September 30

When David O. McKay was nearly fourteen, he received his patriarchal blessing, in which he was told that he would sit in council with his brethren and preside among the people. After giving the blessing, the stake patriarch rested his hands on David’s shoulders and said, “My boy, you have something to do besides playing marbles.”

Apparently young David did not grasp the full import of his blessing. He went into the kitchen, where he found his mother preparing dinner, and announced, “If he thinks I’m going to stop playing marbles, he is mistaken” (Best-Loved Humor of the LDS People, p. 213).

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In teaching his children, President [Joseph Fielding] Smith often told them the “Wickedness never was happiness” and that the adversary would rather have one of his children than someone else’s because of their name. He would add with a chuckle, “In the beginning all men were ‘Smiths,’ and when they did something wrong they had to change their name.” (Stories & Jokes of Mormon Folks, p. 83).

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Golden was attending a conference in St. George at the Tabernacle with President [Heber J.] Grant. By this time, Golden’s stories and language had become so offensive to President Grant that he demanded that Golden travel with him.

On this particular occasion, the president chose to speak from a favorite text of his which was “That which we persist in doing, not that the nature of the thing changes, but our ability to overcome it is increased.”

He cited as an example his inability to sing as a young man, and the difficulty he encountered and how he practiced and practiced and took lessons, and finally developed an acceptable singing voice. To prove his point, he sang one verse from one of his favorite patriotic hymns, The Flag Without a Stain. He then sat down.

Golden then stood before the congregation. He cleared his high-pitched voice said, “Brothers and Sisters, I have to admire Heber’s ability to persist and overcome his limitations. But after listening to him sing, I still think he sounds like hell.” (J. Golden Kimball Stories, p. 54-55)

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[Elder] Roger Clawson [President of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles] never became prophet. Golden said it was just as well. “I would have been the death of him. I damn near killed Heber.” (J. Golden Kimball Stories, p. 62)

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J. Golden Kimball: I may not always walk the straight and narrow, but I cross it as often as I can.