Curious Last Words

Curious Last Words July 8, 2024


Hinckley Bldg. BYU Provo
BYU’s Gordon B. Hinckley Alumni and Visitors Center on the BYU campus
(Wikimedia Commons public domain image)

Royal Skousen came to our house this morning for a pleasant visit and some business.  Please be aware of the following and, if you’ll be in the area at the appropriate time, please mark the date and come!  Royal describes this as his “swan song.”

The Interpreter Foundation and BYU Studies Invite You to a Celebration

The Completion of
the Book of Mormon Critical Text Project 1988-2024

Saturday, August 10, 2024 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

with two presentations open to the public

Royal Skousen

“The Innovative and Revolutionary Book of Mormon Critical Text Project”

Stanford Carmack

“The Archaic Language
of the Original Book of Mormon Text”

preceded by an informal open house with the presenters from 12 noon to 1:00 p.m.
along with a viewing of displays

Gordon B. Hinckley Alumni Building Brigham Young University

Political map of Africa (public domain, Central Intelligence Agency).  Liberia (with Monrovia, named after President James Monroe, as its capital) is located on the southern coast of the continent’s large western protrusion, between Sierra Leone and the Côte d’Ivoire.

I hope that many of you will enjoy this ten-minute video that has just been posted on the blog of the Interpreter Foundation.  (She is an impressive woman.)  Like all products of our Not by Bread Alone effort, it has been done in both English and French:  “Not by Bread Alone: A Woman of Faith: Sara Beysolow Nyanti, Foreign Minister of Liberia”

For more information on the “Not by Bread Alone: Stories of the Saints in Africa” series, go to
For more information in French, go to
To see all of our posts about The Church in Africa, go to

In this short video from the “Not by Bread Alone” film series entitled “A Woman of Faith Visits Salt Lake City,” Sara Beysolow Nyanti, foreign minister of Liberia and former Assistant Secretary General of the UN, describes the personal impact of her experiences at Church headquarters on 27 June 2024. To read more about her visit, go to

Of course, you can also find the video by going directly to the Christopher Hitchens Memorial “How Religion Poisons Everything” File™, where an essentially infinite number of such appalling horrors can be found.

Also new on the website of the Interpreter Foundation:  Interpreter Radio Show — June 30, 2024

The 30 June 2024 episode of the Interpreter Radio Show, featured Martin Tanner and Terry Hutchinson, along with special guest Stephen Smoot during the second hour. They discussed Come, Follow Me Book of Mormon lesson 30 and Joseph Smith’s Uncanonized Revelations, newly published by the BYU Religious Studies Center.

Their conversation was recorded, and an edited version of it (liberated from commercial interruptions) has been archived and is now available to you at your convenience — and for free.  The “Book of Mormon in Context” portion of this show, for the Come, Follow Me Book of Mormon lesson 30, will also be posted separately on Tuesday, 16 July 2024.

The Interpreter Radio Show can be heard live each week on Sunday evenings from 7 to 9 PM (MDT), on K-TALK, AM 1640, or you can listen live on the Internet at

In the Comedy store with Sam Kinison
Eric Clapton (left), Sam Kinison (center), and Phil Collins (right) at The Comedy Store, on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, sometime in the 1980s. (Wikimedia Commons public domain image)

Some of you, if you’re old enough, may recall a Grammy-award-winning stand-up comedian by the name of Sam Kinison (1953-1992).  Truth be told, I wasn’t a particular fan of his — rather the contrary, if anything, because I found his comedic style too crude, loud, and crass for my taste — but I’m intrigued by this story about him:

On 4 April 1992, twice-divorced and finally (he said) emerging from the cocaine and alcohol abuse that had nearly derailed his career, he married his third wife (a Vegas dancer) at the Candlelight Chapel in Las Vegas.  He and his bride then spent five days in Hawaii on a honeymoon before returning home to Los Angeles on 10 April.  He was scheduled for a sold-out show that night at the Riverside Resort Hotel and Casino in Laughlin, Nevada.

Later that day, on 10 April 1992, Kinison and his new wife were on the Needles Highway — northwest of Needles, California — when they were hit head-on by a pickup truck.  The driver of the pick-up was a seventeen-year-old by the name of Troy Pierson, who had been drinking with another teenager as they raced along that desert road.  (He had been drinking alcohol, if you hadn’t already guessed.  The cab of the pick-up was reportedly filled with empty beer cans.)  Pierson crossed the center line of the roadway while trying to pass another vehicle and collided with the Kinisons’ oncoming Pontiac Turbo Trans Am.  “God!” witnesses say he exclaimed after the wreck.  “Look what happened to my truck!”

Kinison’s new wife suffered a concussion in the crash.  Unconscious, she was taken for treatment to a hospital in Needles, where she recovered.  As to Sam Kinison himself, his head had smashed into the windshield because he had not been wearing his seat belt.  Still, though, at the first, he appeared to be pretty much alright.  He seemed to have received only minor facial wounds, mostly on his lips and on his forehead.  He got out of his heavily damaged vehicle, sat down on the side of the road, and only stretched out after friends persuaded him to do so.

He died not long thereafter from traumatic internal injuries (including, as an autopsy later showed, a dislocation in the cervical spine, a torn aorta, damage in his cranium, and torn blood vessels in his abdominal cavity).  He was just 38 years old.

It’s a tragic story, but it’s only one more entry in the lengthy list of such often unnecessary sorrows.  Here, though, is where the story (to me, at least) grows especially interesting:

According to an article that appeared in the Los Angeles Times soon after the fatal accident, a friend — Carl LaBove, Kinison’s longtime opening act — who was there at the accident scene after having watched what happened from another following car, held Kinison’s bleeding head in his hands until it was over.  “I don’t want to die, I don’t want to die,” Kinison said.  And then followed some quite enigmatic last words, spoken to nobody in particular:  “Why now?” he inquired.  Then he paused.  “But why?” he asked.  Then, after yet another pause, he very peacefully said “Okay, okay, okay.”  LaBove, who reported those final utterances, commented, “Whatever voice was talking to him gave him the right answer and he just relaxed with it.”

If Carl LaBove’s report is accurate, it does seem that Sam Kinison was engaged in a conversation, a conversation of which the reporting friend heard only one side.



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