Those that are LDS know this story, or at least the person involved. For those who do not, J. Golden Kimball was one of the leaders in his time. He was known as the “Swearing Apostle” because he was quite colorful with his language.
“Uncle Golden” stories have become a type of folklore for members of the LDS Church. One of the best known has Church President Grant writing a “clean” radio speech for Kimball and ordering him to read it. Once on the air, Kimball struggled with Grant’s handwriting and finally exclaimed, Hell, Heber, I can’t read this damn thing.
Many didn’t approve of Kimball’s swearing and language, but he had great faith and believed in the Church. So, I was talking with some friends from Church and they hadn’t heard the origins of the horns story, so I thought I’d look it up again and, while I’m at it, might as well put it up! It’s one of my faves:
It’s thought that many anti-Mormon preachers in the early days of the Church taught their members that Mormons had horns and that we were of the “congregation of the devil”…this was to keep their congregation out of the new church and I’m sure many felt that way (some still do).
In the 1800’s, members were harassed regularly. Mobs were common; harassing members and disrupting services and baptisms. J Golden Kimball was a young missionary in the south at the time. When a small mob was gathering on the other bank of a stream where a baptism was being performed, he called across to “Watch yourselves, we’re Mormons, we’ve got horns and we’ll gore the hell out of you if you come across!” It worked…the mob dispelled.