When I joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1984, Spencer W. Kimball was our Prophet. By this time, President Kimball was basically incapacitated. So, to get to know him, I read his biography: SPENCER W. KIMBALL – THE EARLY AND APOSTOLIC YEARS – Twelfth President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints – 1980, by Edward L. & Kimball, Andrew E. Jr. Kimball.
At the time, the thing that struck me most about his story was how humbled and shocked Elder Kimball was when he received his call to be President of the Church. Upon learning of the death of President Harold B. Lee and realizing his immediate fate, he hiked into the wilderness near his home in Thatcher, AZ, to pray and cry and contemplate the meaning of his call, in an almost “psalm of Nephi” kind of way.
My thought at the time was “Why was he so surprised? Wasn’t he ready and prepared for this call, almost expecting it?” I’ve come to realize that no one in our Church wants or expects a call of any kind. However, we are all being prepared for our next assignment, and accept each call willingly as we exercise what Elder Bednar calls our “representative agency.” As we do so, the mantel of our call rests upon us, giving us the power and authority to fulfill our assignment. This, of course, is what happened with President Kimball.
Fast forward to February 10, 2019, the day President Russell M. Nelson visited The Valley of the Sun to commune with the Arizona Saints. I initially learned of Dr. Nelson as the inspired surgeon who operated on Spencer W. Kimball and saved his life! I had shaken Elder Nelson’s hand following a 1990’s era Stake Conference visit. I have, like you, watched Elder Nelson speak to us during General Conference, and as he participated in a multitude of other Church meetings, events and gatherings. And like you, I watched as the mantel of the office enveloped this mortal man, as The Lord made Elder Nelson Prophet, and “President Nelson,” who is currently guiding us in these latter days…
May the Lord continue to bless President Nelson. And may He also continue to bless us as we follow the Prophet.
Thank you, our faithful reader. It is to this end – that we are made aware of the blessings of our Church and our Gospel-oriented lifestyle through stories and offerings of our local community – that The Arizona Beehive is dedicated. We look forward to joyfully serving you with this, our latest edition.