A Conversation between LBJ and Reverend Billy Graham
10/20/64 - 5:00 PM, Citation #5926
[Graham is on hold 0:35 at beginning of call]
Secretary: Dr. Graham on nine-one
BG: Mr. President?
LBJ: Hello, Billy. How are you, my friend?
BG: Well, God bless you. I was telling Bill [Moyers] that last night I couldn’t sleep, and I got on my knees and prayed for you that the Lord would just give you strength.
LBJ: I told my sweet wife last night--we got mental telepathy--I said that if I didn’t think I’d embarrass him [Graham], I’d say, “Please, dear Lord, I need you more than I ever did in my life. I got the Russians on one side of me taking after, the Chinese are dropping bombs around contaminating the atmosphere, and the best man I ever knew, uh, had a stroke and disease hit him, and I’ve been tied in here with my Cabinet all day…and I’d have Him just make him come down and spend Sunday with me.”
BG: Well, bless your heart, I’ll be glad to. I told Bill that there were two things. One was I just felt terribly impressed to tell you to slow down a little bit. I’ve been awfully worried about you physically.
BG: And then the second thing--you’ve got this election, in my opinion, wrapped up and you’ve got it wrapped up big. There’s no doubt in my mind about that. And then the second thing, you know when Jesus dealt with people with moral problems, like dear Walter [Jenkins] had--and I was telling Bill I wanted to send my love and sympathy to him--
LBJ: Thank you--
BG: --He always dealt tenderly. Always. This is the way He handled it. And that’s the way I feel about it. I know the weaknesses of men, and the Bible says we’re all sinners and we’re all involved one way or another, and I just hope that if you have any contact with him, you’ll just give him my love and understanding.
LBJ: Well, that’ll mean more than anything. Come down here Saturday evening and have dinner with us, and let’s have a quiet visit and maybe have a little service Sunday morning in the White House itself.
BG: Well, I’ll be very happy to. I told Bill that my wife couldn’t come because she’s in bed sick with the flu.
LBJ: Oh, gosh, I’m sorry--
BG: I’m up in Maine and I’m traveling all over New England in different towns, preaching every night in a different town.
LBJ: Oh, wonderful, wonderful. Well, I know you’re doing a lot of good, and I’ll look forward to seeing you Saturday. You just come, bring your bag on in and call Bill and tell him what time you’ll be in so they can have a gate, and we’ll send a car for you.
BG: One of my associates, T.W. Wilson, the brother of the fellow that you met before--
LBJ: Bring him with you.
LBJ: I want him with you. I want anybody. And we’ll just have a good visit and I’ll feel stronger next week.
BG: Well, God bless you.
LBJ: Thank you so much.