The noted agnostic Colonel Robert Ingersoll, during a visit with the famous preacher Henry Ward Beecher, noted a beautiful globe portraying the constellations and stars of the heavens. “This is just what I’ve been looking for,” he said after examining it. “Who made it?”
“Who made it?” repeated Beecher in simulated astonishment. “Why Colonel, nobody made it, it just happened.” (Best-Loved Humor of the LDS People, p. 61)
* * * * *
There’s life after death, believe it or not.
Before our birth, for that blessing we fought.
When elders teach, “Life’s eternal, repent,”
Reincarnation is not what is meant.
(Latter-day Saint Wit & Wisdom, p. 36)
* * * * *
When Heber C. Kimball died, there was little money in the will left to Golden’s mother, Christeen Golden Kimball. She took that money and with her daughter, Mary Margaret, and two sons, Golden and Elias, bought some ground in the Bear Lake area where the family started a ranching-farming operation.
It was a hard scrabble existence. It was tough. It was cold. But eventually they made a success of it.
Up to this point in his life, Golden had shown no interest in the Church. He was running with a bunch of swearin’-gamblin’-tobacco-chewin’-no-good-rough-neck cowboys.
This worried and concerned his mother.
She often hinted that he should go on a mission. Golden was a good son and didn’t like disappointing his mother, but he couldn’t work up an interest in God when God had apparently show so little interest in him. So he continued with his wild friends when the ranch didn’t need his attention.
In his later years, he would tell of the experience that changed his life forever.
He was thirty years old. In the fall they brought in all the cows and the one bull from the mountains around Bear Lake where the cattle had their summer range. The Kimballs rounded up all the cows, but they couldn’t find the bull. Golden and his brother Elias, rode through the mountains and canyons trying to find the prodigal beast.
A neighbor told them they thought they had seen the bull on a nearby plateau. There was only one trail to the top, so if the bull happened to be there, it wouldn’t be able to slip past them. They rode up to look at the spot. Sure enough, there he was. The bull had been enjoying his freedom and didn’t want anything to do with the two cowboys. He ducked and dodged but couldn’t get by the Kimball boys. Finally they had him cornered. Three sides of the plateau dropped off two to three hundred feet. They had their bull.
They broke out their lariats and twirled them over their heads to nab the stubborn animal. They slowly edged him to where he had no room to maneuver. The bull knew what was coming. He was going to be lassoed and trotted back to some corral for the winter. He wanted none of that. He had enjoyed himself too much, having free run of the mountains and the canyons and the plateaus.
The bull charged.
The horse shied away, but didn’t let him pass. Then, strangely enough, the bull turned and ran full speed off the end of the plateau. He fell headlong into the canyon below, killing himself.
Golden and Elias rode to the edge of the plateau and peered down. There was nothing but blood and gore. For some time, Golden looked at the depressing sight of their prize bull splashed all over the rocks. Turning to Elias he said, “That’s the way it’s going to end for me if I don’t change my ways.”
At home he told his mother that he would go see President John Taylor in Salt Lake about going on a mission. He’d reform himself and serve God. (More J. Golden Kimball Stories, p. 14-16)