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BECOMING EQUAL TO RESPONSIBILITIES

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Just as Jacob wrestled all night with a messenger of the Lord (Gen. 32:3), other servants of the Lord have wrestled for strength and to be equal to their responsibilities. President Spencer W. Kimball, the 12th prophet of this dispensation, had such an experience after he was called to the Council of the Twelve in July 1943.

In his October 1943 general conference address, his first as an apostle, he spoke of having received over the telephone at his home in Arizona his call to the Twelve. He said:"Like a bolt of lightning [the call to the TwelveT came. I did a great deal of thinking in the brief moments that I was on the wire. I was dazed, almost numb with the shock; a picture of my life spread out before me. It seemed that I could see all of the people before me whom I had injured, or who had fancied that I had injured, or to whom I had given offense, and all the small, petty things of my life. I sensed immediately my inability and limitations and I cried back, `Not me! You can't mean that!' I was virtually speechless. My heart pounded fiercely. . . .

"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 - 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 85 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."