J. Golden Kimball, A Very Funny Mormon

Our non-LDS readers may not know this, but LDS Church leaders are actually known to have keen senses of humor. One of the funniest in our opinion is J. Golden Kimball. There are many funny stories and quotes attributed to him and we don’t know which stories are 100% accurate and which are Mormon folklore but we do know they are hilarious, here are a few:

There was to be an impressive tour given to some dignitaries from other lands. J. Golden Kimball was assigned to the tour as a guide. They first took a bus trip to the important historical sites in and around Salt Lake City. Brother Kimball would constantly remind the visitors how fast buildings were put up by the industrious Mormons. Every time he would say so, one of the dignitaries on the tour would say, “Oh, is that right? In our country we could do it in half the time.” J. Golden began to get madder and madder as the dignitary persisted to offer such comments. The tour was to end by having the bus drive around Temple Square. Then this dignitary asked, “What is that building there?” as he pointed at the Temple. “Damned if I know,” said J. Golden. “It wasn’t there yesterday.” (http://wabei4.tripod.com/kimball/golden02.htm)

The story is told that someone stopped Elder J. Golden Kimball on the street on one occasion. There had been a little difficulty in Elder Kimball’s family that had become publicly known, and whoever it was who stopped him, no doubt with a mind to injure, said, ‘ Brother Kimball, I understand you’re having some problems with one of your children.’ His answer was, ‘ Yes, and the Lord is having some problems with some of his, too.’ (http://wabei4.tripod.com/kimball/golden12.htm)

President Grant sent a note to Golden. The note read that there was a member of the stake presidency from Coalville, who had passed away. His wife had requested Golden speak at the funeral. Golden didn’t get the note until he returned from a Church assignment in Southern California. By then the funeral was in an hour, and Coalville was almost two hours away He hopped in his Model T and drove as fast as he could. When he arrived, the funeral was almost over. The bishop saw Golden walk in. “Brother Kimball, come forward. We’d like to hear from you.”

He went up and said, “I’m very happy to be here. I’m sorry I’m late. I want to tell you what a wonderful person this man was. I knew him, I’ve stayed in his home. He was an inspiration to me. He was a good father, he was a good husband. He goes to a great reward.” As he started to hit his stride, he looked out in the audience. About the eighth row back, there sat the man he thought was dead! So he looked down in the casket. He did not recognize the man lying there. Confused, he turned and said, “Say Bishop, who the hell’s dead around here anyway?” (http://wabei4.tripod.com/kimball/golden14.htm)

Be Blessed and Highly Favored,
Sista Beehive & Sista Laurel


  1. Someone played a recording or CD for me one time with J. Golden Kimball speaking. It was hilarious!

  2. That is such a funny story about the funeral. I have a CD of some of his talks. Pretty amusing.


  3. I love how they say he used to get razzed a lot for swearing and talking ‘outrageously’. Well, not that part. But, the part where he said, “Well yes I may be going to hell, but I repent so quickly I never stay that way!”

  4. Ok, I just found your site over the weekend, and I’ve been telling all my friends about you since. HYSTERICAL! We Mormons take ourselves far too seriously — thanks for the laughs!

  5. Great post! Hope you are having an amazing day! Shauna from http://www.trying2staycalm.com/

  6. I love the J. Golden Kimball stories I get in the “Latter-day Laughs” e-mail. He’d have been a riot in person! (And I firmly believe God has a sense of humor. Exhibit A: the platypus.)

  7. Oh, thanks for the giggles. I love the stories, these are priceless, and it helps me feel more at home with one of the prophets.

  8. How fun was that; I enjoyed the read. Yes, there are many delightful stories about J. Golden Kimball. Thanks for sharing some of them.
    Blessings to you!

  9. We’ve got to check out the CDs and latter-day laugh emails you guys are talking about.

  10. “Latter-day Laugh” is available free at latterdaylight.com (which also sells books, shirts, and so on. I have no financial affiliation other than as a happy customer), and they also offer a daily devotional e-mail every weekday and a mailing to cover both days of the weekend.

  11. Totally love this. I think he was an amazing man. I really need to learn to laugh at myself the way he did. It makes hearing about him so much more wonderful. Thank you for sharing!!

  12. I just found this site- I love it! Thanks- I’ll be checkin back in often.

  13. Very funny! J Golden Kimball was an amazing person. I think the church needed someone like him to keep from getting too stuffy.

  14. J.Golden Kimball is the reason I rationalize my use of the word damn. Bless him.

  15. I don’t have a source ready so take this with a grain of salt. I love the story where someone was promised a horse if they went on a mission or something like that, and the horse didn’t come. So right before the person left, Golden apparently gave him his own horse, and said, “If the Lord won’t keep His damn fool promises, I’ll do it for Him!”

  16. Levity with dignity for eternity! My aunt..the most righteous woman in Zion I have known, the mother of ten children, and the grandmother of 33 when she passed of a brain aneurism in the late ’80′s always said “I MUST find something to laugh about every day!!!” To me her “laugh lines” were beautiful.Through all the loss and trials she went through…I can only remember the smile. Keep up the good work sistahs! We ALLL need you!

  17. It’s not just what J. Golden Kimball said… it was his delivery that made the difference with the rather high squeaky voice.And yes… he is a folk hero of mine! Hell and damn are not words that have not been used by Diety. He was never vulgar.Yet so refreshingly and completely honest…Am thinking that is why he is so endearing to all of us.!

  18. BTW… Xanthine Compound (no matter what it’s source) is just that. We as LDS people have been counseled re: the word of wisdom. Coffee  and tea are not acceptable… and yet we can eat alll the chocolate we can consume.Check it out at the next Relief society lunceon.Chocolate contains theobromine when consumed in certain quantaties is just as effective ( or “toxic”) as coffee. Just a work-a-round is all. No better no worse. Equal in fact.So…pay attention.Tit for tat.Poison vs poison. :shrug: By the way… I do NOT subscribe to drinking coffee ;-)

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