Monday, December 3, 2007

Spiritual Experience Spencer W. Kimball Missionary Book

Back in 1982 I helped Elder Yoshihiko Kikuchi in compiling missionary quotes for Proclaiming the Gospel: President Kimball Speaks on Missionary Work. I had taken a class from Dillon Inouye at BYU who was a close friend of his. Dillon asked me to see if I could get Ed Kimball to give me copies of his father's talks since Ed had compiled the Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball. I applied for an Associate Students of BYU grant for four hundred dollars to pay for the costs of the copies. I had students from my BYU ward help me in extracting quotes. My wife before I even dated her helped out in doing this project as did about twenty other students.

Elder Kikuchi was a very humble man who had great integrity. One day while visiting him I accidentally left a twenty cent pen. He mailed it back to me. The postage cost more than the pen was worth. I learned about honesty from him. He was really in to honor and integrity.

On another visit he invited me for lunch. His office was in the Church Administration Building. We rode the elevator down to the General Authorities dining room. I saw my former mission president M. Russell Ballard talking to some business executives. We didn't disturb him since he was negotiating some kind of a deal I think it was for paper. He was on a committee that produced the Church's curriculum. I heard part of his conversation. There was no table to be found and they were at the end of serving for the day.

Elder Kikuchi suggested we go over to the Lion House. We went down some tunnel and standing in front of us was President Spencer W. Kimball with his secretary D. Arthur Haycock just about ready to get on an elevator. Elder Kikuchi had told me earlier in the day that President Kimball's eyesight was failing so I wasn't sure he could see us very well. As we approached D. Arthur Haycock spoke to President Kimball and said "here is Elder Kikuchi with a friend." President Kimball grabbed Elder Kikuchi and said "the Lord loves you. I love you. Tell the people I love them." Then he proceeded to kiss him on the cheek. Not to be left out I approached and shook his hand,then we embraced and we kissed on the cheek. He didn't tell me anything but just smiled. Then Elder Kikuchi told him we were working on a missionary compilation from his quotes. After President Kimball left Elder Kikuchi told me that was a special experience since most of the Seventy didn't see the Prophet often anymore and I was lucky to meet the Prophet and the Lord had made it possible because we were doing his work on the missionary book. We had a nice delicious meal at the Lion House with fresh baked bread and a hearty meal.

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