J. Golden Kimball

First Council of the Seventy (April 5, 1892 – September 2, 1938)

General Conference Addresses

  • April 1907 General Conference
    • To Be Saved
      • “I am very doubtful if a man can be saved in the kingdom of God who has no individuality, and does not assert his agency, because salvation is an individual work.”
      • “Now, as I said, I waived certain rights when I became a member of this Church; I waived the right of sin. I had my agency and individuality; but as long as I am a member of this Church, I waive the right to sin, to transgress. When you joined the Church, became members of it, you also waived the right to do a great many things. You have no right to break the ten commandments, have you? You have no right to be dishonest. You have no right to commit adultery, or to be immoral. You have waived all these rights. You have waived the right to break the Word of Wisdom. And in many other things we have waived our rights, and sometimes I feel muzzled when I wrestle with my nature and human weaknesses. You know there is no other man just like me in all. Israel, and probably you are glad of it.”
      • “Experience teaches me that when I have been angry, I am quite sure I did not have the Holy Ghost, and I was not in any proper condition to administer reproof. It took me quite a long while to learn that. When I became excited, fanatical, and over-zealous, I mistakenly thought it was the Spirit of the Lord, but have learned better, as the Holy Ghost does not operate that way. My testimony is that the internal fruits of the Holy Ghost are joy, peace, patience, long suffering, and kindness.”
      • “My brethren and sisters, I want you to be good to me, and help save me. If I can be saved it is an encouragement to every man, woman and child in Israel to make the effort. If you have weaknesses, try and overcome them, and if you fail, try again, and if you then fail, keep trying, for God is merciful to His children. He is a good deal kinder to us than we are to ourselves, more kind to us, perhaps than some who hold the priesthood are to each other. I have learned the lesson that nothing on earth would be a greater failure to me than to fail to keep my family in the Church.”
  • October 1906 General Conference
    • Get Your Inheritance
      • “Now, there are many things about this work that I do not comprehend, but because I cannot tell it all it does not prove that it is not true. I have studied the history of this Church, and I testify that this is the Lord’s work, that He has given unto us Proohets and Apostles, the Holy Ghost, and all the gifts and blessings of the Gospel, and that we have been led by inspired men.”
      • “Construction is very difficult, destruction is easy. Ordinary men can criticize and destroy. It has required much sacrifice to establish this Church.”
  • April 1906 General Conference
    • The Lord’s Army
      • “My experience has taught me that the kingdom of evil is not going to lie down quietly while we are kicking it. You will generally find that enemy quite ready for a fight.”
      • “You owe first allegiance to your quorums and quorum meetings, for there is where you get your authority and power. Why is it that we are different from other men in the world It is not because we have greater knowledge and information, but because we hold the Priesthood.”
    • Suffering of the Saints
      • “It seems to be the destiny of the children of men to suffer sickness, sorrow, pain and poverty, and to die. With our most perfect organization, Priesthood and authority, we still have troubles, and skeletons in our closets. It is considered a good thing to look wise, especially when not over burdened with information.”
      • “Well, that is Mormonism; it is our Church, as long as we keep the comandments of God; and we can be put out of it only through apostasy, rebellion, or criminal actions. Now let us stay with it, and, like my brother Andrew, always tell good things about Zion and let other things alone.”
  • October 1905 General Conference
    • Labor for the Kingdom
      • “I am not going to announce any blood and thunder doctrine to you today. I have not been radical for four long months, not since I had appendicitis. I came very nearly being operated upon. I thought I was going to die for a few hours. People said to me, “Why, brother Kimball, you needn’t be afraid, you’ll get justice.” “Well,” I said, “that is what I am afraid of.” Well now, the Latter-day Saints need not get frightened; they will get justice.”
      • “I don’t know what the Lord wants in all things, if I did I would be willing to try and carry it out. The Lord’s ways are not as man’s ways, and He does things so differently from the way we want to do them that many of us are oftentimes surprised, and it requires constant faith to stay in this Church.”
      • “Some people that called themselves Latter-day Saints would have destroyed this Church long ago if they had had the power, but they couldn’t do it.”
      • “Now if any of you love this work devotedly, go out in the world and preach it, there are many millions of people that have never heard the Gospel.”
  • April 1905 General Conference
    • The Church Will Prevail
      • “New I grant, my brethren and sisters, that sometimes we have to endure, and I presume that if we live the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ we have to endure all things; but it requires a very prayerful heart to enable us to endure some things.”
      • “If I leave this Church I hope I will have manhood enough to leave it like a man, and not be a traitor and fight the people. I said to one man once, “You have a right to leave this Church, and it is a very simple thine to do. Just notify those in authority that you desire to withdraw.” It is our business to treat all such kindly, to sympathize with them, and if possible to uplift them; but I do not like a traitor, and never did.”
      • “Any of these backboneless people, any who are afraid that God’s work will not triumph, had better get in the background, and let those that have courage stand in the front of the battle. Of course, I might be the first one to run; I have not been tried yet; but I know I will be tried if I stay in this Church. I know that I cannot live on borrowed light. You can talk and preach and expound until you are black in the face, but if you do not know that Jesus is the Christ you will never stay in this Church.”
  • October 1904 General Conference
    • Apostates
      • “We must have a knowledge that Jesus is the Christ, or we can not stand. Latter-day Saints who have failed are those who have not obtained a knowledge that Jesus is the Christ; all such are liable to apostatize. I am afraid there will be a lot of apostates, and that worries me.”
      • “You can’t live on borrowed light any longer. This Church has passed through many close places, and, as my father said, it will pass through many other close places before victory and triumph is given to you or given to the Church. I know a good deal more about this Church than the man did, one of those strangers that come in our midst, who went on a hill here recently and stood in an ant bed, and when the ants commenced to bite he commenced to curse the “Mormons.” I suppose he thought they were “Mormon” ants, and he held us responsible for them.”
      • “Now I want to serve notice on all Catholic, Methodist, and Presbyterian churches—I don’t suppose they will take my advice; they never have done up to date, but I would like to continue giving them good advice—I would advise them never to receive a man into their church that had been a Latter-day Saint and apostatized from the church. Such individuals will never make good Catholics, good Methodists, nor good Presbyterians. They will be agitators, and make a deal of mischief in those churches, because they will be so restless and unsettled that no one near them will have any peace or rest; ana tney will get to asking a lot of questions. The first thing they will ask is, “Where do you get your authority from?” and that will worry you a little. And they will ask other hard questions, and make trouble and mischief. And then they are no account anyhow, as members of any church.”
  • April 1904 General Conference
    • Sustaining the Brethren
      • “Our special mission and calling is to see to it that all peoples and nations hear the glad tidings of great joy. Personally, I have no feelings against the Gentiles and those who are not of our faith, and I can say it honestly, thanking the Lord that I am broad minded enough to carry the olive branch in my hand and preach the Gospel of peace to the nations of the earth; but when it comes to apostates and our own people lifting up their voices against us, I tell you there is not influence enough to restrain me from rebuking them. I am not willing to fold my hands and stand silently by and hear apostates abuse our leaders and people. Why? Because they know better.”
  • April 1903 General Conference
    • How To Popularize the Church
      • “I have labored in the ministry long enough to know that should I be favored to enjoy the Holy Spirit and speak the things that the Lord shall give unto me; they will not be altogether in harmony with people who do not enjoy that spirit.”
      • “I have thought some little lately about the Bible, which we claim to be the word of God, “as far as it is translated correctly.” Taking that statement into consideration, there are no people on the earth that quibble so little about the Bible as do the Latter-day Saints. I am strongly impressed with the idea that the Bible cannot be understood only by the same spirit with which it was written. If that statement be true, I am impressed with the idea that the Christian world have not got very much of it, or else they would understand it more alike.”
      • “Now, we have the Book of Mormon; and if there is anything on earth that has made trouble for this people it is that book. It is largely the means of costing the lives of the Prophet Joseph Smith, his brother Hyrum and hundreds of others belonging to this Church. But I am prepared to testify that it contains the word of God. We have also the Book of Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price, which are accepted by this people as the revelations of God; and they have made an endless lot of trouble for this people, because they are the word of God. There is only “one of a city and two of a family” that are willing to accept them; so you need not think I am going to get discouraged because they do not believe all I say, and you need not think I am going to stop talking, if permission be given me, because some people do not believe all I say.”
      • “Brethren and sisters, I believe I will tell you how to popularize the “Mormon” Church. If you want to be popular, I can tell you how to be so. The “Josephite” church has started out in about the right line to accomplish their purpose, by cutting out a number of truths that Joseph Smith revealed to the Saints, and In this way they are trying to popularize themselves. Now, if you will stop sending out these fourteen hundred Elders, testifying that Jesus is the Christ, that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God, that we have apostles and prophets Inspired of God, that we enjoy revelation, that the signs follow the believer, that the sick are healed by the laying on of hands, that we have divine authority from God, then you will be popular. Are your prepared to do it? If you will stop going into these temples and receiving your endowments and being married for time and all eternity, that will help a little. After awhile, it seems to me, if I have the right spirit, they will refuse to allow us to hold offices if we go into these temples and receive our endowments from the Lord. And while they have not rejected us yet, I am rather impressed that they will reject us; for the Christian world have already done it, and I do not know but what this nation will. I do not know but I will be glad when it comes. If the Lord cannot take care of His Church and His people and look after their interests, then we have been mistaken. I tell you we have friends and we have men in the world who have the Spirit of God, who will rise up and protect this people. I am not numbered among those who think that we have no friends, for we have friends; but, brethren and sisters, you are not of the world, and therefore the world hateth you, speaking generally. If you want to be popular, stop doing the things that I have mentioned, and deny their truth. But if you want to stay with this Church, be true to your covenants. The time will come when you will be—as you are now—a light set upon a hill. I tell you, all the devils in hell cannot destroy this Church. And the devil never has been entirely comfortable since that temple (the Salt Lake Temple) was completed.”
  • April 1902 General Conference
    • Missionary Work Among the Church
      • “I expect to live a number of years yet, and I hope the fire won’t entirely burn out of me. I had one of the Apostles tell me, “Brother Kimball, if you don’t quit making so much noise, you will burn out.” “Well,” said I, “I want to burn out, and give room for somebody else, as I believe some men live too long.””
      • “The devil does not do his dirty work in the daytime, when the sun shines; but he is getting so he does some here under the blazing electric light. Are we going to watch our children?”
      • “The devil is breathing in the hearts of our young people, and the very air is stagnated in some of our larger cities with the spirit of immorality, and no greater sin can find its way in the hearts of our young people. I tell you, it is your duty and it is my duty to go out as missionaries; not to preach these things from the pulpit, not to talk- to our sons and daughters publicly, but privately, and point out to them in a proper way, the great and abominable evil of secret sin.”
  • October 1901 General Conference
    • Safety in the Church
      • “I can see only one course of safety for the young people of this Church, and that is, to teach them until they have an abiding faith in God the Father, in His Son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.”
      • “The trouble has not come to us in the way of tornadoes, or cyclones; but it has come to us and to our sons and daughters in the way of temptations. There is a very great missionary work to be done right here, and I am in favor, while we are not abroad, of doing a missionary work at home.”
    • Focusing on What We Should
      • “Do not, dear brethren and sisters, take life too seriously, for we are not altogether responsible for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am very serious and solemn at times and worry a great deal. I read somewhere that the man that worries is not well balanced. Let us cease fretting about the Lord’s Church and become evenly balanced, so that we are not under the necessity of trusting to the arm of flesh, but are fixed and fastened to the rock of revelation.”
      • “Some of us are very much exercised about certain things that are transpiring in the Church, and in relation to the actions of others. This has always been the case since the organization of this work. While it may be true that many of this people have been tried over the actions of men, it will continue to be the case as long as men preside over us. I desire to inform you that men and women that are not keeping the commandments of the Lord, but are continually giving way to their weaknesses, justify themselves by pointing out what they consider mistakes in the presiding officers of the Church. They worry very much more about something that does not come under their supervision than they do about their transgressions.”
      • “There is every reason for us to believe that we will prevail over our enemies if we will sustain and support the Priesthood and mind our own business.”
  • April 1901 General Conference
    • Judgment and Courage of Missionaries
      • “I desire to say to the rising generation. You do not have to be Apostles, you do not have to be Presidents of Stakes, nor Bishops to enjoy the gifts and blessings pertaining to the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, And I say to you that some of you—and I may be among that number—place too much stress upon the positions that men hold in the Church, and we fancy in our weakness that we cannot be saved, that we cannot serve God, that we cannot be faithful and true and enjoy revelation from God, unless we have high office in the Church. There is danger in exalted position, and where “much is given much is required.” The poorest man in all Israel, though he may carry a hoe and be dressed like a pauper, is entitled to revelation from God, and he is entitled to lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover through the prayer of faith.”
      • “Judgment comes with age, as a rule, not always. We young men that have responsibilities placed upon us oftentimes have a great deal of courage, but may lack judgment. The point I want to get at is this: we must have some very brave and courageous men.”
  • October 1900 General Conference
    • Preaching the Gospel Bravely
      • “I want to ask you Latter-day Saints if, when men are inspired of God and you exercise faith for them, as you have done in this conference, they are to be always held accountable for what they say under the influence of the Holy Spirit.”
      • “I have been fearful that some of us have become cowardly in our hearts in advocating the principles of the doctrines of Christ.”
      • “It is getting so a man dares not to open his mouth for fear he will say something, for fear he will tread on what they term holy ground.”
  • October 1899 General Conference
    • Carrying the Gospel to the Nations
      • “There are something like one hundred and twenty-two quorums of Seventy in the Church of Jesus Christ, numbering nearly eight thousand men. Over each quorum there are seven Presidents, the Lord having arranged it so that six of them can go on missions, and always leave one to look after the remainder. And in my opinion there should not be very many remaining to look after.”
      • “I desire to say that there is a percentage of the Seventies than whom there are no more faithful men in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. But the other percentage I have not much to say about.”
      • “I desire to proclaim from this stand that, as a Seventy in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as a witness of the Lord to the nations of the earth, I am willing to go forth and cry aloud to the children of men repentance, and I ask no Seventy to do what I am not willing to do myself. I have the faith to testify, and am willing to do so, that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God, notwithstanding it is unpopular to do this.”
      • “We do not want any Seventies that are run by their wives either. I do not blame the wives for running their husbands, because I think we have Seventies that their wives ought to run. I hear it almost every day (I do not want you to think it at home either) “What a lovely husband that man is. If I only had a husband like that I would be happy.” I ask what kind of a husband he is. “Well, he shakes the quilts, he puts the carpets down, he helps wash the dishes, he helps dress the children,” etc. Well, if it takes all that to make a good man, you cannot count me in among them. I would rather go on a mission, and I would rather stay and die with my neck in the collar. I think it is honorable to do these things when you are at home, but if I have to do them, I want to stay at home but a very little while. I do not believe that God gave a man the Holy Melchizedek Priesthood and ordained him a Seventy in the Church of Jesus Christ, to be tagging after one little woman and spending his whole life in that way. That is what I want to say to you Seventies; I have said it and I don’t propose to take it back. The Lord bless you.”
  • April 1899 General Conference
    • Shaking Hands
      • “Brethren and sisters, we can afford to be sympathetic; we can afford of all people on the earth to be filled with sympathy and compassion. I am not concerned very much about what other religionists do. We have the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, and it has withstood every test.”
      • “I am sorry to say that some of my acquaintances, some who are near and dear to me, have been won from our Church through love and sympathy.”
      • “Even if you are in a hurry, stop and shake hands before going on, but do it right; have the spirit of God within you, and when you greet them say, “God bless you.””
      • “We should learn to love and honor each other. We should have the spirit of God burning within our hearts. You can make more converts in this way than by any other means.”
  • October 1898 General Conference
    • My Ambition
      • “I have only one ambition, only one desire burning in my heart, and that is, to serve the Lord and keep His commandments.”
      • “I have, however, an ambition to be saved in the kingdom of my Father. I desire to understand the Gospel, the plan of life and salvation, and if there is any greater ambition that can be given unto the children of men, I pray you to point out the pathway.”
  • April 1898 General Conference
    • Redeeming Zion
      • “It is now your duty to not only listen but to digest; not only to make resolutions, but to live up to the instructions that have been given, if you expect to receive the blessings of the Lord.”
      • “It is not a difficult thing to live in a log hut if you have never had anything better, but it is a difficult thing to drop to a log house when you have been living in a castle. But our pride has got to be humbled, young men.”
      • “Now I want to prophesy, as the son of a prophet, that if this people want to be blessed they must labor for Zion; for if you labor for money you shall perish. You are under covenant, and it is a demand that God makes of this people that they redeem Zion. You have got to be generous, and you have got to place all that you have and are upon the altar and learn to live the law of the celestial kingdom.”
    • Preaching the Gospel in the South
      • “You know, we should be like clay in the hands of the potter. We have got to be ground, moulded and fashioned into a vessel of honor. And a great many of us are lumpy, although some of these old Seventies have been ground for sixty years. It has taken a long time to grind them, so that they will become tractable like little children. It will take just as long, perhaps, to grind all the lumps out of me, and other young men.”
      • “I have a testimony that the Gospel is true. I can preach it a great deal better than I can live it.”
  • October 1897 General Conference
    • Study and Pray
      • “I have discovered in my short career that I don’t amount to very much; that all that I have tried to do within myself I have failed in. The only blessing of real comfort that I have received is in laboring in the ministry.”
      • “Now these are the last days, spoken of by the prophets; these are the “perilous times.” And I want to say to you that mountains of obstructions will be placed before this people, and if you have not been tried, you will be; if you have not been tested, you will be, before you gain eternal life.”
      • “I am fearful that some of the Latter-day Saints simply come to the leaders and listen to the servants of God, and they never study it out in their minds; they never go to the written word, and compare it with the servants of God in their doctrines and teachings, and consequently they are unable to judge righteously, and they are losing confidence. Their confidence is being shaken, and they are unable to judge, because they have not first studied it out in their minds, because, as a people, we are mentally lazy. I will say that, because I do not expect to preach here again for a long time. If any of us have got a bad taste in our mouth for anything that has transpired, why, let us repent, let us study it out in our minds, and then go to our Father, in humility, and ask Him if it is right, and if it is right He will cause a burning within our bosoms, and we shall know that it is right; but if it be not right, we shall have no such feelings, but we shall have a stupor of thought.”

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