Monday, April 17, 2023

Precious Highlights in President Spencer W. Kimball’s Journal Located, described, linked, and dated by Dennis B. Horne

Pearls . . . gems . . . nuggets . . . whatever you want to call them. Probably 98% of President Kimball’s diary (thousands of pages) is tedious in the general sense of being notations about meeting itinerary, travelogue, mission tours, ordination names, and weather reports. But the remaining fraction is more precious than jewels to the spiritually literate and appreciative, and to those that love the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Finding pearls made wading through the rest of it worth it.

The below pages contain a date, then a brief description of a journal item, followed by a link to the page it is on. These often run into more than one page, sometimes many. So keep reading or clicking the right arrow until you are sure you have exhausted the subject. Sometimes this means clicking that right arrow to get past a letter, pictures, newspaper clippings, or other intervening items. Sometimes words, lines, paragraphs, and even entire pages are redacted (blacked out; this is material considered sacred, private, and confidential). I have had some links change on me, so I also included dates to find if the links don’t quite get you there.

The entries can be candid. Elder Kimball called sin just what it is, sin. A running theme in the diary is Elder Kimball’s constant counseling of members with moral problems, especially homosexual activity, adultery, and other marriage problems. I have noted a few of the more detailed instances below, but the problems he faced in working with these people were constant and an emotional and spiritual strain and drain on him more than all else he did.

            Not all items below are of lofty spiritual significance. Some are merely of interest as church history and administration. We get to be the fly on the wall for certain meetings where sacred and sublime things are said or done as only prophets can. In my judgment, a few of them reach to such heights as could offer the possibility of canonization if the Lord so desired. To me, one cannot read such things without being inspired and knowing the restored Church is led by prophets and apostles and is indeed God’s restored work.

            I had not planned on posting this highlights index until I noticed that some enemies of the Church were slandering everything they read, doing their utmost to cast a negative slant on a prophet’s (actually) superb record. These pickle-sucking hard-hearted doubters have no clue what they are talking about. This Apostolic record-keeper was a Special Witness whose belief was contagious. He lifted and blessed everyone around him (that would be) all his life. While he counseled and worked with doubters and unbelievers, he strove to help them rid themselves of such and replace it with faith and repentance and cleanliness.

            President Kimball did create something of an index himself that he put at the front of most journal volumes, but one could argue about how useful it is according to what one is looking for. I could wish the diaries contained less of his movements and more of what went on and was said in temple meetings.

I estimate that only a tiny percentage of church members and historians will ever read any significant portion of the diaries, which makes this highlights index helpful as a way to find what I, and perhaps others, would consider the best parts—sifted from so many thousands of pages. And with this index being as long as it is, perhaps only a small percentage of it will be reviewed—but for those who love the same sweet things I do, I hope it will be of some use in delivering precious pearls, gems, and nuggets of the highest value:


July 1943. Autobiographical account, "The Story of My Call to the Apostleship"


July 1943, Journal version of Elder Kimball's call to Twelve; a bit more candid than other written versions.

starts over here:

Spencer's longhand version that has a few other details but isn’t as easy to read:

July 12, 1944. Letter to a son reviewing the torment of mind after he received his apostolic call till he found peace:

July 13-15, 1944. Elder Kimball's remembering of anniversary of his receiving comforting spiritual experiences regarding his call to the Twelve the year before:

July 29, 1944. Spencer tells "part of my experience" on the mountain top when called to apostleship in a testimony meeting; says doesn't talk about it often:

Elder Kimball notes the two-year anniversary of his call to the apostleship:

1945 summary. Mentions visiting his "mountain" near Boulder Colorado where special experience occurred:

July 8, 1946. Spencer remembers call on third anniversary of it; spends time in Hawaiian temple:

July 8-10, 1948. Elder Kimball reminisces on the five-year anniversary of his call to the Twelve:

Brief six year anniversary reminders of Elder Kimball's call to the Twelve and mountain experience:

July 14-15, 1948. Pres. Kimball reminisces again about his "testimony and manifestation" on the Boulder Colo. mountain at the time of his call to the apostleship:

May 8, 1956. Elder Kimball revisits his sacred mountain in Boulder Colorado, remembering his call:

July 8, 1957. Spencer notes the 14th anniversary of his call to the Twelve with a summary of his work:

note of his “unusual experience” on the mountain near Boulder:

July 15, 1966. 23 year anniversary explanation with a little more detail:

October 7, 1943. Spencer's account of the meeting of the First Presidency & Twelve in which he (and Ezra Taft Benson) is ordained an apostle and given the charge. In readable longhand cursive.

December 30, 1943. Record of a profound conversation of Elder Kimball and Elder Lee concerning some things Pres. Grant had said when giving Elders Kimball and Benson the Apostolic charge:


November 12, 1943. Spencer's detailed account of the excommunication of Richard R. Lyman:


Elder Kimball's recounting of the above experience in a letter to his son:


December 8-9, 1943. Spencer's feelings regarding a son's reticence with the gospel and himself; also mentions he had his first experience serving as secretary for his Quorum:


December 13, 1943. Two funny stories Spencer tells about visiting with people who don't know they are talking to the new apostle:


December 22 to 27, 1943. Interviews with returned missionaries, one (27th) tells Elder Kimball about someone in the California mission who is telling of their spiritual manifestations; Elder Kimball feels they are of the devil and so does Elder JFS; they decide the matter should be investigated:


April 20, 1944. Elder Kimball assists FP & 12 in ordaining Mark E. Petersen an apostle; Pres. Grant was voice:


May 1, 1944. A (serious) sinner confesses to Elder Kimball and receives forgiveness and is overjoyed:


January 11, 1944. Elder Kimball's comments regarding his first “Quarterly” meeting with the Quorum of the Twelve:


January 18, 1944. Pres. George Albert Smith changes Elder Kimball's assignment in accordance with his unspoken desires:


May 18, 1944. Elder Kimball mentions Pres. Grant coming to meeting of FP & 12; also how humble he felt when they determined some points of doctrine and policy for the church (details not mentioned):


November 21, 1944. Top of page; longhand writing. Elder Kimball’s comment about needing to hold meetings further away from business and “colored” districts; could be considered racist by today's standards:


December 26, 1944. Plans made regarding republication of Orson F. Whitney's book Life of Heber C. Kimball:


and regarding the chapter on plural marriage:

and working with printers of book:

October 9, 1945. Spencer receives first copies off the press:


January 15, 1945. Elder Kimball's visit to the St. George stake in 1945 followed by his recollection of some J. Golden Kimball stories he was told:


Elder Kimball’s address at the dedication of the Idaho Temple:


March 24, 1945. Elder Kimball finds the Payson stake generally doing lousy, with some members being suckered into the Coyle dream mine scam:


May 18, 1945. Death of Pres. Grant and reorganization of FP "such as I have never experienced before"; this includes the famous meeting (at which Pres. GA Smith was not present) during which Pres. Richards directed that Clark and McKay conduct the funeral arrangement meeting; also Spencer's personal feelings regarding church government at such a time:

May 21, 1945. continued:


Elder Kimball's personal history: "My Mission to the Lamanites":


June 15, 1945. Elder Kimball's narration of an account by a newly selected stake president of hearing the voice of the Lord telling him he would be called as the new stake president:

June, 1965. Elder Kimball relates this same story again in slightly more detail and with the stake president commenting:


September 10, 1945. Elder Kimball notified about giving the "church of the air" address on CBS during tab choir broadcast at conference; responsibility greatly worries him:

and for his comments about his delivery and compliments he received:


October 24, 1945. Pres. Clark's letter of gratitude for a copy of the book Life of Heber C. Kimball, also some others like it:

Some final thoughts on work:


September 23, 1945. Elder Kimball's description of the dedication of the Idaho Falls temple and his talk therein:


October 18, 1945. At a meeting of the Twelve, Spencer learned of two brethren that were appointed to go to Europe to help war-torn Latter-day Saints spiritually and temporally; these men were later replaced by Elder Benson:


November 18, 1945. Elder Kimball deals with an irate man in a difficult situation in a stake meeting:


March 21, 1946. Bottom of page. Elder Kimball's losing effort to keep a stake name; he is overruled by FP & 12 in their meeting:

Many years later Elder Kimball tells this same story in greater detail:


September 13, 1946. Lower half of page. Elder Kimball receives a formal commission from Pres. GA Smith to "look after the Indians in all the world":


October 19, 1946. Elder Kimball's account of being attacked by evil spirits:

and (Nov. 1957):



January 28, 1947. Funeral of Elder Charles A. Callis:


April 2, 1947. Bottom of page to next. This page and the following talk about the new revelation to Pres. George Albert Smith that mission presidents should have counselors; also the administrative decision that elders quorums could be organized in missions:


June 30, 1947. Elder Kimball's conversation with Pres. GA Smith regarding his work with the Indians and also his participation in a pioneer trek re-enactment; he is to maintain the dignity of his office while participating:


July 13, 1947. Spencer goes on a re-creation pioneer trek (except he mostly rode in nice cars and stayed in hotels or slept on an air mattress in tents). Spencer called it "crossing the plains in 1947"; lengthy account but kind of fun:


July 24, 1947. Description of the dedication of "This is the Place" Monument:


October 9, 1947. Elder Kimball speaks of a powerfully spiritual meeting of the First Presidency and Twelve where the subject of blacks and the priesthood was considered (October 1947). This meeting is one reason why I believe the restriction to have been inspired:


October 27, 1947. A prophecy uttered by Elder Kimball. I wonder if Lund’s, "Work and the Glory" book series fulfilled it? Or if greater fulfillment is yet to come:


October 30, 1947. The sad story of “Mormon” prejudice against the black Hope family and their enduring in faith; also further info on patriarchal blessings being made available to black members in the 1940s. Both a tragic and an inspiring story (includes quotation of a racist word):


November 9, 1947. Elder Kimball rebukes and calls to repentance a divided community of saints (in Antimony CO, I think):


December 11, 1947. The First Presidency give the apostles increased independent authority when reorganizing stakes, including calling and ordaining bishops and patriarchs:


October 24, 1947. Spencer relates historical-biographical stories told by a 102+ year-old church member that knew Billy the kid, Geronimo and Abraham Lincoln, along with earlier church presidents:

Same stories retold in the Deseret News (from Spencer's diary):


January 30, 1948. Elders Kimball and Petersen appointed to work with "delinquent girls" that come into SLC:


March 12, 1948. Spencer deals with an irate mentally ill relative who won't listen to reason:


March 17, 1948. Elder Kimball notes that the total church budget has grown to twenty million dollars:

and later, it grows to much more:


August 12, 1948. A letter from Spencer to his sons, mostly Levan, telling him to get his act together spiritually speaking. Levan eventually went atheist though I am told he may have returned to the faith in some degree before he died. I suppose many fathers might write a letter like this to erring children:


September 25, 1948. Bottom of page. Pres. GA Smith tells Elder Kimball to take care in his recovery from his heart attacks and convalescence. Mentions his own health breakdown and gives wise counsel:

Elder Kimball receives outpouring of love from Brethren including Pres. GA Smith on his return to church service:


Account of Elder Kimball blessing a very sick child and it being healed:


February 25, 1949. Elder Kimball visits Pres. GA Smith at church home in Laguna Beach CA where he was staying because of illness:


April 14, 1949. Elder Kimball receives "bold impression" regarding Pres. George F. Richards. I have known about this for many years but have never quite known what to do with it:


June 11, 1949. Elder Kimball relates an inspired dream/vision regarding some acquaintances whose names are redacted:


October 3, 1949. Elder Kimball attends one of the most spiritual testimony meetings of the Twelve he ever had (evidently post-General Conference):


October 31, 1949. An instance where something Elder Kimball says could be considered racist by today's standards; top of this page and bottom of previous:


December 1, 1949. Spencer's opinion of Elder Harold B. Lee:


1950 summary, bottom of page. Pres. George F. Richards tells the Brethren in Quarterly temple meeting of the Twelve of his spiritual experiences and manifestations:


March 2, 1950. Near bottom of page and next; Elder Kimball gets upset ("exploded") with a University of Utah publication filled with writings of anti-Mormons:


March 1950. A few noteworthy items on this page: further talk about UofU publication criticisms (running into next page); account of Elder Kimball casting out evil spirit from woman; account of missionaries being killed in former days:


March 1950. Further reflection by Spencer on the UofU publication attack against the church:


April 11, 1950. This page just has the one famous story on it, told with slightly more detail than most other accounts:

another version told here:


April 10, 1950. General Authority social where sermons from past church leaders of same seniority/Quorum placement were read; Pres. Lee referred to this occasion in several of his own talks:


June 4, 1950. Elder Kimball is impressed that if a man would accept a call as a bishop the Lord would strengthen him financially:


August 6, 8, 1950. Elder Kimball is thrilled with inspired talk by Pres. Smith and gives final blessing to Pres. George F. Richards who dies a few hours later:


August 11, 1950. Description of addresses and summary of what was said at Pres. George F. Richards' funeral; some sweet nuggets:


October 5, 1950. Elder Kimball present in meeting of the FP & Twelve where new apostle Delbert L. Stapley ordained and Pres. McKay made Pres. of Twelve and Pres. Smith acting Pres:


April 5, 1951, goes on for several pages. Elder Kimball describes the meeting of the Twelve for the funeral planning and reorganization of the First Presidency at Pres. GA Smith's passing; this includes his sweet spiritual experience of seeing and feeling the mantle come upon the new prophet; precious indeed. The following pages describe the conducting of the conference under the authority of the Twelve with no FP yet; also described is situation where Pres. McKay called Stephen L Richards to be his first counselor and J. Reuben Clark his second, which "stunned" the other Brethren; there are several different drama's going on in these superb pages:

and summarized in this letter to his children:

For whatever reason, these journal pages are duplicated here for a number of pages covering the entire death, funeral, and reorganization meeting:

July 4, 1960. Pres. Clark’s relating these matters pertaining to himself to Elder Kimball, providing further detail (Clark “became very confidential with me”) bottom third of page:


April 12, 1951. New church leaders ordained/set apart description:


Ca. April 1951. Letter of persuasion and doctrine by Elder Kimball to someone needing to repent and get their act together:


May 28, 1951. Elder Kimball makes a prophecy concerning a rude state governor:


Late May, 1951. Bottom half of page. Two miraculous incidents told; one about missionaries being protected and one where Pres. McKay recognizes a translation error while speaking:


June 1951. Account of a missionary baseball player sharing his testimony of the Book of Mormon:


October 4, 1951. Bottom of page. Elder Marion G. Romney recommended as an apostle:


October 5, 10-11, 1951. Ordination of new apostle and assistants to Twelve; also first time Brethren given General Conference speaking times in advance (for television):


January 9, 1952. Powerful address given by Elder Kimball to the Twelve in their Quarterly meeting (serving others vs materialism, mantle, believing heart, don't need to see God to believe, etc.):


1952 summary. Mention of Richard R. Lyman’s bad attitude, meaning still could not be rebaptized:

full discussion of Lyman meeting with Twelve, bottom of this and next page:


June 3, 1952, very bottom of page and into next. Spencer's note of some beautiful expressions of love and appreciation among the Brethren (himself, Lee, Smith):


April 3, 1952. More detail than usual regarding the pre-Conference temple meeting of FP & 12, including comment regarding the health decline of Elder Widstoe; also concern expressed for voice:


April 1952. Spencer is accosted by a Lebaron apostate after Conference; the FP & 12 meet and sustain LeGrand Richards as a new apostle; Spencer fasts for three days for a blessing from the Lord for his voice/vocal cords:


April 8 & 9, 1952. Elder Kimball performs a temple sealing where the veil is extra thin; he also forgets a meeting of the Twelve and feels "humiliated" at being an hour late; next page includes description of Elder LeGrand Richards' ordination to apostleship:


April 20, 1952, letter to wife. Elder Kimball's opinion of Hugh Nibley:


June 25, 1952. Elder Kimball described Elder Bowen suffering a stroke during the Quarterly testimony meeting of the Twelve:


December 2, 1952. Elder Kimball attends funeral of Elder Widstoe:


January 9, 1953. Another serious sinner’s sad story told to Elder Kimball that he records to give an example of the effects of sin and the kinds of problems that come before him:

same story told in greater detail here and for a couple pages:


January 26, 1953. Elder Kimball's candid description of Elder Albert E. Bowen in great pain and misery in the hospital wanting to die:

and here


March 1953. Elder Kimball quotes Pres. McKay in meeting stating the judgment of the Lord regarding that particular Quorum of Twelve (about halfway down page):


April 8, 1953. Elder Kimball notes that Pres. Smith had told the First Presidency that there had never been greater unity in the Quorum of Twelve:

another similar statement of what Jesus thought of that Quorum of Twelve (March 5, 1953):


July 26, 1953. Spencer notes the passing of Elder Albert E. Bowen after a terrible long year of severe illness; very complimentary about him:


September 18-21, 1953. Spencer’s opinion of women’s dresses worn at weddings; he and the Brethren bless and pass the sacrament at a Logan Temple solemn assembly; more descriptions of people’s difficult problems that come to him:


October 1-8, 1953. Ordination to the Twelve of Richard L. Evans; Pres. McKay makes a special statement to the Twelve about unity in the presiding quorums of the church and how powerful the general conference just concluded was:

through and past (superb material):


January 7, 1954. Spencer mentions an extra fine Quarterly meeting of the Twelve where Pres. Smith and Lee speak about the apostles being special witnesses; not detailed:


February 12, 1954. Spencer’s philosophizing about his heart and health problems and how he hides them from the Brethren; also a bad dream about worse health problems and death:


December 10 to 13 and more, 1953. Bottom of page and continuing. Elder Kimball's account of the laying of the cornerstone for the Los Angeles temple right after which Elder Matthew Cowley dies; pretty crazy time; several succeeding pages narrate funeral arrangements and funeral:

and (also some Richard R. Lyman comment at bottom):


September 21, 1954. Meetings/discussion regarding Richard R. Lyman:




April 7-8, 1954. Charge and ordination of George Q. Morris to Quorum of Twelve described:


May 8-9, 1954. Hugh Nibley fascinates Elder Kimball so much he gets distracted and drives the wrong way:


June 2, 1954. Mid-page. Spencer read Pres. Joseph Fielding Smith’s new book Man His Origin and Destiny (no opinion given):


June 12, 1954. In the temple the Brethren approve the Indian placement program that Elder Kimball had been promoting. According to this, this was the beginning of the beginning of it. One wonders how successful it really was (in the end) with all the lawsuits that have been filed over the years, but I cannot judge it:

some vacillation regarding it:

and some expansion of it:


July 1, 1954. Pres. McKay speaks to the Twelve as a Prophet, giving them the love of the First Presidency and making pronouncements about the “Christianity” of the world, along with a charge to the Twelve:


September 9, 1954. Elder Kimball counsels a returned missionary sinking into apostasy because of the usual liberal issues, including science:


October 7 and 12, 1954. Elder Kimball’s opinion of am O.C. Tanner theological book proposed as a Sunday School manual as related in a meeting with Pres. McKay, who thinks Bro. Kimball extreme in his views of the manuscript (I don’t think Bro. Kimball thought he was).


December 4-5, 1954. Brief description of a solemn assembly held in the St. George Temple, with this being the first time the fourth floor assembly room had been used:


March 17, 1955. Prophetic statement from Pres. McKay in the minutes of the meeting of the Council of the Twelve indicating how the gospel will be taken to Europe and other countries. Proved prophetic indeed:


April 7, 1955. President McKay blesses Elder Kimball for his European mission:


October 1, 1955. Elder Kimball reports on his six-month mission to Europe in general conference and is inspired in what he says; receives higher commendation for that talk than any other he has ever given, especially from Pres. McKay:

For the audio of Elder Kimball’s conference talk that was so appreciated by the Brethren, listen here:


October 19, 1955. The Brethren decide to turn Wednesday meetings into a school of the prophets; the first lecture and Q&A being by Elder McConkie who taught about the personality of the Gods (no details of lecture given):


March 1956. Elder Kimball’s description of the dedication of the Los Angeles Temple:

Church History Catalog | Asset viewer | 1956 January 1-August 18 (


February 27, 1956. Bottom of page to next; Elder Kimball sees his father Andrew in a dream or vision, which he recorded:

Church History Catalog | Asset viewer | 1956 January 1-August 18 (

And which he relates again here:

and as related to the Twelve in their Quarterly testimony meeting (April 10, 1957):


May 10, 1956. Pres. McKay talks about how wonderful it is for the Brethren to meet in the temple and wonders how different the world would be if government leaders did the same thing.


November 29, 1956. Elder Kimball gets “infuriated” with Elder Hugh B. Brown for a negative report to the Twelve on the Indian mission:


February 20, 1957. Pres. Clark given Elder Kimball a blessing for his throat cancer; Spencer tells him of his dream of his father Andrew:


March 1957. Spencer’s throat cancer surgery; miserable in the extreme, many pages:


March 7, 1957. Elder Lee’s letter to Elder Kimball explaining the prayers of faith offered by the Brethren in temple meeting in his behalf:


March 1957. A letter written by Spencer to a son when he (Kimball) thought he might die soon. Speaks of his dreams and of his brushes with death. Best part is the end where he bears testimony and states that he has received revelation:


May 10, 1957. Pres. Smith embraces Elder Kimball and tells him he loves him:


May 1957. Elder Kimball writes an insightful 2-page letter explaining the basics of the temple endowment:


June 8, 1957. Sad extended story of Elder Kimball trying to help a drunk:


July 18, 1957. Elder Kimball personally obtains the counsel of Pres. McKay regarding his voice issue and his service as an apostle; very touching:


July 1957. Elder Kimball’s story of his throat operation, including his visit about it with Elder Lee, Pres. Clark and Pres. McKay. Very detailed and descriptive; funny to see how Elder Kimball counted the expenses of all the medical stuff; both humor and pathos in this lengthy account of a number of pages:


August, 1957. It was during this experience that Elder Kimball had the miserable night he chronicles in the book "One Silent Sleepless Night", the manuscript of which is found in the diary here:


August 21, 1957. A letter of encouragement to Elder Kimball signed by 9 members of the Quorum of the Twelve:


August 4, 1957. Elder Kimball's summary of the whole situation as written in a letter to Elder Delbert L. Stapley:


August 10, 1957. Letter from Pres. Smith to Spencer regarding faith and healing and God’s will:


August 22, 1957. Minutes containing the content of and expressions made during Quarterly meeting of the Quorum of the Twelve at which Elder Kimball’s throat surgery and recovery were discussed; two pages of sweet uplifting material:

a little more here:


November 9, 1957. Elder Kimball’s lengthy scathing opinion of a San Francisco play they saw; he goes on to comment negatively about whom I guess is Ingrid Bergman though he doesn’t use her name:


November 25, 1957. Elder Kimball has a long conversation with a mentally troubled woman blaming him and the church for her problems, divorce, etc.


December 5, 1957. Elder Kimball’s letter to the First Presidency about his voice, including wording from his apostolic ordination:


December 19, 1957 (Dec. 18 is also interesting). Elder Kimball asks for and receives Pres. McKay’s permission to again receive “assignments” in the stakes of the church (since his throat has healed) even though he only has a hoarse raspy voice:


January 14, 1958. More long sad stories of sin told by Elder Kimball about some unnamed members he was trying to help:


April 6, 1958. Elder Kimball’s mention of Pres. McKay nominating several men for callings to the general authorities, including Hugh B. Brown as an apostle and Gordon B. Hinckley to fill his place in the Assistants:


Elder Kimball hears a member bear testimony that he (Kimball) was a divinely appointed apostle:


May 21, 1959. Elder Kimball describes Pres. McKay’s haggard appearance at the meeting of the FP & 12 upon the death of Pres. Stephen L. Richards and how the prophet spoke so tenderly of his beloved counselor; also the case of a defiant adulterer beginning to repent:


June 12, 1959. Toward bottom of page. Elder Kimball’s description of the meeting where Pres. McKay reorganizes the First Presidency after the death of Pres. Richards, bringing Bro. Moyle into the Presidency:

Excerpts of official minutes of this same meeting, including some specific powerful statements from Pres. McKay;


July 2, 1959. Pres. McKay in a fine relaxed mood in the temple with his new counselors:

and his follow up testimony that the right counselors had been chosen (July, talking about June 18):


July 30, 1959. First mention in the diaries of the beginning of the preparation of the manuscript that would become “The Miracle of Forgiveness”:


October 4, 1959. Elder Kimball hears Pres. Moyle speak with great power, as never before, feeling that the mantle of his new calling as a Counselor has fallen on him:


October 8, 1959. Pres. McKay announces to the Twelve the call of Howard W. Hunter to their quorum and he is sustained in conference; also, Pres. McKay assigns Elder Kimball and Petersen their long-running task of working with the homosexuals:

Description of Elder Hunter’s ordination:


June 15, 1960, bottom of page. Mention of work on the general handbook and a missionary handbook; also mention of method of interviewing missionaries:

wrapping up of the handbook project, with Elder Kimball’s feelings expressed:


1960. Elder Kimball’s address at the dedication of the restored Heber C. Kimball home in Nauvoo:


September 8, 1960. Pres. McKay expresses love for the Brethren on his birthday in the temple, and notes the difference between their celestial love and apostate feelings:


October 8-9, 1960. Elder Kimball describes the general conference, especially the feebleness of, yet powerful talk, given by Pres. Clark; also the calling of three new Assistants to the Twelve along with their charge and ordinations, and the strong Spirit present in their meeting in the temple:

That journal page is also duplicated here:

You can listen to Pres. Clark’s message here, at 21:56:

(This message contains precious insights into New Testament doctrine; keep listening after he says amen.)


October 11, 1960. Elder Kimball receives a special blessing from Pres. McKay and commendation regarding his work, and instructions which meant much to him:

This page duplicated here:


October 17, 1960. Report of a discussion of the FP & 12 regarding the expansion or creation of stakes in foreign countries and language and training problems that are attendant; Pres. McKay’s expressions of what the Lord expected them to do; these discussions would seem to be minutes of their meeting in the temple:

creation of first stakes in Australia and New Zealand, from minutes of meeting of FP & 12:


Spencer dreams about the Māori people:


November 1, 1960. Letter written by Elder Harold B. Lee to Elder Kimball informing him of the work of the Twelve in stake organizations while he has been in Australia. Contains some very frank discussion of the health of members of the First Presidency, the kind that is not given to church members generally:


December 1, 1960. During Elder Kimball’s work in New Zealand creating a stake, he learned that some missionaries had been immoral with some local LDS girls. This is mentioned on this page and here and there on many other surrounding pages and was highly distressing to him. Much of the details are redacted. The missionaries involved were disciplined:


March 16, 1961. Elder Kimball’s observations of health of Pres. McKay and Clark in their temple meeting:


November 17, 1960. Pres. McKay’s glowing expressions to the Twelve in a temple meeting, from the minutes:


March 28, 1961. Elder Kimball relates the story of someone he baptized (in the middle east) to Pres. McKay, on bottom of page and next. He talked to the prophet about it because of some concern he had done wrong in not attaching the man to a branch; the next page also has some health observations about McKay and Clark:


April 136, 1961. Mention of Pres. Clark coming to temple meeting in a wheelchair and saying he was not praying for a continuation of life; he was dead six months later:


June 22, 1961. Elder Kimball’s description of the meeting at which Hugh B. Brown was made a counselor in the First Presidency because of the incapacitation of Pres. Clark:


August 9, 1961. Spencer gives a blessing to two of Elder Orson F. Whitney’s daughters, both old and depressed by this time:


October 1, 1961. Mention of Gordon B. Hinckley being ordained a member of the Twelve:


October 10, 1961. Mention of the death and funeral of Pres. Clark:


Elder Kimball (and Bro. Hunter) have a conversation with Pres. McKay about going to Palestine; Pres. McKay’s pleasing reaction is recorded:


December 8, 1961. A more detailed than usual explanation of what Elder Kimball said when marrying couples in the temple:


December 13 and 14, 1961. Spencer’s explanation of the difficulties he encountered (on this page and others previous to it) in finalizing the next year 1962 budget, with the main issue being that of keeping the church from spending more than it brought in. The building program was especially at fault; also mention that the Quarterly meetings of the Twelve were allegedly made only semiannual, though that doesn’t seem to actually happen:


September 13, 1962. Spencer’s glowing observations of the Prophet, Pres. McKay, and some comment on their meeting:


September 24, 1962. Spencer describes the death and funeral of Sister Harold B. Lee, including the following page. Pres. Lee, as would be expected, took it hard:


October 4-6, 1962. Pres. McKay announces the calling of N. Eldon Tanner to become a member of the Twelve:

and ordination:


January 10-11, 1963. Elder Kimball knows by the Spirit that he will pray beforehand in a meeting of the FP & 12; also some references to the budget of the church;


January 26, 1963. Last quarter page, crazy account of the death of former Presiding Bishop Joseph L. Wirthlin:


March 15, 1963. Record of a false revelation given to Spencer by a nut-job deluded relative:


April 4-6, 1963. Elder Kimball comments on the beginning approval of the Correlation program; on Pres. McKay’s health and personal character; and on the loss of spontaneity with rigidly timed television broadcasts of conference:


May 26, 1963. Elder Kimball attends a solemn assembly in the Manti Temple assembly room:


June 9, 1963, bottom of page. Elder Kimball performs complex temple ordinance work for a deceased man, whose presence he then feels very near:


Agust 10, 1963. Spencer calls Disneyland “dizzyland” and doesn’t care for waiting in the lines:


Elder Kimball mentions the sudden unexpected death of President Moyle and ponders his acquaintance with him; muses about policy differences (which were probably money related; Pres. Moyle was famous for spending and Kimball for being conservative) but also his high regard for him; this page, previous, and next two:


September 20, 1963. Mention of man who had been investigating and reporting on apostate fundamentalist groups on his own volition:


September 26, 1963. Description of the first meeting of the FP & 12 without Pres. Moyle, along with observations of Pres. McKay, etc. Very sobering:


October 3, 1963. Elder Kimball calls this a “red-letter day.” A rare description of a meeting in the temple of all the general authorities and what they talk about in taking care of church business, and then reorganization of the First Presidency with the calling of Pres. Tanner, along with Elder Kimball’s commentary on the proceedings. Most impressive. The next page or two has the conference with the sustaining vote and this is where Elder Thomas S. Monson is sustained at the new apostle—he was one name that Elder Kimball had recommended:

a little more here on different related subjects:

Elder Kimball’s note to the Prophet, recommending two names (redacted but one was Monson) as possible new apostles/assistants:


October 9, 1963. As for this page, bottom half, I cannot guess what the “stormy” differences were that were aired by the Brethren in their Quarterly meeting:


October 10, 1963. President Tanner is ordained and set apart as second counselor and Elder Monson is given the charge, ordained an apostle and set apart as a member of the Twelve; also an early mention of dividing the earth into areas (as is now the case) presided over by the Twelve (decades later Area Presidencies were created); also, at bottom, note of an impression or personal revelation received by Elder Lee regarding Pres. McKay:


October 11, 1963. Review of Elder Kimball’s lengthy meeting with Pres. McKay and decisions reached:


November 9, 1963. Spencer relates how a new stake president had had his calling made known to him by the Spirit years previous to receiving it:


January 3-4, 1964. Elder Kimball attends and comments on the funeral and life of Richard R. Lyman, excommunicated former apostle; also records a visit with and tender feelings toward a black friend; also some ruminating on how people rationalize sin to themselves (this fits perfectly with today’s gay immorality that people minimize or disregard):


March 5, 1964. A difficulty between Pres. Smith and Pres. McKay’s son is adjusted in the temple meeting:


March 28, 1964. An “unusual” experience in miscommunication/confusion with his general authority junior companion while trying to choose a new stake president:

story is finished here:


April 1, 1964. Typed in left page margin. Pres. McKay gives Elder Kimball a rare fine compliment after conference that thrills him; the comment tells us about Pres. McKay:


April 22, 1964. Minutes of a meeting of the Indian Committee with the First Presidency regarding expansion of the program:


May 14, 1964. Elder Kimball attends an unusually fine strong spirited testimony meeting in Buenos Aires with church leadership there and is very effusive in his enjoyments of the testimonies and excellent Spirit present; shares the story of his call to the apostleship “but not all the details”:


May 20, 1964. Elder Kimball meets a “colored” labor (or builder) missionary working on a building who deeply impresses him. He embraced the young man and promised him great blessings if he remains faithful:

and more here:




June 27, 1964. Mention of an alleged conspiracy plot/threat by mentally deranged fundamentalists to murder the Brethren, including Elder Kimball:


July 1964. Elder Kimball notes a horrific case of immorality coming to his attention, and also one of the first instances in the diaries in which he alludes to some visitors’ involvement with homosexuality; also he mentions the farewell of the couple replacing Elder McConkie as mission president in Australia:

and more on the evil case:


August 31, September 3, 1964. A special prayer for Pres. McKay and his health are the subject of a meeting of the FP & 12; some other matters of interest also:



September 26, 1964. Elder Kimball prays in the temple and gets an answer of who to call as a new stake president:


September 28, 1964. Some insight regarding preparation of Conference talks:

and again


A report consisting of the minutes of a meeting of the FP & 12 in which Elder Lee, the most senior (and mentally alert) apostle present, is asked by a counselor in the FP to share his feelings regarding the just-concluded conference. A rare and supernal look into the feelings and thought processes of the Brethren regarding Conference (this one without the ill and aged Pres. McKay):


October 22, 1964. Pres. McKay attends the meeting of the FP & 12 for the first time in many months; his mind is still alert and capable and the Brethren are pleased to see him:


October 29, 1964. Situation reviewed where politics becomes an issue with the Brethren in their meeting and in deciding whether to attend an address by Lyndon Johnson who was running for President of the US. Elder Kimball feels some candidates are using Pres. McKay to get the alleged “Mormon” vote and they don’t like it. Also further comment on Pres. McKay’s mental and physical health and attendance at meetings twice in a row:


November 17, 1964. Goes on for a few pages. Elder Kimball’s description of the dedication of the Oakland Temple:

Final day of temple dedication when Elder Kimball speaks; also note of a messed up young man who likes to wear women’s underwear:


December 12, 1964. A continually physically declining Pres. McKay attends a meeting and makes some brief remarks of wisdom:


January 14, 1965. Pres. McKay, in failing health, tells the Brethren that if rest during a vacation doesn’t help him, he will probably ask the Lord to take him:


A verbatim report of Pres. McKay’s telephone conversation with the just-inaugurated U.S. Pres. Lyndon B. Johnson:

a little further explanation is given here:


March 9, 1965. Elder Kimball’s unfavorable reaction to black protesters:


April 1965. Pres. McKay tells his counselor Hugh B. Brown that he will live another 5 years if necessary (he lives just a few months short of that exact time period); Brown has some conversations with Elder Kimball regarding succession in the presidency; an Indian woman has a vivid dream and sees Joseph Smith welcoming her into the church:


May 6, 1965. A very weak and feeble Pres. McKay approves Elder Kimball’s proposal to divide the world into Areas presided over by apostles; these matters having been pending with occasional revision for a long time; also an interview with a “pervert” (homosexual):

and further (August 19, 1965):


August 1965. The mid-1960s seems to indicate a spike for homosexual problem counseling for Elder Kimball:

and more:

and at such activity at BYU (September 1965):

and more:

March 9, 1967. The First Presidency and Twelve in their meeting have a long discussion about the increase in the problem of homosexuality:

also (October 10, 1967):

and (July 12, 1968):


May 20, 1965. The FP & 12 reverse a major financial decision regarding acceptance of government funds; Elder Kimball then muses in his journal on his political feelings regarding government corruption and control and its move toward socialism:


June 8, 1965. After “pointed” questioning by Pres. McKay of Elder Kimball and others, Elder Packer is approved as a mission president to go to New England:

a little more on Elder Packer here:

and a little more here, where he is set apart as a mission president:


Ca. June 19, 1965. Elder Packer’s famous story of the little Lamanite boy, told by him to Elder Kimball in more detail than in Elder Packer’s own talks. Also one of Elder Kimball’s accounts told of repentance from sin for a bride:


July 10, 1965. Elders Kimball and Richards meet with a stake president and a person accusing him of immorality, that was denied:


July 13, 1965. References to Elder Kimball working on his book “The Miracle of Repentance/Forgiveness”:




most days around this page have mention of Spencer working on his book while on vacation:


January 23, 1969. During a temple meeting, Elders Lee and Stapley extoll the magnificence and quality of Spencer’s “Miracle of Forgiveness” manuscript that they have been reading prior to publication:

October 1-2, 1969.  The book is finally published right before conference, during the Regional Representatives Seminar, and Spencer autographs hundreds:


Elder Kimball and the stake presidency go to the wrong home for dinner--case of mistaken identity; also a couple of humorous dinner stories:


A newspaper clipping found in the diary on the issue of blacks and the priesthood:

and one regarding a “Negro” riot:


August 29, 1965. Elder Kimball extolls the faithfulness and loyalty to gospel truth of his brother-in-law, the great scientist Henry Eyring, and quotes some of a talk he gave:


September 10, 1965. Expressions from some of the Brethren regarding the “day of the Lamanite”:


Late September, 1965, this page, the one previous, and the one after. At a pre-conference meeting of the First Presidency and Twelve, Elder Kimball shares with the Brethren the account of blessing a relative that was in terrible health (incurable disease) and who was told could not have children, but was healed:


October 6, 1965. Elder Kimball gets another opportunity to be alone to meet with Pres. McKay and discuss the gospel work among the Indians of South America; mentions how thrilled he is to be with the Prophet and what was said to him:


October 1965. Elder Kimball has a spiritual experience as he offers a dedicatory prayer for preaching the gospel in Ecuador:


October 29, 1965. Pres. McKay calls a special meeting of the First Presidency and Twelve where he appoints two new counselors in the FP: Pres. Smith and Elder Thorpe B. Isaacson, surprising the Twelve who had been told to expect one, but got two:


Elder Kimball’s list of Committee assignments, keeping him so very busy:

and later:


January 20, 1966. Pres. McKay, despite continually declining health and vigor, is able to make inspired/revealed decisions for the Brethren (bottom of page):


March 3, 1966. Elder Kimball records Pres. McKay talking very tenderly to the Brethren of the Twelve, telling how he loves and appreciates them and their loyalty and feels that some of the former Brethren from past years were not far away:


March 17, 1966. Narration of an extended discussion (from the minutes) among the First Presidency and Twelve regarding the ordaining of Seventies in “foreign” stakes. Pres. Smith did not want stakes created outside the U.S. but it seems the rest of the Brethren present did. Elder Kimball was strongly in favor and spoke his mind persuasively. Other Brethren also gave their views and some strong inspired statements made by Pres. McKay were mentioned:


Some of this material containing these minutes is repeated here:


Mention of many problems among the missionaries of the church, this giving the Brethren much concern:



March 24, 1966. Report of discussion among the First Presidency and the Twelve regarding problems attendant to Elder Benson’s association with the John Birch Society:


April 5, 1966. Description of a pre-Conference meeting of the FP & 12 in which testimonies are shared, and which Pres. McKay attends. Elder Kimball first notices Pres. McKay becoming confused in his mind:


June 16, 1966. Another health report on various members of the First Presidency, especially Pres. McKay:


July 30, 1966. Mid-page. A comment by Spencer that by today’s standards could be considered racist (interracial relationship):


October 6, 1966. Elder Kimball is disappointed when one of the Brethren (Pres. Smith) votes in Quorum meeting against his proposal for dividing a stake; also some commentary on Pres. McKay’s health. (Bro. Smith later relents and the Buenos Aires stake is created):

Further explanation of this episode is given here:

continued here:


December 1, 1966. Minutes of a meeting of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve in which Pres. McKay speaks to and about that Quorum the Twelve; he talks about their great brotherhood in Jesus and how they are the best men and quorum in the world. Choice inspired prophetic message to the Twelve; including how close they are to Jesus; must be read to be appreciated. A little more about this event is on the next page but most is redacted; also some info about church budgeting improvements. Pres. Tanner is often given all the credit by historians for getting the church back in the black but Elder Kimball obviously had major influence as well. The page after that seems to somewhat duplicate the second page (including redaction):



January 19, 1967. Lower part of page. The Brethren of the FP & 12 pray about Camilla Kimball’s cancer surgery:


January 26, 1967. A singular statement made by Pres. McKay to the Brethren in their temple meeting (top of page):


September 6, 1967. Mid-page. Spencer muses about his father Andrew, feeling he would have been a better general authority:

further musing on this page and the bottom of the one before it:


September 21, 1967. Elder Kimball describes the meeting of the FP & 12 at which Alvin R. Dyer is called to become an apostle but not a member of the Twelve; he is to be a counselor in the First Presidency; also the reactions of the Brethren to this unusual and unexpected move. This page seems to have both some minutes from the meeting on it and also some journal; the next two pages have some additional description of this meeting:

Further notes regarding this situation, evidently typed up by Elder Kimball, here express some confidential internal views and thinking by senior church leadership.

More discussion from the Brethren in their temple meeting regarding the status of the additionally called counselors:


September 27, 1967. Bottom of page: Elder Kimball’s description of the new calling/position and seminar for “Regional Representatives,” including comment on their position or authority, and who trained them:

and also (top of page)


February 1968. Bottom of page. Reminiscence of a somewhat famous story about Elder Kimball being mimicked by some deacons while he sat on the stand as a stake president:


May 1-2, 1968. Elder Kimball’s musings on the difficulties and future of the church regarding liquor sales and agitation by the world regarding the Lord’s program concerning blacks and the priesthood:


August 17, 1968. Anti-Mormons use a lawsuit to seek to embarrass the church in matters related to the draft; this portrays Elder Kimball’s involvement:

more facts regarding the case as stated by Elder Hinckley:


September 25, 1968. Elder Kimball gives an unusually lengthy description of the special temple pre-Conference testimony meeting of the First Presidency and the Twelve, including naming those in attendance and those who spoke; also included is a report from the minutes of Elder Kimball’s tour of England and his resultant report regarding the so-called baseball baptisms (3 pages):


February 6, 1969. Elder Kimball makes recommendations to the Brethren in the temple meeting that the church pay for the travel costs of certain local leaders to general conference:


March 18, 1969. Spencer gives a scathing opinion of an entertainment group that tried to use vulgarity as humor:


March 26, 1969. Bottom of page. Elder Kimball remembers an early stake conference when an ill President George Albert Smith left him to do the work alone:


May 2, 1969. Bottom of page: Elder Kimball expounds on the word, “Lamanite”:


Elder Kimball describes an inspired occurrence during blessings and settings apart of some missionaries with bad health:


August 11, 1969. Spencer is deeply concerned when further possibilities of throat problems arise:


September 25, 1969. Elder Kimball attends a meeting of the FP & 12 in which he is advised that the Indian Placement Program, which was his baby, had been combined with other Church Social Services programs; he reminisces about the turn of events and some history:


Text of a proposed address on “Eternal Marriage”:


October 21, 1969. Elder Kimball receives a visit from Pres. Tanner in which they discuss Pres. McKay’s poor health along with that of Pres. Smith and Brown, especially as it relates to succession in the presidency:


November 5, 1969. Elder Kimball meets with the Church Board of Education regarding the “Negro question” especially as it related to athletics and negative (“ugly”) press:


November 13, 1969. Elder Kimball mentions a matter of the utmost importance being discussed in the meeting of the First Presidency and the Twelve that were discussed very frankly; then most of the page is redacted. I assume this material relates to the health of the senior apostles and succession in the presidency (most of three pages redacted):

This guess is strengthened by some sentences from this page:

(Elder Kimball is dealing with throat surgery at this same time.)


December 5, 1969. Mention of the publication of “Miracle of Forgiveness” and the good the book is beginning to do:

Spencer mentions that his book “Miracle of Forgiveness” lays it on the line pretty strongly:

more comment on book and printing more copies:

and more info on the book, printings, helping people, etc.

and more on superb sales, printings of many thousands, and where the royalties go:


January 19, 1970. The deliberations and decisions surrounding the death and funeral of Pres. McKay and the reorganization of the Joseph Fielding Smith First Presodemcu; supernal record of historic proceedings; also some other morality matters mentioned:


January 16, 1970, letter, p. 3. Pres. Kimball's letter to a son in which he indicates that he believed that the blacks and the priesthood question (pre-1978) was one of the great tests that some Latter-day Saints had to pass. (I would add my opinion that LGBT matters fit Elder Kimball's thinking just as well today.) Elder Kimball also felt weak-member apostasy would increase.


January 23, 1970. Bro. Kimball's marvelous, detailed account of the reorganization of the First Presidency where Joseph Fielding Smith became the President:



January 23, 1970. From Council minutes: The text of Elder Kimball's setting apart blessing as Acting President of the Twelve:


April 1970. President Kimball's ponderings on his address on "Succession" at the Solemn Assembly where Pres. Joseph Fielding Smith was sustained as Church President; how the Lord took care of questions of JFS's age: also how Pres. Tanner was inspired to change the order of speakers:

Brother Kimball’s Conference address on “Succession” given at 1:13:48 in this audio file:


April 8, 1970. Minutes of General Priesthood Board meeting; review comments made by Elder Hinckley, at Pres. Kimball's request, reviewing the conference/solemn assembly at which Pres. JF Smith was sustained:


April 9, 1970. Pres. Kimball's temple prayer with Brethren giving thanks for God's protection over the general conference; uses the phrase "angels with drawn swords filling the tabernacle" in his inspired fervent prayer:


November 4, 1971. Pres. Kimball mentioning how Elder McConkie helped write Pres. Smith's talks as President:


December 20, 1970. Pres. Kimball's detailed musings on his labors with the ever-increasing "homosexuals" that he has worked with for many years:


May 31, 1971. Pres. Kimball's account of the rain holding off until the end of the dedication service for the Independence visitors center:


September 26, 1971 Bottom half of page) Elder Kimball's comments on a BYU speech he gave when feeling miserable from heart problems; felt he hadn't had the time to polish the talk:

Here is the audio of the talk itself:

and further comment on the same talk given under great strain here:


September 30, 1971. Pres. Kimball's sweet description of a marvelous blessing given him by Pres. Lee and the Twelve relating to his heart problems and coming surgery.

Pres. Kimball's note of appreciation to Pres. Lee for the blessing; must be read to be fully appreciated:


January 15, 1969/70 (both dates given, probably 1970). Elder Kimball's description of a special meeting of the Brethren at which they prayed especially for him and his throat problems; includes Elder Kimball's musings about the special prayers; very powerful yet humbling:


October 15, 1971 (seem to be two Oct. 15s) Pres. Kimball's little historical description of the special home the church bought in California for the use of Presidents of the Church who were ill and needed to get away; this has more info on it than I have ever seen anywhere else. Pres. Kimball sold the home sometime after he became President:

More here (Oct. 1971):

and here (Dec. 1971):


October 15, 1971. This supplement contains a long thorough review of all of Pres. Kimball's health problems, mostly throat and heart, as written by himself while convalescing, as well as some comment he received from some of the Brethren:


December 5, 1971. Mention of the call of Elder Marvin J. Ashton to the Twelve; Pres. Smith is by this point having Pres. Lee do most of the formal work, basically functioning as Acting President of the Church (years later Pres. Hinckley would do the same things for Pres. Kimball):


A fun little history of Pres. Kimball's special "Apostle" chair that was reupholstered and given him by the First Presidency that he now slept in most nights and enjoyed telling visitors about:


January 21, 1972. While there is constant mention in the journal of Pres. Kimball's work with homosexuals (men and women), this is the first instance I have noticed of him working with a man who wanted to be a woman. A longer account of this same individual that Elder Kimball worked with was redacted. Elder Kimball believed that people believing themselves to be the opposite sex of what they were born as equated to pure "fantasy":


March 12-13, 1972. Pres. Kimball telling of the now-famous meeting with Dr. Russell M. Nelson (also Dr. Wilkinson) and Pres. Lee regarding his decision to have the open heart surgery and prolong his life:


A doctrinal letter of explanation (dated August 6, 1970) about adultery and forgiveness written by Elder McConkie as found in Pres. Kimball's diary. It explains that the Prophet Joseph taught that for those who have their calling and election made sure, if they commit adultery they cannot enter the Celestial Kingdom even if they repent. I have never seen this letter before:


April 9, 1972. The story of Pres. Kimball's heart surgery as told by his wife Camilla, including the wording of the blessing given Bro. Kimball by Pres. Lee in the temple. Sweet, precious, and powerful. Some pages are redacted (blacked out). A long miserable ordeal of recovery; some of the medical details are gut-wrenching:

this is the entry where Dr (now President) Nelson talks to Pres. Kimball about how perfectly the operation went and how he was guided as he worked (April 21, 1972):

Wording of Pres. Lee’s blessing from temple minutes:


July 2, 1972. Pres. Kimball's description of the content of the meetings following the passing of Pres. JF Smith:

continued, including the wording of the ordination and setting apart blessing of Pres. Lee by Pres. Kimball:



September 7, 1972. Report meeting of the FP and Twelve regarding the Mexico City Area Conference recently held. Bro. Romney, Pres. Lee, and Elder McConkie gave reports that are not detailed. It was at this meeting that Elder McConkie learned from the voice of the Spirit that he would be called into the Twelve (though that detail is not mentioned here):


October 6, 1972. Bottom of page and for the next few. Pres. Kimball's summary of the general conference at which Elder McConkie was sustained as an apostle and he was sustained as President of the Twelve; along with other matters:


As directed by President Lee, President Kimball lets the General Authorities know they are General Authorities first and all else second; also how to prioritize their service and prepare themselves:

--need to re-find this link--


February 6, 1971. Elder Kimball ruminates on how some members view sin seriously and others lightly:


March 9, 1971. Bottom of page. Elder Kimball attends a BYU Board of Education meeting at which Pres. Wilkinson resigned and it was decided to create the Clark law school:


November 17, 1972. Pres. Kimball turns over the taxing and time-consuming work of counseling homosexuals to the Church Social Services Department, explaining how he and Elder Petersen began the work at Pres. McKay's direction and an estimate of how many people he had worked with:


December 7, 1972. Mention of a highly spiritual testimony meeting of the First Presidency and Twelve:


April 29, 1971. Elder Kimball notes the health decline of Elder Hugh B. Brown and that he rarely can fulfill any assignments:

and (May 27, 1971):


May 4, 1971. Elder Kimball meets and gives his opinion of Dallin Oaks, the new President of BYU:


May 21, 1971. Description of a discussion with Eldred G. Smith, Patriarch to the Church, regarding his responsibilities; discussion extends to the top of the following page:


May 31, 1971. Account of the dedication of the Independence Missouri visitor center, with the rain postponing till after the service:


August 26, 1971. Account of a meeting of the FP & 12 in Manchester England, before an Area Conference, where a majority of the Twelve and the FP were present; unusual, goes for several pages:


September 15, 1971. Elder Kimball’s account of his heart problems and surgery; many pages. There seems to be two different journal versions of the meeting of the FP & 12 where Spencer was blessed; one ends abruptly but another begins some pages later with another recounting of the same meeting:



Spencer’s note to Pres. Lee about the blessing he gave him. Exquisite:


October 2, 1971. Sublime testimony given by President Kimball to his Brethren in their Quarterly temple meeting:


November 3, 1971. President Kimball’s description of the death and funeral of Elder Richard L. Evans, including his feelings and what took place as he struggled through it all in bad heart health:

and more (Nov. 4):


January 18, 1972. President Kimball’s detailed description of the dedication of the Ogden Temple, mixed with notes about his poor health/heart and voice problems:


February 9, 1972. President Kimball’s description of the dedication of the Provo Temple:


A strange note in Pres. Kimball's diary written by Pres. Benson giving his opinion of the Vietnam war; almost a conspiracy theory:


Some items at top and bottom of page that seem to deal with strange doctrines being taught in England in the early 70s:


July 3, 1973. Bottom of this page and top of next. A prophecy by Pres. Lee to Elder Kimball, uttered at the incorrectly identified “April 1946” [actually Oct. 1960] general conference, that N. Eldon Tanner would eventually become one of the apostles:

Bro. Tanner's conference talk is found here at 41:56:

Another formal write-up by Pres. Kimball regarding this prophecy is found here:


July 23, 1973. The sad story recounted of a man whose life had come apart because of seeking wealth:


October 7, 1973. Pres. Kimball reminisces about his apostolic ordination and rise in seniority among the Brethren:


July 2, 1972. Mention of the death of Pres. Joseph Fielding Smith

Text of blessing of Pres. Kimball ordaining Pres. Lee the President of the Church, probably taken from the minutes of the meeting:

Description of the reorganization meeting of the First Presidency (Spencer is set apart as President of the Council of the Twelve at this time):


July 27, 1972. Elder Kimball mentions trying to write a biography of President Marion G. Romney:

(I have no idea whatever may have happened to that; Elder F. Burton Howard eventually published a biography of Brother Romney. Or this simply may have meant a biographical article for a church magazine.)


December 17, 1972. Quick mention of a Quarterly meeting of the Twelve where spiritual experiences are shared:


February 12, 1973. Pres. Kimball and Pres. Benson mediate an inter-stake-leadership dispute relating to payment of income tax; on the same page Bro. Kimball talks about computing his own:


May 9, 1973. Lower part of page. Rendition of examples of the kinds of serious morality problems/sins found in the church and among local and mid-level leadership, that become known to the President of the Church, that the church works to resolve:


May 10, 1973. Mention of rumor that Elder Benson will be dropped from the Quorum of Twelve unless he distances himself from the John Birch Society:


This page seems to note some heresies that had crept into the missions in England, though the information given is far from complete or explanatory (some at the top of the page and some at the bottom that may be the same case):


June 22, 1973. Pres. Kimball comments on the proposed church budget growth, how faithful people pay their tithing, and how that enables the Kingdom to grow:


July 24, 1973. Spencer’s ruminations regarding his preliminary work on a possible autobiography:


September 11-12, 1973. Another rough case of homosexuality to be sorted out:



December 24, 1973. President Kimball’s description of the last public meeting and talk attended and given by Pres. Lee:


December 26, 1973. Passing of Pres. Lee and all involved, with Quorum of the Twelve President Kimball becoming President of the Church. This is superb choice material, especially regarding reorganization, with the text of what was said in the temple meeting included and many other precious things:


Dr. Russell M. Nelson's letter to Pres. Kimball relating how the heart operation went perfectly and how it was made known to him that Bro. Kimball would one day become the President of the Church; handwritten:


This and some succeeding and previous pages discuss the calling and doctrine of the apostleship. Many of the preceding pages are blacked out/redacted, which causes me to speculate that they may have been related to a similar subject. This talk by Pres. Joseph Fielding Smith is all about the apostleship. After many more pages relating to the apostleship, many more entire pages are blacked out:

December 17, 1969. This seems to be material from the minutes of a temple meeting of the FP & 12 where similar subjects were taught and discussed in some detail.


March 29, 1974. Text of a formal memo prepared by the secretary to the First Presidency setting forth certain facts of the ordination and setting apart of several general authorities, including Elder Bruce R. McConkie, Elder Boyd K. Packer, and a number of other Brethren:


Two pages of summaries of the doctrine of the apostleship (1965)


January 1, 1974. Some of President Kimball's first days at work as President; from here on the journal is of presidential level:


February 22, 1974. Lower part of page. Pres. Kimball corrects Pres. Benson for some unwise political statements made in a press interview:


March 20, 1974. A discussion between Pres. Kimball and the author of a biographical book about three Smiths (George A., John Henry, and George Albert) reviewing sensitive and controversial content:

For a movie review and info on a different book, see also:


April 4, 1974. President Kimball is sustained in calling Elder Neal A. Maxwell to the Twelve, and also two new Assistants, Elder L. Tom Perry being one of them:


June 13, 1974. Pres. Kimball sees and embraces his deceased father; bottom of page:



November 4-5, 1974. Pres. Kimball again has to correct/rebuke Pres. Benson regarding his political statements to the press and issue a correction to the press refuting them:

and mentioned again here:


November 18, 1974. Description of the various sessions of the dedication of the Washington DC Temple for a few pages:

this page notes that Elder Hinckley got sick with fever at the dedication but was healed after being administered to:


This part of the diary contains the text of a talk Pres. Kimball gave to church employees (Christmas 1974), asking for their best efforts:


June 18, 1975. President Kimball and others (Packer, Anderson) set apart George P. Lee as a mission president. Pres. Kimball writes about how he has such hopes for this fine young man. So very sad George came apart later, morally and spiritually, and was excommunicated in the early 1990s:

More here:

and more here:


Ca. January 7-8?, 1976. This material concerns the calling of Elder David B. Haight to the apostleship. The page before is blacked out and this page begins in the middle of what seems to be an apostolic charge, followed by Elder Haight’s acceptance speech before the Brethren, followed by the verbatim ordination blessing:


September 21, 1976. Pres. Kimball has meeting with apostles who are advisors to Historical Dept. regarding book “Story of the Latter-day Saints”:


Late September, 1976. Entries touching on the reconstitution of the Assistants, First Council and Quorum of the Seventy that would be announced in the coming conference:





President Benson is again embroiled in a small public political matter in which Pres. Kimball says poor judgment was used:  [looks like this has been redacted]


November 13, 1976. President Kimball has a dream or vision of the deceased President Lee:


Pres. Kimball meets the new President of Mexico in such a manner as to influence another important Mexican official to think more highly of the “Mormons”:


May 27, 1977. Purchase of property for a possible Temple in Sandy:




June 1, 1977. The First Presidency discusses some objectionable matters relating to books written by church history department people:


June 2, 1977. President Kimball tells all the general authorities that they may all restore lost blessings (lost by excommunication) subject to direction from the President of the Twelve (Pres. Benson):


June 7, 1977. The First Presidency decide to have Elder Delbert L. Stapley review Elder McConkie's book "on the coming of Christ" which probably meant his book "The Millennial Messiah". Also a “homosexual” group’s plans to hold a convention in the Hotel Utah are cancelled:



June 12, 1977. Comment on threats from apostates that necessitate church security personnel watching things closely:


Early 1978. Pres. Kimball meets several times with various apostles about troubles within the Church Historical Department:


The entries for June 1978 regarding the priesthood revelation. The revelation actually came on June 1 and was reconfirmed in power to all General Authorities on June 8, at which time announcement was made to the world:


June 2, 1978. The day after the revelation on the priesthood was received, both Elder Packer and Elder McConkie met, evidently separately, with Pres. Kimball for a while. I assume these meetings were to help prepare the letter of announcement of the revelation which is now D&C OD2:


September 20, 1978. . Pres. Kimball asked three of the Brethren, including Elder McConkie, to help him prepare his (Kimball’s) conference addresses for the October 1978 conference, remarking how nice it was to receive help and suggestions from them:


Early 1979. Entries on various discussions with authors regarding whether or not Pres. Kimball would write a forward to their books. He did for some and didn't for others. He did for Russell Nelson; see the following page as well that critics made a big deal about; Edward Kimball (a son) wrote the "fulsome" line in brackets:


October 2, 1979. Church Patriarch put on emeritus status


Late November, 1978. Recurrence of subdural hematoma; these surgeries seem to really slow down Pres. Kimball, who was also getting into his mid-80s:


April 6, 13, 1979. Discussion with Elder McConkie of a possible pamphlet reviewing the doctrine of the creation; this may have eventually culminated in Elder McConkie's Ensign article on "Christ and the Creation" which was published in a 1982 Ensign; also Pres. Kimball's famous statement about the need to reduce and simplify church printed material output:


September 1979. Eye problems and brain surgery:


April 22, 1980. Further discussion of the FP regarding troubling Historical Dept. issues:


July 23, 1981. Mention of calling of Elder Hinckley into First Presidency and Elder Neal Maxwell into the Twelve:


There are no diary entries after 1981 from Pres. Kimball. He was too old and ill by then.

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