THE SELF WE WANT TO BE
If we but shape our destiny,
We can become the self we want to be,
Not driven by whim, nor base desire.
But the inner soul's Celestial fire.
For there lies within our inner spirit,
A still small voice, if we'll but hear it.
Its purpose is to guide aright,
To bless with wisdom, truth and light.
We dull that voice by sinful ways,
By pride of heart and worldly praise
By seeking pleasures of the flesh,
Entwining our souls in Satan's mesh.
We tune our inner souls to God
By holding to the Iron Rod,
And as we sorrow much for sin,
Behold, the voice of God beams in
To gently lead us, with His sheep,
To green pastures, and peaceful sleep,
Where all may learn his saving grace,
And meet our Savior face to face.
What joy, what joy will then be ours
When we are freed from Satan's powers
To shape our lives eternally
To'ward God's highest destiny
CHAPTER 1: The First Years
I was born in the year of 1964 in the month of November, on the Twelfth Day. It was a nice month. I remember when I first opened my eyes, the first thing I saw was my mother making funny faces at me. I started out as a normal infant, fat chubby, cute, and adorable. The first year was a learning experience for this little man, who was named after a great Irishman. The name chosen was Kevin Paul Kimball, This name is made up of three great men. The Irishman, my Dad, and a prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. As I grew in my infancy I discovered a world of many fascinating things, most were put in my mouth, and what my mom didn't pull away went down the tube. I was a real runt and a baby who always got into trouble.
As I grew older, I started to learn to crawl. I thought I had discovered some new way of getting around. I was really pleased with myself. As the months went on I started teething and drinking from a bottle. The months went on, and within two weeks or so I had a patch of baby Teeth, from there on I started to grow physically like a weed. My Dad told mom "This boy will be someone someday," little did he know what the Lord had in store for this little boy.
Then as the months went by, I learned to walk. It was truly a marvelous thing to be able to walk from one place to the other. It finally came to the time when I was to turn one year of age, I was so thrilled to finally be a whole year old. We had a family party: mom, dad, Clover, Becky and I. It was after my birthday that we moved from our house in Salt Lake City, Utah to one on a busy street in Cottonwood Heights just outside of Holiday, Utah. I lived there for a number of months before I had my second birthday, it was so much fun to be in my terrible twos. I would run around the house with no clothes on, which was all right. For a two year old. I would get on our piano and just pound the life Out of it. I would always be trouble; mom was always getting me out of the toilet and the washer.
Then that tragic day came. It was on my third birthday. My folks were out and Grandma was baby sitting my two sisters and I. She had put me down for a nap, not knowing the fate that awaited me. As she went in to get me, she found me in a semi-coma, so she called up my parents with the number they had left. Grandma virtually panicked because she didn't know what to do. As my parents came and rushed me to the Primary Children Hospital. They wheeled me in on a gurney.
This was a time when hundreds of sheep were killed through chemical war against wolves. There were a lot of other kids who came in the same time as I did with the same symptoms. At that time it was called encephalitis. I was in the hospital almost a year and within that year I was pronounced dead! My parents could not accept that. So, they would feed me vegetable juice and fruit, I remember going through a tunnel of light. As I walked through this tunnel, a man in greeted me in a white robe as brilliant as the noonday sun. This man spoke unto me saying, "your work on the earth is not finished yet, go back! They need you down there." As I awakened the doctors could not believe it, they dragged my parents in and asked what they did? Well my parents just said they poured juices down me. That act of God saved my life insomuch as inspiring my parents to do that act.
As I was on my deathbed my mom was home in her room, and she heard a voice, which seemed to say, "your son will not die!" After she had gotten off of her knees we got a call from the hospital saying that I had opened my eyes and wanted my mommy. That call made her break out into tears. She rushed up to the hospital dropping everything. She got up there in record time, ran in, and grabbed her only son and just started crying on her son who was still very weak and could not even talk.
When the doctor asked what else my mom did besides pouring juices down my throat, she said, "Lots of prayer." After I had awakened, the doctors thought I was strong enough so they took me off all support.
CHAPTER 2: The Master Achievement
My parents heard about a program for brain-damaged children called Domain Dell Caudal. The only place was in Philadelphia. A few years later, after we heard about it, my dad read an article on the same program in Provo, Utah. So he called and inquired and got me in.
I was five when I started in the Domain Dell Caudal program. They had me doing eye exercises, patterning, which is where you lay the person flat on his stomach and five people, 2 arms, 2 legs and I at the head, just move your arms and legs like a soldier crawling through grass to get the enemy. The man at the head would try to face the head towards whatever arm was up.
We had the Priesthood brethren and Relief Society over every day. Just to cook meals and help me exercise. They were really helpful. Within a few months a miracle happened. I was walking!
My mom took me up to the hospital and found my doctor who didn't recognize me until my mom introduced me. Well the doctor just blew up in my mom's face after she told him what she did. There was an intern there who had gone to a Chiropractor, what my Dad was. He told my mom she did the right thing, she just busted the doctor's ego.
After that visit with my doctor we went home and my mom went right to work with me. I finally got into kindergarten at age six and thus started my schooling although I was still doing my exercises faithfully. It wasn't until the first grade that the greater miracle happened. I was considered normal by the doctors.
My mom had another baby between preschool and kindergarten, another boy was born whom we named Brett. He would follow me and do everything his big brother did. He even followed me to school one time. We had to call my mother to come and get him. Then tragedy happened. I was sleeping with him and I was awakened by a bright light, I looked up and there was a man with a long beard and a robe around his body and sandals on his feet. The next morning my mom was getting everyone up for school. She looked in Brett's crib and the two-year-old boy took two quick breaths and died. A year later she had another baby girl. We named her Kimberly.
At this time I was in the second grade and the greatest miracle of all happened. I was totally normal! And off the program! Off the I.V. They started giving me morphine, thus I slipped back into my weak stage. My dad was furious. He stopped my morphine and blew up at the doctors and took me out of the hospital. He then put me on a strict diet of fruit and vegetable juice, plus exercise. Before my parents could take me home and start my therapy, they had to go through a battle with my doctor. He told them "you may take him home, but he will be nothing more than a vegetable all his life."
The day before I was to come home my dad brought me a very cute teddy bear which I responded to. So my parents knew my brain was still alive and working. The doctor gave us one more little warning that in a few more years I would have to be placed in the training school in American Fork (a residential facility for developmentally challenged individuals). My mom shook her head and said, "Like hell he will." They knew I still had a fighting chance.
I came home to a new little sister that we named Heather. At this time she was just learning to crawl. So through inspiration my Mom was teaching two kids to crawl.
CHAPTER 3: More Trails
After I had gotten off the program, my Grandfather (who is an avid hiker.) Decided that what I needed was some vigorous exercise, so he would teach me the true way to hike which would strengthen up my legs, although I wasn't too excited about the whole thing. The first place he took me and my family was Arches National Park when I was only 5 and could just barley walk, it was a real challenge for me to hike to all those arches, I mean we hiked all over the place and my legs really got tired. Now that I am stronger, I return there every year and it's a breeze for me now.
Then my grandfather, got a mission call to Tampa Florida. After all the hiking we had done over the years, he really got me into shape. He left in the year 1976 and for a year and one half, I wasn't able to go hiking. I started going down hill health-wise. I went roller-skating with my Boy Scout troop and I had a real bad fall. It felt like my lung just ripped in half, they took me home and my dad immediately started applying pressure on my back (my dad is a retired Chiropractor) which is what you do when you have a chest strain.
At the age of thirteen I was struck again with a life threatening illness which was pneumonia. It had the full effect on me. That set in after my fall, but it took a while to realize. I remember lying on bed with this pneumonia and seeing this man with a white beard and there was a brilliant light all around him. I recognized the man to be the same man who had come for my brother. I was Scared for my life. He just looked at me and shook his head, which he was saying your time isn't over yet, but I didn't know that at the time, like I do now.
Finally, I was starting to recover which again was a miracle because I almost died. I was taken out, of school and I had a private tutor come in once a day and teach me, and it helped me get caught up in my schooling. During this time I met a doctor who was to become a great ally in my struggles with the world. I finally got over the pneumonia and I got enrolled back into school. I never saw anything like the joy of my classmates as when I returned to school.
I finally got into middle school. Still a little week from my Pneumonia, and I would take the bus to and from school, I got into my second Year of middle school and they cut the bus service to my area so I had to walk to and from school. That was a real blessing in my disease as I got stronger and stronger every day. I walked to school until another miracle happened, I was a strong healthily young man again.
My grandfather got released from his Mission and almost to the day he got back we went hiking up the timpanogas Cave trail and I made it all the way to the TOP, and I just stood there at The top of this mountain and yelled "I HAVE MY STRENTH AND HEALTH AND NO ONE CAN TAKE THEM AWAY FROM ME!" Ever since then I have been hiking daily and I never lost my health or strength since.
CHAPTER 4: High School Years
The year before I entered High School my parents had another little baby boy, we named him after a great man, one in which I admire very much, the name we chose was Joseph Mathew Kimball, we chose this name because we knew that he was a special little boy, little did we realize how special. As I entered High School my parents felt like it would be to my benefit if I didn't attend the regular High school, but instead they enrolled me in a private school, I had a lot of fun the first year, I learned drama, film making, sang in the choir, and I even learned the art of designing. The second year I was only there half a year, but I had a good half year. Then I enrolled in regular School, the school I chose was Brighton High were I took all the general material that every sixteen-year-old has to take including drama and choir.
The next year was my junior year and I was still attending Brighton, were I would remain until I graduated. That same year my little brother died of the same thing that both I and my younger brother had (and which he died from). Well, now Joseph had it. I can remember us taking him to the hospital and have all these test done on both me and him which was not pleasant for either one of us. Then he seemed to get better so we brought him home to the family. We thought every thing was over, but we were so mistaken. The day before he died he was home and I had caught ill, I remember laying on the couch and Joseph come crawling up to me and gave me the biggest hug I had ever had in my life. I didn't know what it meant at the time, and then my angel appeared to me again and he spoke to me saying something to me that even to this day I won't tell anyone because its to sacred to repeat. The next day my twin brother was dead. I got the call at school and my mom was really in tears, so I checked out of school and didn't return for three days. I loved my brother so much and when I heard the word he had died it really hit me hard.
Well, I finally reached my senior year and I thought I was so neat because I was this big senior I even had a girl friend who was the most popular girl in school and I really became proud, the kind of pride the scripture warns you about. But, it didn't last long. Then the big day came, it was graduation day and I was proud of myself for this great milestone in my life.
CHAPTER 5: The College Experience
After I graduated from high school I worked all that summer at my very first job which was cleaning out horse stables at a riding school, which was a very tedious job. I had to get up five thirty in the morning, which was ok, but sometimes I would be so tired I would fall asleep while I was watering the horses, I did gain allot of respect for the farmers of America.
Then one day I got a letter from a great college, were I had tried out for a computer scholarship to snow college, and I was so happy to read that I had got it. Summer ended and I was off to Snow College to put my scholarship to work. I had full tuition plus work study.
I lived on campus in a dorm where the guys just treated me like dirt, I mean they were so mean to me. Some of the things they would do were things like, break into my apartment and take all my clothing and my bed, or they would wait until I was asleep and break in and carry me outside while I was asleep and I would wake up and I would find myself freezing, and they did other things to gross to mention. Other than that, that first year was a good one for me, I did move out of that dorm and into one were all the jocks lived, and that was the best thing I've ever done, because those jocks really cared and if anyone tried to even lay a finger, would have their noses broken. The guys in my first dorm new that, so they stayed away from me and they never bugged me again.
Other than that, my schooling was going smoothly and I got through that year with high marks. Well, the year was finally coming to an end and I was looking for an internship at some large computer shop. I got my intern at a big shop in Ephraim. Unfortunately, the company went belly up that same year. So I came home for half the summer. I got my old job back with the riding school and I really learned to like horses a lot.
Later that summer, I got a letter saying that my scholarship was no longer in effect. Well, I just broke into tears because that meant that I had no means of getting the education I needed and especially wanted. I then heard from a friend about rehab for the handicapped, where they pay for handicapped students, which I am one and I'm proud of it cause being handicapped just means your spirit was so great in the pre existence that the Lord gave you your own special handicap that no one else but you can handle. I think it's something to be proud about, I admit openly that I'm a disabled person. I actually feel that I'm better off than a lot of people. Everyone has their own handicap, even though some may be more serious than others, and you may not even know it. But let me testify to you that you who are reading that you too have a minor handicap that you must over come.
Well I got back into school thanks to rehab, and I got in with a real neat group of fine young men whom were my roommates for my last year at Snow. I would like to thank Doug Drage who became my best friend, Shane Stevens my roommate from Canada, who taught me a lot about how to be single while going to school. And my good friend Bruce Bills who taught me the importance of real studding and how to do it right. Last but not least I'd like to thank Wes Thompson and all the Horndoggers of which I was one. If it weren't for them I would have never got through Snow College so THANKS MUCH for everything guys.
Well Graduation was a sad day for me because I had to leave all my friends, and those whom I worked so close with for two years, including the college staff and Pro. Bennion. I came home and got a job with Mountain West Financial for one summer. Then, I transferred my records from Snow to SLCC and I finished up my business degree. Before at Snow I got my C.I.S. (Computer Info. Systems) degree, so now I had two degrees and it took me three years to get it.
While going to institute at SLCC, I met a good man by the name of Glade Hatch. In his class I met a sweet girl by the name of Ginger Riley, whom I have grown to really like and admire. I met her in the institute building when we had a Courtship and Marriage classes together. Don't ask me how it happened, I don't know?
After graduation, I got an offer from American express as a batch programmer, starting salary 13,00 a year even though I was only ablt to stay there for three months. That summer I had an operation on my jaw called a TMJ.
In the year 1988, I decided to go on a mission. So, I filled out the papers and went though all the motions. I was worthy enough to go, but for some reason I was turned down for a mission. So I did settle for a service mission. It is all the same, in the eyes of Heavenly Father, and that is good enough for me. After I was turned down for a mission I was told that I would have all the blessings of a missionary and to consider myself a returned missionary. Even though my true desire was to go on a mission, I settled on a service mission.
CHAPTER 6: Revisions
It has been many, many years since I have written in this book, and in that time, I have had some heartaches, turn downs for marriage, and a divorce. Now I have a chance to marry again. I thought I had found joy before, I was surely wrong. I have painfully watched all my sisters, and friends get married and have very happy lives, years before me, when I wanted to be married and have that joy in my life. I have 10 younger Sisters, a very big LDS Family. (No, my dad is not at all associated with the FLDS. There is a HUGE difference!)
In 1992, I won a Country Dance contest, which, for a disabled man, is quite a HUGE accomplishment. My Grandma died in September of 1992, when I was holding her hand, and after my Grandfather and I gave her a priesthood blessing. My dear Grandfather died in February of 2008, at age 100. My dad has had 3 Cancer surgeries, and has type 2 diabetes, so it is rough on him. But “ life is a rollercoaster ride.”
I witnessed the birth of the computer, and other electronic devices. I am 44 now, disabled, and still going against the odds. I'm proving that “the human will is much stronger than anything.” I have climbed mountains, cheated death many, many times, and still go hiking. Now I work for a major copy/printing firm.
I lost my voice in 2006 when I had a trach put in my throat so I could breathe. The Doctors cut my vocal cords. But all in all, I am in great health and so grateful I am LDS.
Recently, a sister of mine went down to Texas and met a fine young man. When she came home, we knew she was in love. So, as soon as I knew for sure she was going to marry the guy I went and asked my Bishop if it would be possible for me to go through the temple for my Endowments? Well, he was so thrilled at my decision he just sat down right then and there and gave me a Temple interview. I was found to be worthy, which is what I've been working for all my life: to be worthy enough to go through the temple and to go through again with some sweet girl who is as worthy as I was and still am. I have been going back once a week ever since. I am now 44 and I hope I can meet a sweet girl and enter into the everlasting covenant of marriage.
This is my testimony. The Lord lives and he cares about all his children, so don't give up, I sure didn’t. As I close this book I just want to say, my life has been more full because of the Lord, I LOVE HIM FIRST OVER EVERTHING. I close this book by saying. I know the church is true and I say it in the name of my brother, Jesus Christ, Amen.