Thursday, June 14, 2018

President Heber C. Kimball on living in kindness to all creatures

President Heber C. Kimball (June 14, 1801-1868) was a member of the first Quorum of Twelve Apostles ordained in this dispensation in 1835. He served as first counselor to Brigham Young from 1847 until his death in 1868 at age 67. He was the grandfather of Spencer W. Kimball, who became an apostle in 1943 and served as president of the Church from 1973-1985. His great-great-grandson, Quentin L. Cook, currently serves as an apostle.
"It has been said, 'A man needs a portion of the Spirit to drive oxen.' [Voice in the stand: 'Yes, a double portion of it.'] I know, as well as I know my name is Heber C. Kimball, that a spirit of kindness in a man will beget the same in his animal, in his child, or in persons over whom he exercises control. The Holy Ghost in the people of God will control not only our domestic animals, our families, our servants, and our handmaids, but it will control the armies of men that are in the world, the mountains, seas, streams of water, tempests, famines, and pestilence, and every destructive power, that they come not nigh unto us, just as much as we can keep sickness from us by the power of faith and prayer and good works. If we live our religion, we shall never suffer as the world suffers. We shall not be perplexed with famine and pestilence, with the caterpillar, and other destructive insects, which the Lord will send in the last days to afflict the wicked.
"God will sustain us, if we will sustain him and be his friends. But how can you be his friends, except you are friends to his cause and to his servants? You cannot find favor with your God while you are opposed to his authority, or to the ordinances and regulations of his house."
- Heber C. Kimball, remarks delivered in the Salt Lake Tabernacle, October 7, 1859; see Journal of Discourses 7:330
Click here to read the complete talk

I love this insight. The virtue of kindness is not frequently discussed, but according to President Kimball, it has remarkable power to influence for good—starting with animals, but extending to our relationships with those close to us, and with the larger situations we encounter in the world.

It's interesting how closely the Holy Ghost is associated with kindness in this description. As we act with kindness, the Holy Ghost is more able to attend our actions and our service.

Kindness is certainly an attribute we would attribute to the Savior; his tender affection towards children, to those who struggle with disease or afflictions, and even towards sinners are some of the best-known examples from His mortal life. We would do well to emulate that spirit!

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2018)

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