How did Spencer W. Kimball learn that he was to serve a mission?
A) By his dad making an announcement over the podium at his High School graduation
B) Via letter from the First Presidency calling him to a mission
C) A dream
D) Stated in his patriarchal blessing
(A) Gave a much needed blessing
This story is from the mission of Jacob Hamblin after he had received word to return home to Nauvoo subsequent to the death of Joseph and Hyrum.
“After, starting I began to reflect on my situation. I must travel on the river steamers from Pittsburg to Nauvoo, via Cincinnati and St. Louis, and I had only two dollars in my pocket. I had been often surprised, when traveling on foot at the pains people would take to invite me to ride or to step into a grocery and take a lunch, and I had considerable faith that the Lord would soften the heart of someone to assist me, when I was in need.
“When I arrived in Pittsburg, I had one dollar left. There were two steamers at the landing about to start for St. Louis. They offered to take passengers very cheap. I told the captain of one of them, that I would give all the money I had for a passage to St. Louis. He took my money and gave me a ticket, but appeared rather cross.
“I was soon on my way down the river, but still a long way from home, and without money or anything to eat. I began to feel the want of food.
“Nothing special occurred with me until evening, when the lamps were lit in the passenger’s cabin. I was then asked by a young married lady, if I was not a ‘Mormon’ Elder. I replied that I was; and she told me that her little child was dying with the scarlet fever, and she wished me to lay hands on it and heal it.
“I replied that I could administer to it, and I presumed that the Lord would heal it. I asked her if she believed in such things. She said that she did, and that she belonged to the Church, but her husband did not. I was puzzled in my mind to know what to do, for the boat was crowded with passengers, and all unbelievers excepting the mother of the sick child and myself. It seemed like a special providence that, just then the lamp in the cabin should fall from its hangings, and leave us all in the dark.
“Before another lamp could be lit, I had administered to the child, and rebuked the fever in the name of the Lord Jesus, unobserved by those around. The Lord blessed the administration, and the child was healed.
“The mother called her husband, and said to him, ‘Little Mary is healed; now do not say anything against ‘Mormonism.’ The man looked at his child, and said to me, ‘I am not a believer in any kind of religion, but I am on my way to Iowa, opposite to Nauvoo, where I presume you are going. You are welcome to board with me all the way, and if you want any money I will let you have it.’”
James A. Little, Jacob Hamblin in Three Mormon Classics, Preston Nibley, comp. (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1988), 211-212.