Thursday, May 2, 2013

Joshua's Life Sketch (By His Grandfather)

As I posted yesterday, it is amazing how quickly memories can fade, even when we are trying so hard to keep them fresh.  I was a little down yesterday as I tried to close my eyes and remember certain details of Joshua's life and they just don't have the clarity that they have had before.

So, last night, a member of the Intermountain Healing Hearts stopped by to give me a gift.  I had no idea what she was bringing, but I was surprised that I didn't remember they were doing this for us!  At Joshua's funeral, there was someone there that had us pick out a few flowers, which they said they would dry for us and display them.  Well, I finally got to see the finished product last night and I couldn't be more thrilled with it!
 Flowers were from this bouquet at the funeral

As I sat there staring at this beautiful creation, I couldn't help but think about Joshua's funeral.  Then, I realized something...Joshua's life sketch!  A 10-minute talk by my father at the funeral was a perfect review of Joshua's short life and I got really excited to read it.  As I did, memories that I had completely forgotten about came rushing back. Little moments that I hold so dear.  I also read through my talk and got some of the same thing.

So, I wanted to share these words with you (with my dad's permission).  I love this simple take on his life and I love that I can read them whenever I need the reminder.

Life Sketch of Joshua Kent Ipson
Presented by his Grandfather

Brothers and Sisters, it is indeed heartwarming to see so many of you here. We are grateful for your sacrifice, and for your love.

It is my privilege to share a sketch of the life of Joshua Kent Ipson. I have chosen to tell this from Joshua’s perspective, with the hope that this approach will allow us to see the purposes of the Lord more clearly.

My name is Joshua Kent Ipson, and I came into this earthly existence on December 1, 2012. But my life and mission did not begin then, nor did it end when I returned to heaven on February 13, 2013. This short period was packed – so many lives to touch, so little time.

Long before the late evening of December 1, our Heavenly Father counseled with me regarding my earth mission. The basic assignment was pretty straightforward – gain a body. The rest of the assignment involved teaching as many people as I could about how much love our Savior has for all of God’s children. We carefully selected a family that guaranteed maximum coverage – an extended family with deep Gospel roots, with a natural tendency to be good and kind, and sealed in the new and everlasting covenant.

Of particular importance was the selection of my parents. Who in this family could the Lord qualify to offer me selfless care with the following specifications?
1. Full term maternity care.
2. Ability to provide priesthood blessings, and give me three names of deep significance.
3. Ride in a life flight transport bassinette
4. Echo-cardiograms (at least 2)
5. Open-heart surgery
6. 50 hospital night stays, more than half of which must be in ICU
7. Parent-inserted feeding tube (Dad gets extra credit for this one), Feeding tube must be filled with mother’s milk (Mom gets extra credit for this one.)
8. Constant companionship of an oxygen tank
9. Mother-provided blog to ensure that the message of our Savior’s love would be shouted from the mountain tops.
10.Dad who can keep his job through all this.

11.See Idaho at least once.
12.Do it all in 75 days, with most of the first day taken up with making sure mom gets to the hospital on time, and most of the last day set aside for me to be welcomed home by my family.

It was clear that there were several worthy candidates capable of fulfilling these specifications. In the end, I chose the best looking ones, with the greatest big brother ever.

I am grateful to my mother and father for their preparations, which allowed the Holy Ghost to teach them. They learned to be more courageous, to have increased confidence in acting upon the promptings of the Spirit – and they didn’t miss once.

I am now aware of the short-term success of my mission. Hundreds of people have experienced our Savior’s love, and have demonstrated that love through countless acts of kindness, patience, and charity. Individual testimonies of the Plan of Salvation have been strengthened. Harsh words have given way to peaceable things.

The long-term success of my mission is now in your hands; although you can be assured that I will be anxiously engaged in a very real way until the work is done. I will be there every time you ask “What now?” instead of “Why me?” I will be there every time your heart aches, and every time you want nothing more but to hold me again. I promise you that through the loving grace of our brother Jesus Christ, all things will be restored. Your arms will lovingly and securely fold around me, to raise me as your son in the great and glorious day of the Lord.

Of these truths I bear witness, and acknowledge God’s hand in all things, and do so in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.


  1. This testimony of the love of your family and the love of the Lord inspires me. Thank you for sharing! Blessings upon you all, I pray.

    1. Amy-Thank you for visiting and thank you for your comments. I pray the Lord's blessing shine on you and your family as well.

  2. I love how the flowers turned out! Your day's life sketch was one of the most touching that I have ever heard. He perfectly shared Joshua's mission and strengthened my faith. Hugs to you all!


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Joshua Kent Ipson was born December 1, 2012 with a very complicated combination of congenital heart defects. After 2 1/2 months of fighting for his life, he passed away on February 13, 2013. We invite you to share our experiences as we grieve his loss, rejoice in God's plan, & keep Joshua's message of hope alive.
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