Traditionally, the 12 Days of Christmas start on Christmas Day and last until the evening of January 5th – also known as Twelfth Night. The 12 Days have been celebrated in Europe since before the middle ages and were a time of celebration.
It has been our custom at The Boy Scout to post a Scouter’s minute each day leading up to Christmas. This year, we decided to try something new. The Christmas messages will focus on the lives of modern-day prophets and times when they exemplified a point of the Scout Law. Come back for the next eleven days to find out how prophets of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have been trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.
Spencer W. Kimball teaches us to be kind.
Kindness to a Stranger at the Airport
Spencer W. Kimball’s son and nephew told a story about Kimball and one simple act of kindness in a Chicago airport that had far-reaching effects:
“A young mother on an overnight flight with a two-year-old daughter was stranded by bad weather in Chicago airport without food or clean clothing for the child and without money. She was … pregnant and threatened with miscarriage, so she was under doctor’s instructions not to carry the child unless it was essential. Hour after hour she stood in one line after another, trying to get a flight to Michigan. The terminal was noisy, full of tired, frustrated, grumpy passengers, and she heard critical references to her crying child and to her sliding her child along the floor with her foot as the line moved forward. No one offered to help with the soaked, hungry, exhausted child.
“Then, the woman later reported, ‘someone came towards us and with a kindly smile said, “Is there something I could do to help you?” With a grateful sigh I accepted his offer. He lifted my sobbing little daughter from the cold floor and lovingly held her to him while he patted her gently on the back. He asked if she could chew a piece of gum. When she was settled down, he carried her with him and said something kindly to the others in the line ahead of me, about how I needed their help. They seemed to agree and then he went up to the ticket counter [at the front of the line] and made arrangements with the clerk for me to be put on a flight leaving shortly. He walked with us to a bench, where we chatted a moment, until he was assured that I would be fine. He went on his way. About a week later I saw a picture of Apostle Spencer W. Kimball and recognized him as the stranger in the airport.’”2
Several years later, President Kimball received a letter that read, in part:
“Dear President Kimball:
“I am a student at Brigham Young University. I have just returned from my mission in Munich, West Germany. I had a lovely mission and learned much. …
“I was sitting in priesthood meeting last week, when a story was told of a loving service which you performed some twenty-one years ago in the Chicago airport. The story told of how you met a young pregnant mother with a … screaming child, in … distress, waiting in a long line for her tickets. She was threatening miscarriage and therefore couldn’t lift her child to comfort her. She had experienced four previous miscarriages, which gave added reason for the doctor’s orders not to bend or lift.
“You comforted the crying child and explained the dilemma to the other passengers in line. This act of love took the strain and tension off my mother. I was born a few months later in Flint, Michigan.
“I just want to thank you for your love. Thank you for your example!”3
President Kimball urged Latter-day Saints to engage in “simple acts of service” that would bless others’ lives as well as their own.1 Kindness requires us to reach out in loving service towards others.
Since Scouts do a Good Turn Daily, looking for those simple acts of service ought to be part of our daily routine.
What has been your favorite act of service? Tell us in the comments below.
Spencer W. Kimball | Twelfth LDS Church President (Taken from “Small Acts of Service,” Ensign, Dec. 1974, 7; Edward L. Kimball and Andrew E. Kimball Jr.,Spencer W. Kimball, 1977, 334; Gordon B. Hinckley, “Do Ye Even So to Them,”Ensign, Dec. 1991, 5)