Teachings of Presidents
Historical Summary

“Historical Summary,” Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball (2006), x–xiii

“Historical Summary,” Teachings: Spencer W. Kimball, x–xiii

Historical Summary

This book is not a history; rather, it is a compilation of gospel principles as taught by President Spencer W. Kimball. The following chronology provides a brief historical background of his life and a framework for his teachings. It omits many significant events in both Church and secular history. It also omits many important events in President Kimball’s personal life, such as the births of his children.

1895, March 28

Spencer Woolley Kimball is born in Salt Lake City, Utah, to Andrew Kimball and Olive Woolley Kimball.

1898, May

Moves with his family to Thatcher, Arizona, where his father presides over the St. Joseph Stake for the next 26 years.

1906, October 18

His mother dies.

1907, June

His father marries Josephine Cluff.

1914, October

Begins service as a full-time missionary in the Central States Mission in the United States. He had been called to the Swiss-German Mission but was unable to go because of World War I.

1916, December

Released from his full-time mission. Soon after, attends the University of Arizona.

1917, November 16

Marries Camilla Eyring.


Called to be stake clerk of the St. Joseph Stake. Enters the banking business as a clerk and teller.


Joins the Rotary Club, a service organization in which he will participate for the next 20 years, including as a district governor.

1924, August 31

His father dies. About a week later, as part of the reorganization of the stake presidency, Spencer is called as second counselor. He is ordained a high priest by President Heber J. Grant, the seventh President of the Church.


Becomes president-manager of the Kimball-Greenhalgh Realty and Insurance Company.

1938, February 20

Called as president of the Mount Graham Stake.

1943, October 7

Ordained an Apostle by President Heber J. Grant.


Suffers and recovers from a severe heart ailment.


Loses his voice through a serious throat ailment. His voice is restored following a priesthood blessing.


Undergoes an operation for cancer of the throat; one and one-half vocal cords are removed.


The Miracle of Forgiveness is published.


Becomes Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

1972, April 12

Undergoes open-heart surgery.

1972, July 7

Becomes President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

1973, December 26

President Harold B. Lee dies.

1973, December 30

Becomes President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, with President N. Eldon Tanner as First Counselor and President Marion G. Romney as Second Counselor in the First Presidency.

1974, November 19

Dedicates the Washington D.C. Temple.

1975, October 3

Begins the reconstitution of the First Quorum of the Seventy.


Oversees the addition of two revelations to the Pearl of Great Price. These revelations are later included in the Doctrine and Covenants as sections 137 and 138.

1977, August 24

Dedicates Poland for future Church work—the first visit of a President of the Church behind what was then known as the Iron Curtain.

1978, June 8

With his counselors in the First Presidency, issues a letter announcing a revelation making all the blessings of the priesthood available to all worthy members, without regard for race or color.

1978, October 30

Dedicates the São Paulo Brazil Temple.


Oversees the publication of the LDS edition of the King James Bible.

1979, October 24

Dedicates the Orson Hyde Memorial Garden in Jerusalem.


Oversees the establishment of the consolidated meeting schedule, which places sacrament meeting, ward priesthood meetings, Relief Society meetings, Young Women classes, Sunday School, and Primary in a three-hour block on Sunday rather than scheduled throughout the week.

1980, October 27

Dedicates the Tokyo Japan Temple.

1980, November 17

Dedicates the Seattle Washington Temple.


Oversees the publication of a new edition of the triple combination, with an updated footnote system and index.

1981, July 23

Calls President Gordon B. Hinckley to serve as an additional counselor in the First Presidency.

1981 to 1985

Oversees the dedications of 17 temples.

1982, October 3

A subtitle for the Book of Mormon is announced—“Another Testament of Jesus Christ.”

1982, December 2

Reorganizes the First Presidency, with President Marion G. Romney as First Counselor and President Gordon B. Hinckley as Second Counselor.


Area Presidencies are established.

1985, November 5

Dies in Salt Lake City, Utah.