Solomon F. Kimball
The worst sin conceived in my heart while I was growing up was Sabbath-breaking. When I first commenced to violate the fourth commandment, the bitter was given to me in a mild form, such as slight injuries, tumbling into creeks, tearing my clothing, and getting a well-deserved spanking at times.
As I grew older, the penalty became more severe, such as being thrown from horses, kicked by mules, hooked by cows, bitten by dogs, and many other experiences of a similar nature. While these bitter pills were being administered to me with clockwork regularity, I was doing all in my power to make myself believe that Sabbath-breaking had nothing to do with it, but found it very difficult.
In 1869, a small company of us boys settled in the Bear Lake country and commenced to build homes. This was the first time that we had everything our own way, and a jollier lot of Sabbath-breakers probably never lived. All days were the same to us, and especially Sunday; for that was the day of all other days that we turned ourselves loose in the full meaning of the word. It was Sunday when we took possession. It was Sunday when we surveyed our land. It was Sunday when we laid out our town. It was Sunday when my brother, David P., and I drove home from the canyon so rapidly that I was thrown from my wagon and nearly killed. We lightly laid it to carelessness, but it was weeks before I was able to go to work.
David and I each had a load of logs in the canyon ready to haul and, as soon as I was well enough, we went after them. As I was loading my wagon, my fingers were caught between two logs and I was unable to extricate them. I yelled for help, but received no answer. While suffering with my three mashed fingers, I was forcibly reminded that it was just five weeks to a day since I was thrown from my wagon, and now I was again in a worse predicament than ever. As soon as David had loaded his wagon, he came strolling up the canyon to find me in this pitiable plight. He pried my fingers loose, and I was soon on my way home with the words, “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy,” everlastingly ringing in my ears. A month passed before I could use my hand.
I was so far behind with my work by this time that I hardly knew which way to turn. My barn was up to the square, and I was very anxious to get it under cover before winter; hence, I thoughtlessly went to work on it one Sunday morning. As I was hewing a log above my head, my ax glanced and came down on my right foot, cutting its way through the main joint of my big toe. I feared I might bleed to death, for there was not a doctor within fifty miles to the place. I was disable for weeks, and it seemed to me a miracle that I lived.
For a long time after that, I moved about with considerable care on Sundays, for I was convinced that the Lord was terribly in earnest when he thundered the fourth commandment into the ears of the children of Israel. These incidents worked a reformation throughout the whole camp, but, boylike, we soon again forgot.
Two years later, Manasseh Williams and I went to Salt Lake City after supplies. We loaded our wagon on Saturday night and started for home Sunday morning. As I was driving over a bad place, I lost my balance and fell to the ground. Two wheels passed over my lower limbs, and I was again disabled for a month.
The next Sunday, in company with several companions, I visited Edington’s brewery. While we were having the time of our lives, a crazy man entered the place, carefully scanned the crowd, singled me out, of course, stepped within a few feet of where I stood, drew from his belt a big gun, and without batting any eye, banged away at my breast. My left hand happened to be in front of me when he shot. As quick as thought I threw it up and caught the ball in my hand, where it remained for several hundred Sundays.
I never could quite understand how it was that the evil one always picked on me, unless it was on account of my parents(Heber C. and Vilate Kimball) being so much opposed to Sabbath-breaking. I finally became a close observer of the Sabbath day, and, considering my restless disposition, my conduct became quite praiseworthy.
(Solomon F. Kimball, Life of David P. Kimball (Salt Lake City, Deseret News Press, 1918), pp. 107-1)
(Found in When Faith Writes The Story, compiled by Margie Calhoun Jensen, pp. 190-192)