Baptism

“President Spencer W. Kimball said that prior to his being a stake president in Thatcher, Arizona, a small, 70-year-old Jewish-German investigator finally decided to join the Church.  He insisted that J. Golden Kimball baptize him.

“Golden remembered who this man was and said he would gladly do it.

“Golden went down to Arizona.  President Kimball said they drove out to a grove of popular trees where there was a stream.  It was during spring runoff and there was a strong current in the stream.  President Kimball said it was a beautiful spot and the trees were just leafing out.  He added that all the members from Thatcher gathered around the bank to watch Golden take this man into the waters of baptism.

“Golden said the baptismal prayer and immersed the brother into the water.  The strong current snatched the new convert away and Golden raised his empty hands. ‘Damn, I lost him.’

“The faithful members from Thatcher jumped into the water, women and men, fully clothed.  They searched until they found him, spurting water like a small whale about 10 yards downstream” (J. Golden Kimball Stories, p. 103-104).

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Temple Baptismal Font.jpg

Dad began family home evening by talking about temples.  Certain that he’d captured his small daughter’s attention with an excellent lesson and visual aids, he felt pretty proud of his teaching expertise. The little girl peered at a picture of the temple’s baptismal font for a few seconds.  Then pointing to the golden oxen supporting the font, she eyed her father and said authoritatively, “Everyone knows you don’t baptize cows” (Mormon Mishaps and Mischief, p. 83).

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J. Golden Kimball.jpg

J. Golden Kimball was called to be the President of the Southern States Mission, the same mission he had served in as a young Elder.  President Wilford Woodruff went to see Golden off at the train station.

“As they stood on the platform waiting for the call to board, President Woodruff put his arm around Golden, and asked, ‘Brother Kimball, I’ve never been to the Southern States.  What’s it like?  Tell me about the people of the South.  I understand the Civil War changed them.  What are your thoughts?’

“Golden hadn’t seen the Southerners at their best.  He had been chased, insulted and assaulted while on his first mission.  Once they even put him in an iron cage and hung if from a tree so folks could get a good look at a real, live Mormon.  Dixie had severely tested his Christian charity.  ‘President,’ he said, ‘if I had my way, I’d drown them all and do baptismal work for the dead.’

“Golden later recalled that President Woodruff gave him the strangest look he’d ever received” (J. Golden Kimball Stories, p. 22).