Spencer W. Kimball’s 85 Day Prayer

The following excerpt from a talk given in General Conference by Spencer W. Kimball when he was called as an apostle relates his experience with prayer. 

“…I recall two or three years ago, when Brother Lee was giving his maiden address as an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ from this stand, he told us of his experience through the night after he had been notified of his call. I think I now know something about the experience he had. I have been going through it for twelve weeks. I believe the brethren were very kind to me in announcing my appointment when they did so that I might make the necessary adjustments in my business affairs, but perhaps they were more inspired to give me the time that I needed of a long period of purification, for in those long days and weeks I did a great deal of thinking and praying, and fasting and praying. There were conflicting thoughts that surged through my mind—seeming voices saying:

“You can’t do the work. You are not worthy. You have not the ability”—and always finally came the triumphant thought: “You must do the work assigned—you must make yourself able, worthy and qualified.” And the battle raged on.

I remember reading that Jacob wrestled all night, “until the breaking of the day,” for a blessing; and I want to tell you that for eighty-five nights I have gone through that experience, wrestling for a blessing. Eighty-five times, the breaking of the day has found me on my knees praying to the Lord to help me and strengthen me and make me equal to this great responsibility that has come to me…

…I appreciate deeply the unparalleled honor that has come to me. I shall do my utmost to show my appreciation to my Lord and my brethren by being a faithful servant. I am grateful for the opportunity of working with these honored and great men of the Authorities toward whom I have always had almost a worshipful devotion. I glory in the opportunity to serve the people of this Church, to share their disappointments and sorrows, and their joys and achievements.

I know that this is the Church and Kingdom of God. It has been a part of me. Whenever it has prospered I have gloried in it. When it was criticized, it has hurt me, for it seemed a part of my very being. Every fibre in my body bears witness that this is the Gospel of Jesus Christ in its fulness. I testify to you that this is the work of God, that Jesus is the Christ, our Redeemer, our Master, our Lord, and I bear testimony to you in all sincerity and in deepest humility, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.”

“Elder Spencer W. Kimball,” in Conference Report, October 1943, 15-19.

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