J. Golden Kimball served in the Southern States mission, both as a proselyting elder and later as mission president. During his first term of service, he was at the mission office in Chattanooga in August, 1884 when latter-day saints were murdered at Cane Creek, TN. He, of all people, knew what kind of prejudice and bigotry the Mormons faced in that part of the country. And yet, in a sermon delivered in the Logan tabernacle in 1891, he said this:
Our people at home are more deeply prejudiced against the people of the Southern States than the latter are prejudiced against us. This is brought about through the reports of elders who have filled missions there, and who have related to our friends and brethren at home the mob violence, the whippings and the abuse that we have received and have forgotten the hospitality and generosity that have been exhibited to us. For that reason you are prejudiced against the Southern people. Some of us elders have filled missions in the backwoods and have returned home with narrow, contracted ideas concerning the Southern people….The people there often look upon our elders as deluded and misled. But they will entertain them often times kindly; and when they do take our elders in they do not do it half-hearted. They do not put us in a granary, but they give us the best room they have. They give us the best bed they have and it is a genuine feather bed too……In the Southern States to-day there are eighty-one elders….. But I want to speak for those eighty-one elders. Some of them are among the poorest young men in the church. They are dependent upon the Lord; they can go to the Lord without purse or scrip, and He softens the hearts of the people and they administer to their wants. The people gave me the best they had.