Best known as the owner of the Utah Jazz, Gail Miller is the wealthiest person in the state of Utah. But Miller, who was ranked #14 on Forbes 2019 list of America’s Self-Made Women, was not always wealthy. On today’s episode, she explains the difference between a rich life and a wealthy life. 

“Rich is an expansion of your soul. Wealth is what you have as a result of things you’ve done but to be rich means that you have qualities, you have experiences, you have an expanded heart.”

Find a true story from Gail Miller's childhood in The Christmas Doll.

In The Christmas Doll, best-selling author Jason F. Wright shares a true story from the life of Gail Saxton Miller, billionaire businesswoman and owner of the Utah Jazz NBA team. But Gail's childhood was vastly different from her life now—facing poverty in the 1940s, the Saxton family made ends meet by turning their small home into rental apartments and made do with hand-me-downs and secondhand items.

However, their humble circumstances didn't stop the Saxtons from being rich in what mattered most: selfless acts of love, the rewards of a job well done, and the hope and renewal we can feel through Jesus Christ. All of these lessons come together at Christmastime when Gail learns of love and sacrifice through a single, precious gift.


Find personal insights from Gail Miller in her book Courage to Be You.

Gail Miller might seem as though she has it easy—now. But she has experienced challenges in nearly every aspect of her life: financial struggles, family trials, and personal loss. Through it all, she has had courage to move forward and remain grounded in her faith.

In Courage to Be You, Gail encourages readers to find their own path—with the help of the Lord. Her candid stories and personal insights about faith, hard work, grief, and many more topics are both fascinating and inspiring.


EPISODE REFERENCES:

QuoteRonald Reagan is quoted in the episode as saying, “There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he does not mind who gets the credit.” Turns out, there is a lot of discussion about who this quote should actually be attributed to: quoteinvestigator.com.
Article: Gail Miller's profile by Forbes 

Article: Gail Miller joins a task force to address teen suicide

Article: Gail Miller talks with the Deseret News about faith, family, business and the true meaning of wealth.

SHOW NOTES

1:33- “How I Grew Up”
4:40- Knowing What’s of Value
6:17- Encouraging Others Along
8:25- Coming Back to the Church
14:40- A Little Nudge
16:13- Courage to Be a Mother
18:07- Getting to Work
21:30- A Learning Opportunity Later in Life
23:11- The Utah Jazz Way
26:31- Suicide Prevention
30:49- “The Church Gives Me Strength”
34:05- Rich Vs. Wealth
34:48- Balance is a Misnomer
37:50- “If He Does Not Mind Who Gets the Credit”
39:21- Relationship with Spouse
41:40- What Does It Mean To Be “All In” the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

TRANSCRIPT

Morgan Jones  
Once upon a time, Gail Miller was a little girl wondering if anyone in her family would receive a Christmas gift. That year Gail did receive a gift—a doll that should have felt familiar. It was the same doll she had received, loved, and as children often do with their favorite toys, worn out the previous year. In this gift, Gail learned a valuable lesson: that old things can become new again and that there are always second chances. 

This story is told in "The Christmas Doll," a new children's book written by Jason Wright and based on the life of Gail Miller, owner of the Utah Jazz and our guest on today's podcast. Gail Miller and her late husband Larry turned a single Toyota dealership into a billion-dollar management company. She now serves as the owner and chairman of the board of the Larry H. Miller Management Corporation, and she is married to Salt Lake attorney, Kim Wilson. 

This is "All In," an LDS Living podcast where we ask the question, "What does it really mean to be 'all in' the Gospel of Jesus Christ?" I'm Morgan Jones and I'm so grateful to be here with Gail Miller today. Gail, thank you for having us. 

Gail Miller  
Thank you. It's a pleasure to be here. 

Morgan Jones  
Well, I always love any chance to talk to you, to read anything that you've written or worked on, I just think that you are an absolute delight so thank you so much.

Gail Miller
Oh, thank you, that's a compliment. 

Morgan Jones  
Well, I think I want to start at kind of an interesting spot, kind of go back to your childhood. I think sometimes people look at someone like you who has been super successful and they think, "Oh, she probably has always been wealthy or well taken care of financially." And this year, you released a Christmas book, along with Jason Wright, where you tell a story from your own childhood and you talk about how your family was not wealthy. And as a result, your parents gave you the same doll, fixed up twice. And I think that the fact that you open up that part of your life is so interesting and helpful to people, but how did growing up without a lot of financial means shape the person that you are? And how has it helped you appreciate what you have?

Gail Miller  
Let me give you just a little bit of an insight into how I grew up. My mom and dad were married in 1929 and had five children— no, they were married in 28, then the Great Depression happened in 29 and they had five children during the Depression. And I was the sixth, so by the time I came along, things were really tough. Money was scarce, my dad was self employed for much of that time, hard to make a living. He was a shoemaker, he repaired shoes and they struggled mightily just to feed the children. And when I came along, I knew that we were poor, but they also had an ability to teach us values. So I knew I didn't need things, I just needed to know that I was of worth. And that's what my parents taught me. And so as a result of being poor, I didn't feel that I was missing out on anything. I felt like I learned a lot because I learned how to do with what we had, and to appreciate what we had. And I didn't worry a lot about what I didn't have. And it helped that I lived in a neighborhood where everybody was in the same boat. So my my friends were pretty much in the same boat, some had more, some had less. But we played the traditional neighborhood games and got along as a group and had fun at church and didn't need a lot of extras. So my parents, especially my mother, was able to teach me a lot of things, to be self sufficient. She taught me how to sew, I learned how to crochet, I learned how to clean house, I learned how to remake clothes so that I could make something nice out of a hand-me-down. So repurposing a lot of things and it helped me to be very creative and to look at life as an opportunity and not a detriment.

Morgan Jones  
Yeah. How now, having kind of been completely to the other side of that, how does it help you in the way that you approach what you do have now?

Gail Miller  
Well, what's happened to me over the years—and it took us a long time to become what you would call wealthy or to have money to do what we wanted to with. And so our children learned many of the same things I learned how to make do with what they had. And they weren't, you know, they had to earn what they got and buy their own cars. But the difference between the way I grew up and where I am now is not all that different. You wonder how I can say that when today I could buy pretty much anything I want, the difference is, I know what's really a value and I don't need a lot of things. In fact, when you get to be my age, things become cumbersome and you have to worry about them and take care of them and wonder what you're going to do with them when you're gone. And so we try, my husband and I are trying to really purge a lot of things. So the values are the same and I'm the same person, I remained grounded, I understand what really is important and it isn't money. It's a whole lot better to have money than to not have money, I agree with that, but I would be just fine without the circumstance I'm in today. I really believe that because I know how to live frugally.

Morgan Jones  
I love that so much, thank you. I have to tell you, so when your book, "Courage To Be You" came out, I sent a copy of it to my grandma, who lives in North Carolina. She grew up around the same time that you were growing up, and I think some of your experiences were very much the same. And she called me and thanked me for the book and she said, "I feel like I made a new friend." And I think that that is so much a credit to the way that you were willing to open up in the book. We talked to Jason Wright on this podcast and that's one thing that he said. He said, "The book is what it is because Gail was willing to open her life up to readers." Why did you feel that that was important? And what do you hope that people gain from reading that genuine experience from you?

Gail Miller  
Well, I opened up because that's who I am. I don't feel like I have any secrets, I feel like I'm not any different than anyone else. And I think a lot of women go through many of the same things that I've gone through: troubles raising children, health issues, deaths, births, financial struggles. But when we share what we know with others, it's helpful. And that was really the whole purpose in writing the book was to be able to encourage other women to face their challenges with hope and courage. We all have to deal with life and if we know someone else has gone through something that's been troubling and they made it okay, then we think, "Maybe I'm okay." 

Morgan Jones  
Yeah. 

Gail Miller  
And I would like for everyone out there to believe that they're okay. And no matter what you go through, it's just part of life, and it's nothing to be ashamed of, it's nothing to hide. And I think that's what makes us real.

Morgan Jones  
I agree completely. I want to touch on a few of the things that you went through. You mentioned, you know that you went through many of the same things that probably a lot of people that will listen to this episode went through, or are going through. And so starting off you and your first husband, Larry, were not active when you were newly married, you said for the first six to eight years. And the catalyst for your return to the church was your son asking you, "Mommy, where does God live?" And you talk about how for a while you attended the church with your kids, without your husband. And then gradually, he kind of started to come around and I love something that you say, you said, "We weren't treated as lost, we were treated as found." What would you say to someone—I think this is something that we experience a lot in our wards and branches and stakes in the church—is trying to support those who are trying to come back to the church. So what would you say are the most effective ways to do that to treat people as if they're found, rather than lost?

Gail Miller  
Well, I know for me that was really important because it gave me a place to feel welcome. And that, I think, when you're trying to get back into the church and you feel awkward, you feel like you've been away, you maybe aren't looked at the way the other members are. That maybe you might feel like you haven't been doing all the right things. To be treated as you're found means "Welcome. We love you. Come in, be part of us." And that's the way I was treated. It was like I'd never left. Every time I went to church after that, my heart was just touched with the fullness of what I'd been missing. Not because I had done anything wrong, and I had. I had been rude to people, in fact, I have a story about a man that I was quite rude to that I've, I've regretted for a long time. I hope I've made amends. But I felt like I was there to make my life better and people welcomed me and helped me do that. And that's the difference. We need to look at people who are coming as—they're there because they want to be and let's help them feel welcome. 

Morgan Jones  
Yeah. During that period of time, where you were kind of bringing your kids by yourself, you tell the story in the book of how you would kind of bribe your kids by taking them to McDonald's after church. And I think that that's such an honest and raw example. But as a mother, you were trying to do everything that you could to make that a positive experience for them and get them there. Why do you feel like those experiences that you had were important to include and let people know that this is not like a perfect situation ever?

Gail Miller  
Well, for me, I didn't really have any intention when I told that story, it was just part of what happened. It happened because I had four children under six when I was doing that. I have five total, but trying to take four little children to church all by yourself and keep them happy during sacrament meeting is a challenge. And I knew that if I could reward them, and that was the closest, instant reward I had, then I could keep them focused. And so I didn't feel bad about it. Of course, it's not the right thing to do but sometimes you just have to bend with what's going on at the time and realize that Heavenly Father wants you to do the best you can. He wants you to be perfect, but you're not. So all you can do is the best you can do, and for me, that was one way that I could help the kids feel good about being there and have something to look forward to and keep them quiet and keep my sanity. So it all came together. And I think acknowledging the fact that I'm not perfect, and then I would do something like that, kind of gives other women permission to adjust their lives to what they need.

Morgan Jones  
Yeah. And I think that's so important for people to realize. I was just having a conversation yesterday with my mom and a friend and we were talking about how, you know, kind of this idea of "spirit of the law" versus "letter of the law" and why we do the things that we do. And I think that that example is so beautiful just because you were doing the very best that you could, and that's what Jesus asks of us.

Gail Miller  
Well, I hope it's okay.

Morgan Jones  
I'm sure it is, I'm positive. How would you say that our wards and branches can best support people who are in this situation? You talk a lot in your book about the way that Larry was treated as he started to gradually come back into the church. How can people best support someone like your first husband, who was very, kind of slow in moving, and help them feel loved in that process?

Gail Miller  
Well, the first thing that comes to mind is not judging. You don't know a person's circumstances, you don't know why they've been inactive. You don't know whether they're a product of a broken home, a home where the parents have left the church, whether they've had something happened to them. And so to treat people as if they are a child of God and start there, helps to reactivate them because then they feel like they do belong. And in our case, it was just consistent friendship. It wasn't saying, "You should do this," or, "Let me show you how." It was, "Let me be your friend. Let me help you meet other members. Let me help you enjoy being here." And that's really what won him over was the friendships that he developed with the Elders Quorum president, the home teachers, the bishop, who were genuinely interested in him, not just because he was a statistic. 

Morgan Jones  
Yeah. And I think it's important to know, for those listening at that point in your life, it wasn't like, this is Larry H. Miller. Let's be his friend for that reason, right. He was just a regular—

Gail Miller  
He was a nobody. 

Morgan Jones  
You explicitly state in the book that you didn't want your book to be full of "heavy-handed advice or trite invitations." But then you write something that I think is really interesting. You said, "However, on the topic of faith, an invitation is exactly what I feel inspired to put on paper." And so I think it's interesting. You go into writing this book, and it's like, "I don't want to preach to people." But then you felt like this invitation was what you were supposed to extend. Why did you feel that you were supposed to do that, Gail? And why is that invitation important to you?

Gail Miller  
I don't actually remember the thought process when I said that. But I can tell you where I would come from today. And that is that sometimes people need a little nudge. They know that what you have is important, they know that what you have is good and they'd like it. But they don't have the courage to step forward and say, "Let me be part of this." But if you say to them, "Why don't you try this out?" Or "Why don't you just look at what we have or have a little faith that this might work for you," it may give them that little bit extra that will give them the courage to say, "Hm, maybe I should. If they think I'm okay for that, then maybe I should." I just think that asking someone instead of hoping makes a difference.

Morgan Jones  
Interesting, I love that thought. You used the word "courage" a couple times in that answer. And I love the title of the book, "Courage To Be You." And I wondered for you, Gail, I imagine that there have probably been a lot of times in your life where you had to muster up courage to do things that were maybe out of your comfort zone. Could you give us an example or two of times where you had to use courage?

Gail Miller  
I'll tell you when that might surprise you and that's in being a mother. Because I can remember the hard years when all the kids were little, and my husband was working all the time and I didn't have a large group of friends—we were living out of state. And I remember thinking one day, " If someone would just tell me how to do this, just tell me what I should do here and what I should do here." But there wasn't anybody to tell me. My mother wasn't close, I could have called her. But that was when I realized, I have to do this. This is something I have to put my whole heart and energy into and have the courage to do, whether I make a mistake or not. So I think that's the way I've looked at things all along, that everything I've had to do is just a matter of doing it. And if you fail, you fail. If you are successful, you're successful. But either way, you learn something. And for every experience you have, you get stronger. And I look at things that have been trials in my life, I wouldn't trade one of them. And there have been a lot of them and I wouldn't give any of them away because I'm a better person for everything that I've been through. And every time I've gone through something difficult, then the next one that comes along is a little bit easier because I know I can do hard things.

Morgan Jones  
Gail, I'm curious when Larry passed away, you had some big decisions to make about your businesses, the businesses that Larry and yourself had worked to build. And I think for many people that watched you in that period, it was like that was courageous, stepping into a space that may have been a little bit out of your comfort zone. Do you feel like that required courage to step into Larry's shoes a little bit?

Gail Miller  
I think it required a certain amount of courage. It wasn't as difficult as it may have looked because Larry prepared me well, and taught me a lot about the business for the previous 30 years since we were in business together. And the added benefit was that my son was running the company. So I didn't have to take the reins and make sure everything worked, but there was a void after Larry died because he had kept me informed. And so one day when I realized that I really needed more information, I called my son and I said, "I want to come to work and hear what you're talking about. I want to sit in on the meetings and see where things are going and how you're doing." And that became, that kind of filled that gap for me. And then when he stepped down, then I felt like I could carry on. I knew right from the beginning, though, that it was important for me to be involved. In fact, Larry had said, "You need to stay involved because you'll need to be a bridge from me to the kids because you've been there every step of the way." And so I did that and I'm sure they expected me to stop after a while and stay home and be the grandma, but it got to be I was too invested, I had to be here to make sure that the things we had laid the groundwork for continued to grow and develop and maintain the culture and the dignity and the heart and soul of the company. So I've done that. And today, I have changed the culture—well, I've changed the structure of the company. We were an entrepreneurship run by a management group, but now we are a corporate group with a board of directors. So that was a big change. So I've done some things that have been pretty bold and they've worked out and hopefully, they'll continue to work out. I've learned a lot, the people around me have learned a lot. So it's been a real growing experience. And I think the one thing that you know, you said, people were watching, I think the one thing that wasn't evident when Larry was alive was how much of our partnership we were and how much I knew. Because I wasn't out front, I always stayed in the background, but he always gave me credit for being the one that helped him do what he did. And so I think that was what was surprising was for people to see that I could step up and do some of the things I've done, but it's because I was there all along.

Morgan Jones  
Yeah, I'm so impressed by that. And there are so many things that you said that I'd like to kind of follow up on. First, I love the idea—you said, "It's been a learning opportunity." And you said your kids may have expected you to stay home and be the grandmother, and I admire the fact that at your age and in your stage of life when you could just go off into retirement, you are still here, putting in work every day and seeking to learn. Why do you think, Gail, that that continual learning is important?

Gail Miller  
I think we all need to keep learning and there's so much to learn. We can never, we can never do that justice. But I think it's important for me as the matriarch of this family, to have my grandchildren see that women can do what I do. And that we are a family business. And I want them to learn enough about it that they can work in it and be successful and maybe even carry it on and just certain time when I'm gone, and when my children are gone. I hope that they will be interested enough to do that and be able to see that it is possible and not be afraid of it. And we have a lot of grandchildren and a lot of very capable grandchildren. So I think that will happen. But learning is something that I mean, in reality, that's the only thing you can take with you is what you know. And so it's important to keep learning all your life doesn't matter what it is. Just keep that knowledge fountain open.

Morgan Jones  
Yeah. Another thing that you touched on is the culture of the company. I didn't grow up in Utah, but since moving here, I've lived here for about 10 years often on a little bit. And the thing that I've admired is your dedication to making an impact, a positive impact on the communities here in Utah through different companies and different means, different parts of the Larry H. Miller group. But one that everybody, regardless of where they live will be aware of, is the Utah Jazz. And one thing that has impressed me a ton as someone that came in from out-of-state is seeing how—and I'm a huge sports fan—but seeing how the Utah Jazz, even as a basketball team, seeks to bring in people that have a certain set of values. And I think that that sets the Jazz apart a little bi. And I'm a fan of different sports teams and that's the thing that I've admired so much about the Jazz is there are guys that you want to root for you. 

Gail Miller  
Thank you. That's very true and we work hard at that. And it's something that we, as we hire a coach, we let them know what our values are and what we expect and how we want our players to respond to the community and be a part of the community and be good people. And once in a while, we miss, but not very often. I mean, basically we have really good people as players. Now, they are very competitive and that is a challenge in its own right. I don't mind competitiveness, I think they have to have egos to do what they do. They have to be competitive, they have to be strong, and many times they're outspoken. But if we can create the culture that they know they have to work within, it's good for us, it's good for them, and I honestly believe that as they come here, they really don't know what to expect. But once they get here, they like the culture, they like the way it's easy to live here. They like the way the fans respond to them, they like what we have to offer and we like that. And I just think that it starts at the top and you have to create the culture and then you have to teach it and then you have to move it down through the ranks so that everyone buys into it. And once you do that, then you have a good product.

Morgan Jones  
Yeah. I would imagine within NBA executives that sets the Jazz apart quite a bit from some other organizations just because I think, you know, building that cannot be an easy thing.

Gail Miller  
Well, you can't let it go. Once you've got it built, you have to maintain it, you have to keep building it and keep growing it and keep reinforcing it. And yes, you're right. Other teams have good organizations but it is something that I believe sets us apart. And other people who come in here from other organizations say the same thing, they say it's very different here, it's a family-like culture. 

Morgan Jones  
Interesting. I love that. Gail, another thing that you have done within our community here in Utah is you serve on the Governor's Task Force for suicide prevention. And regardless of where people live, I think this is something that's on people's minds. I know a girl that I grew up within my home stake just recently committed suicide and it's amazing, I haven't seen her in years and my heart has just hurt as a result of that. Why, Gail, do you think it's, it's so vital for us to to be involved and seek to help people better understand how they can be there to support those who are suffering many times without vocalizing it in an effort to prevent suicide?

Gail Miller  
Well, I think we have to vocalize it, we have to ask how they're doing. I think we have to be aware of people around us and stay in touch with them and not have superficial relationships behind the screen of a phone or a computer. We have to have that personal touch. And I have a saying that I was taught as a youngster that I don't care how much you know until I know how much you care. And the caring is the part that makes the difference. And you don't have to be best friends with everyone, but if you just care, a smile, a hug, a touch, a compliment. Oftentimes, in fact, I have an incident in my own family where one of my family members, and I won't say how far out, was ready to commit suicide and said, "I'm going to go home and do it. But I'm going to call this friend first. If he answers, then I won't do it." And that's how close it is, one phone call. And luckily, that person answered, and that stopped him from committing suicide that night. And so I know that it's important for us to care and to be there for each other and to be aware, and to love. You know, you can show love in a lot of ways. I feel like I have a natural affinity for people and I don't have any trouble putting my arm around anybody and saying, "You look nice," or "Thank you for being there," or, "I like what you do." And just little things like that can make a difference. And you never know when they're going to.

Morgan Jones  
Yeah. I think even for me, there were a few weeks before this took place, I had the thought I should reach out and I didn't. And I think that's what we leave in our wake and I often think about the, you know, the council, I believe it was President Monson that talked about, you know, acting on promptings that we receive the first time. And I think, you know, if we do that, if we get in the habit of living our lives in that way, then we don't have to live with regret or thinking, "What if I had done this? What difference would that have made?"

Gail Miller  
That's true. But I think even before that, you have to recognize that you do get promptings. I remember a time when I said to a friend, you know, "You live so spiritually, you live by the Spirit every day. I never get those promptings." And she said to me, "Yes, you do. You're just not hearing them." And I thought, "I better start listening." And it's true. I think we all get them if we allow that voice to permeate our consciousness and listen. Because it could be just a thought, sometimes we expect it to be a bolt of lightning, and it could just be a fleeting thought: somebody's name comes into our mind or we think about somebody we haven't seen for a long time. And so I think we have to get to the point where we trust that we're having inspiration or some kind of a nudge that we should act on and then act on that and don't put it off.

Morgan Jones  
Yeah. I want to touch on a couple more things that you say in the book, Gail, as we wrap up. Referring to the church, you said, "It gives us opportunities to teach, to speak, to learn, to share, to serve and to love. It gives us everything we need to live life fully if we avail ourselves of it." I love this. I have been thinking a lot lately about how and I think it's the result of many people close to me kind of walking away from the church or stepping away from the church. And I've thought a lot about what does my membership in the church mean to me? What has it meant in my life? How has it changed me? And I wonder for you, Gail, how has your membership in the church impacted your life? How has it changed your life and blessed your life?

Gail Miller  
Boy, that's a big question. It's definitely made me who I am. Everything I am today is related to the church. To my mother teaching me, to my learning on my own, to my teaching my children, to having the support for everything I need to do in life. And then realizing that Heavenly Father is right there too, so that it's all one combination of things. I think that in saying all of this, speak, teach, learn, share, serve, and love, I know in my life I've had the opportunity through the church to do all of those things, and every single one has made me a better person. And it's not to say that I wouldn't have them if I weren't a member of the church, but it just makes it easier because that's the way we live. That's what we're all about. And sharing who we are with the world can make a difference. I know as a Relief Society president, I had the opportunity to serve in a lot of ways I never would have otherwise. And until I did that, I didn't understand how closely service and love were connected. But when you serve somebody, you really do learn to love them. And you learn to love them because you get close to them and you understand their needs and their hurts and their wants and their accomplishments and their personality. And service is a gift, it's really a gift that Heavenly Father gives us. And I would admonish everyone to take advantage of every service they can do because it enriches you far more than it enriches the person you serve. And learning to love like that is a much deeper love than you experience any other way. So I'm grateful for the things the church has offered me. It's made me a richer person in a lot of ways, it's helped me understand life, it's helped me know that my trials are not that bad, that other people have things they have to deal with. And I know I'd rather have mine than anybody else's, and that I can handle mine. And so the church gives me strength and it gives me hope in it. It's just a good way to live.

Morgan Jones  
Yeah. Gail, I want to touch on one thing that you just said, you said, "It's made my life richer in a lot of ways." In your mind, what is the difference between rich and wealth?

Gail Miller  
Rich is an expansion of your soul. Wealth is what you have as a result of the things you've done. But to be rich means that you have qualities, you have experiences, you have an expanded heart. You see life in a different way. You see it as a fullness. To me, that's rich.

Morgan Jones  
That's beautiful. Thank you. Another thing that you wrote in the book, you said, "That's the key, taking advantage of it all but not falling into the trap that you have to do it all at once." I think sometimes that can be the tricky thing with the gospel. There's so many different things that pull on us and we want to do it all, but we have to find balance. What have you found to be most effective, Gail, in achieving balance in your life?

Gail Miller  
Well, I don't know that we ever achieve balance. Balance is kind of a misnomer for what we think we have or want. We have to put the effort into the thing that's most important to us at the time. And it's kind of like a season of life. When you're young, you're mostly concentrating on yourself and learning who you are and building your personality and your pathway in life. And then you get married and you start focusing on your partner, and then your children come along and then as they grow up, you learn again, who you are, as a mother, an empty nester. And then, quite often you have to take care of aged parents. So the seasons of your life kind of demand the focus and the balance of that part of your life, because you can't balance everything at the same time. So you have to do what you can when it's the time to do it. 

I remember as the Relief Society President, I was doing the visiting teaching assignments, and I had one lady come to me and she had small children. And she said, "I really want to do this, but I can't. I can't do this right now, it's just so hard to get it done." And it just struck me right then, "You don't need to do this. Your job right now is raising those children. We've got other women that can go out and be visiting teachers. Don't worry about it." And she had such a relief that I wasn't going to judge her for not being able to be a visiting teacher, but realized that what she needed to focus on at that time was her little family because that was what was most important to her. And her heart was in the right place, but her ability to do it was, you know, limited because of what else she had on her plate. And that's what I mean by, "You can't do it all at the same time." You can do it all in its time, if that's your desire, you have to be able to save your energy for the right time in the right place.

Morgan Jones  
Absolutely. I think that that's such an important thing for people to recognize that there are different seasons. And at different times in our lives, Heavenly Father is going to let us know what the priority is. And in your case, as a Relief Society president, you were the means of telling this lady, "it's going to be okay." And I think we have to extend that mercy to other people and be that sometimes that voice for Heavenly Father to be like, "it's going to be okay."

Gail, I could listen to you talk all day and I'm running out of time. So another thing that I love related to service in the church, you quote Ronald Reagan. And he said, "There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he does not mind who gets the credit." How does that relate—you've mentioned a few times your service as Relief Society president, but how does that relate to service in the church?

Gail Miller  
Well, we're all in this together, and it's God's Church. And the service that we do—we'll get the reward for whatever we do, we don't need to be praised for it here. We need to do what Heavenly Father wants us to do, so that we can get His work done. And if we don't need to be puffed up, if we don't need the credit for bringing someone in or taking care of a child or whatever we're asked to do, it's not really for us. It's for Heavenly Father and He's going to bless us and we'll get our reward in time. So I think that's where it's at for me, is making sure that I'm doing the right thing at the right time, in the right way that Heavenly Father would ask me to do. And I just I think the goal is to be good and that's reward enough.

Morgan Jones  
Another thing that I wanted to mention, last time I interviewed you for the Deseret News, you made an interesting statement. You were talking about how everything hinges on your relationship with your spouse, and that from there, that's kind of how our lives build-out. And you said, "If you don't have a good relationship there, you're sacrificing one of the most important parts of your life because when you get to heaven, Heavenly Father is not going to say, 'How well did you do at work?' He's going to say, 'How well did you do with your family and with the things that I entrusted you with that are so precious?'"And then in your book, you talk a lot about your relationship with Larry and how sometimes that balance may not have been there as much. But how do you feel that what you've done with your family has required work, like a conscious effort on your part?

Gail Miller  
Well, families are a lot of work. There's no getting around that, they just are a lot of work. But I have tried very hard to be a good mother and I've not been totally successful with my kids. I hope they don't remember any of the bad times. But I'm sure there were some. But I did the best I knew how to do at the time. I wish I could have done better, but I think we always have an opportunity to do better. And even in my role today with my children all grown and families of their own, I try to have an influence, at least through talking with them, through loving them, through showing them that I care. And then I do things like I try to take each of my grandchildren to lunch throughout the year. And I have 45 grandchildren, so I try to rotate through them so that I at least have a touch point one-on-one with them. And then we have a family home evening once a month, so we invite them all there. We have a family council, a family assembly, we do a family vacation. So family is really important to me because I do believe that when we get to the other side, that's where we want to be is with our family. I don't want to be the head of some big company, I want to be the head of a family. And I want to be connected with those that went before me. And if I can keep that in mind, that's where my eternal goals are and that's what's important to me. 

Morgan Jones  
Thank you so much. Well, Gail, I just have one last question for you. And that is, what does it mean to you to be all in the Gospel of Jesus Christ? 

Gail Miller  
Well, that's a really important question because being "all in" means that it's not part-time. It has to be a way of life and you can't pretend to be something one day and then do something different the next day. So I try to live my life as if I were going to die tomorrow. And that the last thing I did was as worthwhile as the thing I did five years ago or 10 years ago, and do it with an eye toward an eternal goal. So "all in" means I'm really working toward being an eternal family and having the rewards that come with that.

Morgan Jones  
Thank you so much. Thank you, Gail, you've been a delight.

Gail Miller  
Thank you. It's been a pleasure.


Morgan Jones  
We are so appreciative to Gail Miller for coming on today's podcast. You can find Gail's book, "Courage To Be You," as well as the book based on Gail's childhood, "The Christmas Doll," in Deseret Book stores now. We will be taking a little break for Christmas, but we'll be back after the holidays with a very special "Don't Miss This" week that you literally won't want to miss. We'll talk to you then, and in the meantime, have a very Merry Christmas.