Spiritual Messages and Teachings for LDS Youth and Youth Leaders


By: Jay A. Parry, Jack M. Lyon, Linda Ririe Gundry

From the book: Best-Loved Humor of the LDS People


Heber J. Grant: I have heard it said that “damn” is not swearing, that it is only emphasis. I was preaching one night with the late President John Henry Smith, in the opera house in Phoenix. The legislature was in session. Hearing that two of the “Mormon” apostles were there, some of the members of the legislature waited on us and said they had arranged to hire the opera house, and they would agree to fill it if we would condescend to preach. Well, we usually hire our own hall and condescend to preach to empty benches; so, of course, we condescended, and were delighted with the opportunity. One of the good sisters who came down from Mesa was sitting behind a man while I was preaching, and she heard him say, with emphasis, that I was an earnest preacher. Pretty soon, with that emphasis again, he said I was a good preacher, and finally once more with emphasis he said: “That man believes (with emphasis) every word he is saying.” I ask no greater compliment (Conference Report, Oct. 1922, 13).

George A. Smith: There is an idea out that a man who has to go to the canyon cannot do it without swearing, or that when he gets to the mouth of the canyon he must throw off his religion and swear all the way up and back again. Any man who entertains such a sentiment should dispense with it at once, for he needs his religion more there than anywhere else. The roads are rough, and there is danger of him being tipped over and breaking his neck, or mashing up his wagon or his team, and he needs the influence of his religion as much under such circumstances as under any others. The Elders of Israel should avoid indulging in rough language under all circumstances. Most men, if they thought there was a probability of them dying by some sudden accident, would begin to think about praying. When a man is more exposed to danger than at any other time I am sure he needs his religion, for if he should have a log roll over him, and be sent into eternity with a big oath in his mouth, he might not be recognized as a Saint on the other side of the veil (Journal of Discourses 12:138-40).

Daniel Hess: On some rare occasions, . . . we may be moved by the Spirit to let someone know his language is unacceptable.

I faced such a moment while in the [U.S.] navy. We were in boot camp with a company of men who constantly bragged in the foulest language about the evil things they had done. One day a friend and I were sitting on our bunks when the door suddenly burst open and in came one of the roughest sailors. He started to call our Savior dirty, derogatory names. My friend looked at me and said, “Dan, we’re not going to take that, are we?” I thought about it for a minute, and finally said, “I guess not.” So I stepped out in front of the man as he came down through the rows of beds, and I told him that I loved the Savior and that he couldn’t say those things about him. Now it was his turn to think it over for a minute, but in the end he apologized. I’d like to think, for his sake, that it wasn’t just because I happened to be the camp boxing champion (Time of Your Life, 109-10).


Just before playing golf in Georgia, President Dwight D. Eisenhower remarked, “You’re going to hear a lot of laughing today. My doctor has given me orders that if I don’t start laughing instead of cussing when I miss those shots, then he’s going to stop me from playing golf. So every time I miss a shot today, I’m going to go ho-ho-ho.”

A young dairyman in Idaho, inactive in the Church, was complaining about J. Golden Kimball’s swearing.

“Don’t you swear?” asked a friend, knowing well he did.

“Yes, I do,” answered the friend, “but I ain’t goin’ to heaven”
(Cheney, Golden Legacy, 31).

One woman, hoping to help J. Golden Kimball break his habit of swearing, held up President Heber J. Grant as an example. “Brother Kimball,” she said, “have you ever heard President Grant swear?”

“Just once,” Brother Kimball replied. “He and I were in St. George together during the depression. It was summer, the crops were dying for want of water, the people were starving. We prayed with them for rain, but our prayers were not answered. I said, ‘It’s a ——ed shame!’ and President Grant said, ‘Yes, it is'” (Cheney, Golden Legacy, 121).

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>