Friday, October 15, 2010

Elder Kimball's Stories About His Health

Among the trials of serving a mission is the health issues sometimes accompanying living in a climate and eating the food to which you are not accustomed. Elder Jonathon Golden Kimball was particularly ill during his first mission to the Southern States. When B. H. Roberts returned to Chattanooga as acting Mission President, he found Elder Kimball in such dire ill health, that he relieved him from his secretarial duties and sent him to Shady Grove to recuperate. It was while he was there that the Cane Creek Massacre occurred. Because of his proximity, Elder Kimball was able to aid in getting Elder Thompson and Elder Jones to safety. But this was not his first run in with illness.

[I can't speak for the accuracy of these stories. They were reported by Brother Kimball, as a sort of late first hand recollection. And for the most part they are completely unverifyable. Regardless, never let the truth get in the way of a good story. Right?]

Earlier in his mission, back in Chattanooga, Elder Kimball contracted malaria. It was while he was ill that he ran into a physician on the street, who noted his condition and said "Young man, I don't know who you are, but if you don't do something for yourself, you will die." Elder Kimball responded "Well, I won't die, as I am a Mormon --- you can't kill them"

When President Morgan came to relieve Elder Roberts, he noted that Elder Kimball was very ill. President Morgan said to to him "Brother Kimball, you better go home. The mission is very hard-run for money. It will cost us twenty-four dollars to send you home alive, but it will cost us three hundred dollars to send you home dead"

4 comments:

Amy said...

Wonderful! What a character he was. And I love your label for the story. ("Urban legends.")

BruceCrow said...

Thanks, Amy. Do you run across any stories about him in your research on John Morgan?

Amy said...

Unfortunately, no. I've learned more about John Morgan from reading about JG Kimball and BH Roberts than the other way around. They were all very close associates, but the John Morgan biography mentions JGK perhaps 4 or 5 times. Total! (You already know what I think about the John Morgan biography. :)

Perhaps there's something in the John Morgan diaries. I'm hoping that someone will publish those one of these years.

Stephen said...

Made me think of President Kimball. I used to live near enough to get rumors from one of his doctors doctor relatives. He kept recovering ;)