Wednesday, July 1, 2009

J. Golden Kimball on the WoW

As I was reading some additional information about last Sunday's Gospel Doctrine lesson on the Word of Wisdom, I found this really funny story from the always-colorful J. Golden Kimball, written by his nephew, James N. Kimball.

"Uncle Golden's struggles with the Word of Wisdom sometimes forced him into ironic circumstances. On one occasion, he was asked to go to Cache Valley where the stake president had decided to call all the Melchizedek priesthood holders together for the purpose of emphasizing the importance of the Word of Wisdom. Uncle Golden didn't realize this was going to be the theme until he got there. As a matter of fact, he didn't know what he was to speak about until the stake president announced it in introducing Uncle Golden: 'J. Golden Kimball will now speak to us on the subject of the Word of Wisdom.'

Uncle Golden didn't know what to say. He stood at the pulpit for a long time waiting for some inspiration; he didn't want to be a hypocrite and he knew he had problems with this principle. So finally he looked at the audience and said, 'I'd like to know how many of you brethren have never had a puff on a cigarette in all your life. Would you please stand?'

Well, Uncle Golden related later that much to his amazement most of the brethren in that audience stood. He looked at them for a long time and then said, 'Now, all of you that are standing, I want to know how many of you have never had a taste of whiskey in all your life. If you have, sit down.'

Again, to Uncle Golden's amazement, only a few of the brethren sat down. The rest of them stood there proudly looking at him and then there was a long silence. I guess Uncle Golden thought they looked a little too self-righteous, because his next comment was, 'Well, brethren, you don't know what the hell you've missed.' "

For an interesting (non-correlated) overview on the development of the Word of Wisdom, here's the complete article from Life On Gold Plates.


  1. Poor, poor Uncle Golden. I bet he thought he'd have a fully seated audience by the time he was done with his questions!

  2. The word of wisdom is a tough one for many faithful LDS. I have, on occasion, fell victim to the devil's temptation for strong drink and red meat. Just last Saturday, I succumbed to the temptation to eat at the Braza Grill. I consumed red meat like a starved out death-row inmate enjoying his last meal. I drank Diet Coke (strong drink) until my stomach felt like a sea of carbonation and syrup. Immediately thereafter, I suffered for my sin as I sluggishly made my way home and parked myself in my Barca Lounger for an evening of TV and indigestion. The following day at church, I was moved by the spirit of God as we sang the words to the opening song, “In Our Lovely Deseret”. I felt shame and repugnance as I sang the words “Drink no liquor and they eat but a very little meat”. After singing the song, I had no choice! I had to forgo the sacrament as I felt unworthy to partake. I knew I had disappointed God by enjoying a sinful, yet succulent, meal and for failing to “use my Saturday to prepare for Sunday”. I had sinned on so many levels! I am looking forward to partaking of the sacrament this week, and renewing my covenants with a clear conscience! I plan to ensure my worthiness by eating a delicious MEATLESS casserole, Jell-O, and green salad this Saturday night. Perhaps a little Kool Aid wouldn’t be out of the question either. See you Sunday!

  3. Monomo - Yup, the meat issue is a tender one indeed (no pun intended). I've come to accept that we can sacrifice, but not too much, and meat just crosses that line. It's one thing to trust the Lord on the alcohol issue, but regarding meat, we're pretty sure that we have the better angle :-)

    Enjoy it while you can!