from Bryant S. Hinckley, Heber J. Grant: Highlights in the Life of a Great Leader (1951), 39–42.

Best Penmanship, left page
Best Penmanship, right page

Illustrated by Mike Eagle

One day Heber J. Grant was playing marbles with some friends when a bookkeeper from the bank walked by.

Friend 1: That man makes a lot of money.

Heber: How much?

Friend 1: As much as you would earn polishing 120 pairs of boots every single day.

Heber knew he wanted to be able to make a living when he was older.

Heber: Someday I’ll be a bookkeeper at the bank, too!

Friend 2: You’d better learn how to write. Your writing looks like lightning struck the ink bottle.

Friend 1: It’s worse than hen tracks!

Heber worked on his handwriting until it was beautiful.

To earn money, he wrote greeting cards, wedding cards, and legal documents. He was offered a large amount of money to be a professional penman in the state of California, but he didn’t take the job.

Eventually, Heber reached his goal of working at the bank. He also became a penmanship teacher at a university.

Once during the fair, a penmanship contest was held. Heber spoke to the man in charge.

Heber: I wrote better samples than any of these before I was 17 years old.

Man: I don’t know if I believe that. Show me.

Heber fetched his writing sample, paid the contest entry fee, and won the contest. Throughout his life, he encouraged children to learn to write well.