True Stuff that I Made Up

PLEASE NOTE: The entries which are published at this site are solely my personal and sometimes whimsical musings. For information regarding my political positions and proposals, please visit www.LarryKump.us.

Further, this website is devoutly dedicated to all of my friends and associates, both early and late, who have mentored and influenced me. However, being who they are, the majority of them have been late most of the time.

  Also, check out my personal entry at Mormon.org.

Saturday, March 04, 2017

My Best Buddy, Who Changed My Life

This post was written many years ago and redrafted in 2010:
Mostly at the insistence of my Mother, I was raised in a prominent local church in Hagerstown, Maryland.
However, at age twelve, I already was disturbed and troubled about the meaning of life.
My Sunday School teachers couldn't answer my questions, and my several abortive attempts to read the Bible left me even more confused and frustrated.
(It probably didn't help that I began with the Old Testament).
During the next several years, I even made inquiries into non-Christian religions and philosophies, all of which which fascinated me but none of which resolved my dilemma.
Finally, at the tender age of about fifteen, I came to the reluctant conclusion that either God really didn't exist, or, if He did, He just wasn't interested in or accessible to me.
And so it was that I wavered between agnosticism and outright atheism.
It was at that time in my life that I was both mystified and derisively amused by my next door neighbor and best buddy, Ray A. Geyer.
He was enthusiastic about his recent ordination as an Aaronic Priesthood Deacon in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), and anxious to share the good news of the Restored Gospel with me.
After a series of discussions and sometimes contentious arguments with Ray, I ever so reluctantly sat down with two LDS Missionary Elders, and directly confronted them with my questions and concerns.
To my surprise and chagrin, Elder Wayne Platt Smith's humble spirit immediately touched my heart and soul.
Even more surprising to me, this mere high school graduate was able to readily answer all my questions, questions that had stumped all the learned and older ministers from so many other faiths.
Elder Smith warned me that neither he nor anyone else could convert me to Christ, and this was something that I had to determine for myself.
He also encouraged me to continue to meet with my parents' pastor and others, so that I could better sort out truth from fable for myself, and not be led astray in my quest for the meaning of life.
It was then that I began to read the Book of Mormon to find out for myself if all of this really could be true.
Subsequently, after reading the Book of Mormon and also the Bible (cover to cover), I knelt alone in my parents' living room on one hot Summer afternoon.
Confessing to God that I still had serious doubts about Him and feeling foolish in my awkward attempt to pray, I nevertheless boldly challenged Him to tell me if He was real and if the Book of Mormon was true.
The surprising, satisfying, and immediate reply from Him to my belligerent yet anxious prayer infused me with both joy and gratitude.
My parents thereafter stunned me with their hostile reaction to my newfound faith, refusing to give me permission to be baptized or to have any further contact with the LDS Church or its members.
It wasn't until six years and many missteps later, when I had reached the then legal age of consent (twenty-one) and was a student at Frostburg State College, that I at long last revisited my previous inquiry to God and finally was baptized (in Cumberland, MD).
Sadly, my family and college chums opposed my rediscovered faith and subsequent baptism, and many of them even went so far as to deride my change of heart.
This personal quest of mine began about fifty years ago.
Now, I am an adoptive and divorced parent, multiple times recovered cancer patient, and one who has been through my share of personal trials.
I promise you, in the name of Jesus Christ, that the Book of Mormon is the most correct of any book on Earth and contains the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ (in tandem with the Holy Bible) as well as the answer to your heartfelt prayers.
And so it is that all I am or ever hope to be I owe to the Book of Mormon, two young Missionary Elders, and a boyhood neighbor who took the time and cared enough to lead me to the meaning of life.
So, this is my response to those of you who have been curious about of me and my friend Ray, for whom my love and gratitude exceeds all others.
(Some of my favorite Book of Mormon passages are 2 Nephi 28:29 and 29:3-13. Also read in the Book of Mormon: Mosiah, Chapter 2, verse 4; and in the Doctrine & Covenants: Section 112, verse 11 and also Section 121, verses 41 & 42).

For a free copy of the Book of Mormon and/or the King James version of the Bible, call 1-888-438-7557, on any day or at any hour.

Postscript: For more about my experiences and perspective, please also visit www.Mormon.org/me/4Y8B

Friday, March 03, 2017

Faith & Politics: My Personal Pilgrimage

This following previous post of mine struck me as even more relevant now, when so many of us are prayerfully pondering and even fasting about our 2016 election choices and the fate of our nation:

Federal Judge Thomas B. Griffith* previously delivered an address, "A Mormon Approach to Politics" **, at the Brigham Young University Milton A. Barlow Center, and his perspective struck a resonating chord within my heart and mind , so much so that it prompted me to summarize my own perspective herein.

To me, the principles of my faith and my political views mostly are parallel, each supporting and defining the other, perhaps much in some ways akin to how the Book of Mormon supports and further defines the Bible.

Although first elected in 2010 as a Republican in the mostly Democrat West Virginia House of Delegates, my political affiliation is not the primary driving force on my views about governance.

Indeed, I agree with our nation's founding father, George Washington, who disparaged the fractious and feckless political partisanship that so sadly distracts and diverts us from good governance.

And so it was that, when I initially and somewhat reluctantly ran for election, I considered myself mostly as an independent and liberty minded "Constitutional" candidate.

I continue to strive to act upon and follow those guiding principles.

I stoutly believe that our United States Constitution and "Bill of Rights" is a sacred and dynamic document that succors liberty and individual accountability, as well as fosters economic prosperity.

As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), my faith reinforces my belief that our United States Constitution was drafted "...by the hands of wise men whom (God) raised up into this very purpose, and redeemed the land by the shedding of blood." (LDS Doctrine & Covenants, Section 101, Verse 80)

I also believe that our Constitutional rights should and must be preserved, "That every man may act in doctrine and principle pertaining to futurity, according to the moral agency which (God has) given unto him, that every man may be accountable...". (LDS Doctrine & Covenants, Section 101, Verse 78)

Our Latter-day Saint mantra of individual accountability and "agency" (freedom of choice) parallels my political philosophy of individual liberty and economic freedom.

Also, as a Latter-day Saint and follower of Christ, I believe and continue to strive to practice the principle of charity (the pure love of Christ) toward others and tolerance of them and their various lifestyles.

However, it is, to me, a perversion of these principles, when we attempt to force our fellow citizens and rob them of their personal accountability and freedom by government fiat.

My heart truly does bleed for the less fortunate, but it is a puzzlement to me when others use their sympathy for the less fortunate to justify expanding initiative destroying government entitlement programs and creating even more of them (more of both the programs and the less fortunate).

In my view, these expanding government dependency programs and policies weaken the foundation of our families. They create a sense of expectation that the government somehow is responsible for our welfare and happiness. In doing so, the strength of our families and the health of our nation increasingly crumbles, to the peril of all of us and our children.

Indeed, former social worker and United States Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-New York) previously warned us that our rush to increase government control over our lives would lead to the breakdown of our families and an increasingly large and permanent caste system of the underprivileged. His prediction was prophetic, and we now have third and fourth generations of people becoming prey to government entitlements. Increasingly, they now mistakenly look to the government for their well-being and even their happiness.

Nowhere has this been more dramatically demonstrated to me than when I previously worked as a prison case manager, dealing with inmates, many of whom had come to expect and even demand "lock-up welfare".

Our prisons are overflowing, our freedoms are eroding, and our taxes are increasing - all because we are prostituting our sacred birthrights to the government for "pottage". (Genesis, Chapter 25, Verses 29-34)

Moreover, my Latter-day Saint view of good governance is that God "holds man accountable for their acts in relation to them, both in making laws and administering them, for the good and safety of society", and that "...no government can exist in peace, except such laws are framed and held inviolate as will secure to each individual the free exercise of conscience, the right and control of property, and the protection of life." (LDS Doctrine & Covenants. Section 134, Verses 1-2)

Further, "...all men are justified in defending themselves, their friends, and property...from the unlawful assaults and encroachments of all persons in times of exigency...". (LDS Doctrine & Covenants, Section 134, Verse 11. See also the 2nd Amendment to the United States Constitution)

In essence, my faith mirrors that of a Pre-Columbian American prophet, who proclaimed, "My soul standeth fast in that liberty in the which God has made us free." (Book of Mormon, Alma, Chapter 61, Verse 9)

Although not born or raised in the LDS faith, I now cannot discern much, if any, difference between my faith and my political views. The origin of my current viewpoint on government is somewhat akin to the old riddle about which came first (the chicken or the egg?). It now is all the same to me.

And so it goes.


*Judge Griffith currently serves as a circuit judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Washington, D.C. (District of Columbia) Circuit.

**"A Mormon Approach to Politics" was published in the Brigham Young University (BYU) Studies Quarterly, Volume 52, Number 1 (2013) .


Note: Former West Virginia Delegate Larry D. Kump (2010-2014, twice served two year terms of office) is a High Priest in the Hedgesville, West Virginia Ward and the Martinsburg, West Virginia Stake. He previously worked as a prison case manager, lobbyist, public administrator, labor relations & ethics expert and advocate, group therapist for sex offenders, and certified arbitrator and mediator. His political issues website is www.LarryKump.us


The Kump Family Castle

The Kump Family Castle,”Schloss Matzen”, in Austria (no foolin’!)

There simply is no truth to the rumor that there is a Duchy of Kumpsylvania in Austria. There’s just no “Mouse that Roared” there.

More about “Schloss Matzen”: One of Europe’s most romantic medieval castles, lies high in the Austrian Tyrol, where the air is crisp and clean. The location is Reith im Alpbachtal, in the Ty…rolean Alps of western Austria, approximately 30 miles/50 km northeast of Innsbruck, about a 90 minute drive or train from Munich or Salzburg (it is less than 5 minutes drive from the nearest train station and Autobahn exit). The castle was first referred to in 1167 and has been privately owned ever since. It’s history also includes highlights such as its Baroque chapel being twice consecrated by bishops who would go on to become Pope. Teddy Roosevelt also visited it at the turn of the century, as a hunting companion of the former owner. The size of the building is approx. 20,000 square feet, including the 6 story tower, on a 2.4 hectare (approx. 6 acre) lot, half-surrounded by an Austrian nationally-protected public park. There are approximately 60 rooms, depending on how you count rooms (there are several long, arcade passageways), including 12 guest rooms appointed with antique furnishing and private bathrooms with modern heating, plumbing and electricity. It is connected to the local sewer system and has its own private spring water supply

Thursday, March 02, 2017

To a Romantic Defender of the Downtrodden, in Memoriam

Although my personal heroes include the great latter-day American prophet Joseph Smith and also my kinsman Patrick Henry, Thomas L. Kane ("The Little Colonel") likewise claims a special place in my heart.

He never met Joseph Smith, but perhaps became Brigham Young's best non "Mormon" friend, and spent much of the rest of his life championing the cause of the struggling Latter-day Saints, beginning after they were forcibly expelled from Nauvoo, Illinois and driven, on bare and bloody feet, out of the United States of America into what then was part of Mexico (now Utah).

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) Patriarch John Smith gave Colonel Kane one of the few Patriarchal Blessings ever bestowed upon a non-member.

Although from a well-respected and politically powerful Pennsylvania family, the Colonel was a sickly and diminutive man.

He believed that he would end his days as a lonely bachelor, but the Patriarch promised him an eventual companion and comforter to be his partner and loving help-mate.

The Colonel found great joy when he later met and married Elizabeth, and later said that his only regret was that John Smith no longer was alive to witness the fulfillment of that promised blessing.

The Patriarch also blessed Thomas that he always would be remembered and beloved by the Saints, and this also has been so.

When Thomas finally passed away and crossed the veil, I believe that both Brigham Young and John Smith were there to gratefully welcome him.

Recommended Reading: "Liberty to the Downtrodden: Thomas L. Kane, Romantic Reformer", by Matthew J. Grow, Yale University Press. 2009.

Please visit www.LarryKump.us, share this message with others, and ask them to go and do likewise!

A Letter to a Friend, about the Importance & Power of Patriarchal Blessings

Dear XXXXXX,

Your recent email regarding your Mom Doris' untimely death was both spiritually and emotionally powerful. It moved me in many ways.

In particular, your mention of both of your parents' Patriarchal Blessings caused me deep reflection about my own Patriarchal Blessing and the events of my life so far.

For example, as we are encouraged to study and learn from the Scriptures, reading and prayerfully pondering them over and over again throughout our lives, we continue to learn and strive to put their eternal principles into effect within our own life.

So it also is that our Patriarchal Blessings are Scripture, written only for us.

When I received my own Patriarchal Blessing on November 29th, 1969, I was deeply awed, but did not understand most of it at the time.

Over the many years since then , my prayerful and frequent study of it has revealed many more things to me and I have been so blessed, as I struggled to apply those understandings to my circumstances of the moment.

One personal example is that my blessing assures me that my Guardian Angel will preserve and extend my life, for purposes known to God, and this truly has been so.

Further, a Patriarchal promise also was made to me that I always would have the material things necessary for life, and this also has been so, even as I often struggled along the way.

Neither of those two blessings came without personal heartaches and wrestlings on my part, but their promise was sure.

And so, just as our minds are enlightened as we continue to prayerfully ponder the Scriptures and strive to learn more from frequent and prayerful Temple participation, so it also is that we are blessed by frequent and prayerful pondering of our Patriarchal Blessing.

There even is one portion of my Patriarchal Blessing that has been mostly (if not completely) fulfilled, but of which my understanding still is not complete.

There is yet another portion which has been fulfilled, I think, but in a way that continues to somewhat perplex me.

Accordingly, as I continue to pray and ponder about the personal scripture of my own Patriarchal Blessing, more understanding and ability is given to me. This happens line upon line and precept upon precept, just as we receive all of our other blessings and understandings from God in our lives.

It only was recently, for instance, that I realized that the absence of one topic in my Patriarchal Blessing was purposeful, and omitted by Our Father in Heaven in order to shield my heart.

Thank you ever so much for reminding and strengthening me in all of this.

Yours in the Gospel,

Larry

Postscript: There's more of this about that @ www.Mormon.org/me/4Y8B

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Adieu Larry!

The death of Larry LaPrise, who died peacefully at age 93, previously escaped the attention of most of the world.
Larry wrote "The Hokey Pokey".
The most traumatic part for his family was getting him into the casket.
They put his left leg in, and then the trouble started....

Visit www.Mormon.org/Me/4Y8B to truly turn yourself around to a marvelous work and a wonder. Ask others to go and do likewise!

Sunday, January 01, 2017

A Great Exercise Program - It Worked for Me!

Begin by standing on a comfortable surface, where you have plenty of room on each side.
With a 5-lb potato sack in each hand, extend your arms straight out from your sides and hold them there as long as you can.
Try to do this for at least a full minute, and then relax.
Each day you'll find that you can hold this position for a little bit longer.
After a couple of weeks, move up to 10-lb potato sacks.
Then try 50-lb. potato sacks, and then eventually try to get to where you can lift a 100-lb potato sack in each hand and hold your arms straight for more than a full minute.
(I'm at this level)
After you gain strength and confidence at that level, put a potato in each of the sacks.
Much better than any potato, go visit www.Mormon.org/Me/4Y8B, and then ask all of your friends to go and do likewise!

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Who Ya Gonna Call?

 
 Recently, the latest new "Ghostbusters" movie prompted me to make an unexpected and supernally better comparison.
 
 At the D.C. Temple yesterday morning, other brothers and sisters were participating with me in vicarious marriage and sealing ordinances.
 
 That then invoked a powerful image in my mind, that we were wearing spiritual "haz-mat" protective clothing.
 
 Indeed and especially in these troubled and perverse times, Latter-day Saints know, "Who you gonna call?"


Monday, June 06, 2016

"What - Me Worry?"



 This image of John Wayne, from an episode of the former "Laugh-In" television show, evoked profound thoughts within me about spiritual strength.

 Also and unlike Alfred E. Neuman ("Mad" magazine: "What - Me Worry?"), Lord Alfred Tennyson contemplated the root strength of the meaning of life in his poem:


Fragment
Flower in the crannied wall,
I pluck you out of the crannies,
I hold you here, root and all, in my hand.
Little flower - but, if I could understand
What you are, root and all, and all in all,
I should know what God and man is.
  Lord Alfred Tennyson


 And, for those who continue to worry about or even doubt the reality of Our Father in Heaven and His mindfulness of each and every one of us, consider further the words of a Pre-Columbian American Prophet:


 "...Thou has had signs enough; will you tempt your God? Will ye say, Show unto me a sign, when you have the testimony of all these thy brethren, and also the holy prophets? The scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea and its motion, yea and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator." (Book of Mormon, Alma, Chapter 30, Verse 44)


 And so it also goes  for me, "What - Me Worry?"

 Not me, and not heroes such as John Wayne, because, even when there are times when our path ahead seems dark, Christ is the author and finisher of our faith.


 For more of this about that, telephone 1-800-438-7557.

Friday, May 06, 2016

On the Way to "Betty's"

 Not so very long ago, I was a guest on Elliot Simon's "Common Sense" radio broadcast from Shepherd University. I also had accepted his invitation to join him earlier that morning for breakfast at the local "Betty's" restaurant. 

 And so it was that morning, while walking through the West Virginia village of Shepherdstown, that an elderly couple crossed my path.

   They were holding hands while they were taking their morning stroll, which prompted me to compliment them on their mutual affection.  

With a twinkle in his eye, the old gentleman smiled, then gently pointed out to me that they held hands to keep each other from stumbling. 

 What a wondrous example they were and are, a life lesson for all of us.

The LDS Church hymns, "Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel" and simply "Do What is Right",also teach us to do this in all of our activities and relationships. 

Postscript: This same principle also is taught in Ecclesiates 4:4-10.

Please share this posting with others, and ask them to go and do likewise!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Kump Seeks Senate

Falling Waters, West Virginia – Former West Virginia Delegate Larry D. Kump (2011-2014, Berkeley-Morgan Counties) announced, “After a strong and steady stream of personal pleadings urged me to return to public office in 2016, and after prolonged pondering and personal prayer, I have made a decision to answer these calls to return to duty. And so, I have agreed to be a candidate for election to the West Virginia State Senate. I also am a candidate for election as a West Virginia delegate to the 2016 Republican national convention.”
“When I first was a candidate for election to the West Virginia House of Delegates in 2010, it was my promise and firm conviction to always stand up and speak out on behalf of taxpayer friendly and less intrusive government. That has not changed, nor will it."
"Seventy-five (75) different Republican and Democrat legislators, in the one hundred (100) member West Virginia House of Delegates, previously cosponsored legislation with me. Even so, I never have been and never will be someone who goes along, just to get along. Simply doing what’s right is the best of all rewards.”
“While continuing to carefully listen to the whole gamut of citizen concerns, my grass-roots championing has been and always will be in compliance with our divinely inspired Constitution, the well-spring of our American Excellence."
"Accordingly, I will continue to strive to protect our individual liberty, personal accountability, and personal empowerment." "The pursuit of these principles of good governance will give us meaningful tax reform, protect retired senior citizens and working Mountaineers, defend our personal right to bear arms, and safeguard our personal property rights and family values."
"Of course, government transparency and accountability also are essential for this to happen.” "Meanwhile, I pledge to continue my own personal and public practice of integrity, accountability, and transparency. As always in elected office and in every other aspect of our lives, character counts.”
Mr. Kump has over forty (40) years of extensive experience and skills in public policy and administration. He also is a kinsman of founding father Patrick Henry and former West Virginia Governor Herman Guy Kump.
West Virginia State Senate District #15 includes all of Hampshire and Morgan counties, most of Mineral county, and half of Berkeley County (excluding the City of Martinsburg and numerous precincts that mostly are east of the city).
Those who wish to encourage and endorse his candidacy should send their contributions, whether modest or magnanimous, to:

“Friends of Larry D. Kump”
P.O. Box 1131
Falling Waters, West Virginia 25419-1131.

For further information:

Read "Larry's Bio", by clicking on the icon at the top of www.LarryKump.com. You also will find additional information about his positions on political principles and issues at that website.
Visit Facebook page (www.facebook.com/LarryDKump).
Contact Larry at (304) 274-3104.

Footnote:
Cash contributions will not be accepted. West Virginia law does not allow campaign contributions from West Virginia public employees (This does not include employee family members). All contributions over $250 must include your home and mailing address, occupation, and the name of your employer. No Primary election contributions over $1,000 per person are allowed.

Please share this message with others, and ask them to go and do likewise!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Recent Reflections of a Latter-day Saint

The following is an edited and redacted copy of a letter I mailed today to an old friend:

XXXXX,

Recent events, regarding Temples and eternal truths, have given me much pause for additional prayerful pondering.

The dedication of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' (LDS Church) newest Temple near Indianapolis, Indiana has been a great joy for me and my Hoosier LDS friends, with whom I lived and served for over eleven years, and who still stay in touch with me.

Also, the recent deaths of LDS Apostles L. Tom Perry and Boyd K. Packer (President of the Quorum of Twelve) reminded me of when they were first called to serve therein, both within the LDS Church and to the world.

As I watched BYUTV and their broadcast of President Packer's funeral, the remarks made by LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson about Brother Packer and eternal principles sunk deeply into my heart.

Those remarks reminded me that, where there is love there also is sadness in parting, but that parting need only be temporary and that our time here only is a tiny part of our lives.

More and more, I am convinced, that far too much of my own life has been spent on issues and events that have no eternal consequence.

Furthermore, that is why, as the years pass by with increasing rapidity, my gratitude grows for the Atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ and His infinite mercy on behalf of me and my many weaknesses.

I am such an ordinary and unremarkable man, but the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ has given me such extraordinary blessings, so much so that I can scarce take it all in, and most certainly don't even begin to comprehend their fullness.


Larry D. Kump

Saturday, May 30, 2015

About the Book of Mormon

Richard,
 Your recent testimony during the Hedgesville, West Virginia High Priests' Group meeting, about the importance of and the personal and family blessings that come from the daily prayerful study of the Book of Mormon was and is a huge deal for me.
 Although frequent personal prayer and daily study of the Bible and other Scriptures long has been my habit (I've even read the Book of Mormon, cover to cover, over fifty times since my youthful convert baptism), I was not reaping the fullness of blessings, that are provided by the daily and prayerful study of the Book of Mormon.
 Notwithstanding numerous appeals from all of our Prophets (especially Ezra Taft Benson) to read the Book of Mormon daily, my study of the other Scriptures and the "Liahona", "BYU Studies", and "Religious Educator" magazines often caused me to neglect the amount of attention I needed to give to the Book of Mormon.
 Your personal testimony called me to repentance, and, since then, I have been diligently striving to at least read one chapter from the Book of Mormon every day, in addition to my other Scripture studies.
 The blessings were immediate and profound.
 Thank you ever so much!
Larry

Saturday, May 02, 2015

At my Statehouse office, in the Wee Hours


March, 2013

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Summer in the State House

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

My Trip to Food Lion

Yesterday, I was at my local Food Lion buying a large bag of Purina dog chow for my loyal friend, Joe Bagadonuts (the Wonder Dog), and was in the check-out line when the lady behind me asked if I had a dog.
 
So, I told her that no, I didn't have a dog, but again was starting the Purina Diet. I added that I probably shouldn't, because I ended up in the hospital the last time I was on this diet. Even so, I'd previously lost 50 pounds, before I awakened in an intensive care hospital ward with tubes coming out of most of my orifices and IVs in both arms.
 
I told her that it was a wonderful weight loss diet. The way that it works is: load your pants pockets with Purina Nuggets and simply eat one or two every time you feel hungry. The food is nutritionally complete so it works well and I was going to try it again.




 (By this time, everyone else in line was listening intently to my story.)


 Horrified, she asked if I ended up in intensive care because of the dog food.

I told her no, I had stopped to pee on a fire hydrant and a car hit me.

Food Lion won't let me shop there anymore.

Monday, March 23, 2015

@ the Ohio

Last Friday, it was my privilege and pleasure to be allowed to hitch an early morning ride with widow Betty June Montgomery and widower Lorin Wall, leaving from the West Virginia State Capitol area and then spending the day with them at the LDS Temple in Columbus, Ohio.

 Betty June was the first full time LDS Sister Missionary from West Virginia, and also was the first full time Temple volunteer worker from West Virginia at the LDS Washington, D.C. Temple. Further, her unselfish and persistent efforts on behalf of her kindred dead is the stuff of legend. Betty June has a current backlog of over 1,000 (one thousand) kindred dead for whom she is continuing to have Temple ordinances completed on their behalf.

Lorin is a descendent of the ill-fated LDS "Martin" handcart company pioneers, and he has been an ordinance worker at the Columbus, Ohio Temple since it first opened. Finally, and of great import for me, Lorin is a former resident of the Cherry Run area in Hedgesville, West Virginia.

And so it goes that, last Friday, I was given the supernal privilege of keeping company with two individuals of infinite worth.

My life has been full of so many blessings, among which has been those who have and continue to be my dear friends.

Larry

Visit www.LarryKump.com for news about my political experiences and opinions.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Another Marvelous Work & a Wonder

 It's been yet another marvelous work and a wonder for me to count my many blessings and then prayerfully express my profound gratitude to God for both the blessings of freedom and faith.
 In addition to my myriad other adventures, my most recent reflections have included the memory of being both unemployed and homeless when I first arrived in West Virginia in 1989.
 At that time, the frenetic focus of my heartfelt personal prayers was to find the means to continue to provide child support for my children and to find just a modest room somewhere to call my own.
 These and other challenges long since have been resolved, frequently testing my faith, but always providing me with an abundance of blessings and personal growth.
 And so it is, as I continue to reflect upon my life's journey, my heart is so full of gratitude to God that I can scarce take it all in.
 Just sayin'.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Trees & Me




 During my morning personal prayers and scripture study,
 I continued to ponder the blessing of an encouraging
 email recently received from Bill Bartholomew.
(Bill is a long time friend and mentor in Hanover,
 Pennsylvania)

 It was then that my attention was directed to the
 December 2014 issues of the "Liahona" and "Ensign" 
magazines, particularly the "Lessons from the Sacred
 Grove" article by the late Elder Martin K. Jensen.

 Brother Jensen's four lessons, about how the 
Sacred Grove provides ecosystem lessons in life for 
each of us, was a refreshing reminder for me.

 This was especially so with his second lesson in
 that article: Trees as well as people require opposition
 in order to develop the full measure of our creation.

 And so it goes, not only for me, but for all of us.
 
Larry D. Kump, High Priest
Hedgesville, West Virginia Ward
Martinsburg, West Virginia Stake

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Hugh Nibley & Black Friday

Hugh Nibley once remarked that, every time he went to the Temple, he learned something new.

And so this also has been true for me, but even more so on Friday, November 28th at the Washington, D. C. Temple.

Instead of competing with commercialized and crazed customers at the malls on that "Black Friday", my alternate experience at the Temple was ever so much better.

This began during the wee hours of that morning, during my drive to the Temple from my Falling Waters, West Virginia home.

Multiple promptings about various personal decisions quickly began to crystallize for me, as I prayed during my solitary journey on the Inter-State highways.

Upon arrival at the Temple and prior to participating in a session of eternal sealings and marriages, my knowledge of and appreciation for Temple symbolism was greatly enhanced by some personal instruction from a kindly Priesthood Patriarch, who was visiting from South Carolina to visit his children in Virginia.

During this session, the grateful presence of those on the other side of the veil, some born in the 1600's, was keenly felt.

Afterwards and while walking out from the Temple, it was my dumbfounded delight to unexpectedly encounter Doris "Emerick" (her previous surname), who lept from her chair and gave me an enthusiastic hug.

Doris quickly led me to meet her youngest son Jason, who I have not seen in almost forty years, and his son Frank, who I met for the first time that day.

Frank was on his way to receiving his Temple Endowment, prior to leaving his family in Pennsylvania to serve a full time mission in California.

It then was my profound privilege and pleasure to relate, to both Jason and Frank, my enduring gratitude for the example of humility and compassion exhibited by my personal hero. That man was an older Frank Emerick, who served as a counselor in multiple presidencies in a tiny LDS Church branch in Cumberland, Maryland. This elder Frank was taken early in life by cancer, and is the grandfather that Jason's son never met.

During my travel back home, my heart was full (almost to bursting) and the personal promptings continued.

But, there still was more to come.

While stopping by my hometown Post Office, to mail a few LDS Church DVD's to non-member friends and associates, the postmaster was curious about those multiple mailings.

When he learned that those DVD's were the 25th Anniversary edition of "Mr. Krueger's Christmas", starring Jimmy Stewart and also including other presentations, his interest and questions intensified.

So, I gave him one of the DVD's as a Christmas gift.

Hugh knew.

You betcha!


Larry D. Kump, High Priest
Hedgesville, West Virginia Ward
Martinsburg, West Virginia Stake

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Miracle of the "David" Tree

(Originally posted 11/27/04)
Far too often, the challenges and heartaches in our lives distract us from that which should be most sacred and special in our focus and priorities.
And so it was for me, when on the morning of September 7th, 2002,
yet another powerful reminder of God's infinite love and power was given to me.
My experience begins when I was a young father and husband, and we lived in Cumberland, Maryland.
In the backyard of our home at 810 Shriver Avenue was a huge and fruitful old "Granny" apple tree.
Early each Spring, it was covered with blossoms, and it thereafter faithfully bore basket upon basket of fruit, so much so that we had trouble putting all of it to good use, or even finding those with whom to share this bounty.
David, my adopted three year old son, loved to climb up into that tree, and I began to call it the "David" tree.
Years passed.
We moved to Indianapolis, Indiana, in the Fall of 1978, and then moved again shortly thereafter, when Carolyn divorced me and our family fell asunder.
By 2002, David had grown into a strapping 28 year old man, with a home of his own, but the "David" tree remained a precious memory of mine.
And so, in honor of that sweet memory, I had planted another "David" Granny apple tree in the side yard of my home in Falling Waters, West Virginia.
Unfortunately the Summer drought of 2002 took its toll, and the tree soon lost its foliage and died.
Then, in early September of that year, my contractor friend, Jesse Schissler III, was working on an addition to my home, and, knowing my attachment to the now forlorn and lifeless tree, offered to transplant it from the site of the addition and away from the construction work to a large plastic tub on my front porch.
Even though I knew the tree was dead, I agreed, if only to help preserve a keepsake of it.
Still, it looked so pathetic and defeated.
Each passing day, as I came and went to and from home, that dried up little skeleton of a tree caught my attention.
Then, one early morning, just before Dawn, as I was preparing to leave for work at the prison, I felt prompted to knell beside it and pray for its restoration, even going so far as to lay my hands on it's brittle branches, and, by the power and authority of the Holy Melchizedek Priesthood, invoking blessings from Heaven upon it.
It only was a few days thereafter, on the morning of Saturday, September 7th, 2002, that I noticed that it was covered in new green sprouts, followed shortly thereafter with a profusion of apple blossoms.
My feelings about all of this is hard to put into words, but perhaps my favorite poem by Lord Alfred Tennyson best sums up the lesson God taught me through this tree about how we never should give up or lose faith in His promises to us (Isaiah 40:31):
"Fragment"
Flower in the crannied wall,
I pluck you out of the crannies.
I hold you here, root and all, in my hand.
Little flower - but if I could understand
What you are, root and all, and all in all,
I should know what God and man is.

Temple Memories (Also published in the "Church News", 4 September 2004, page 16)

(Originally posted in August, 2004)
Very early Saturday morning, August 14th, 2004, it was good to be back at the Washington D.C. LDS Temple again.

Particularly meaningful to me was the endowment ordinances I was performing for a 15th Century Dutchman, since my own ancestry mostly is Dutch and German.

As I thereafter sat quietly praying in the Celestial room of the Temple, memories of my first Temple experience flooded my mind.

In was in 1970, and, after being baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) a year earlier at age 21, I was excited and anxious to receive my Temple washings, annointings, and endowments.

Although there were plans to finally build an LDS Temple East of the Mississippi River in the D.C. area, this was not to happen until 1974, and I couldn't bring myself to wait that long.

But to which Temple should I go and how?

LDS friends in the Cumberland, Maryland area where I was baptized suggested that I could go to Utah and stay with their extended families and friends, but I somehow was reluctant to do that.

One night, as I prayed about what to do about my Temple endowments, the answer suddenly came into my mind: go to the Los Angeles, California Temple and stay with my nonmember paternal grandparents, Edgar and Rhoda Kump.

I first broached this idea to my nonmember parents in Hagerstown,MD, and my Dad agreed that my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins all would be glad to have me visit them.

However, he also cautioned me not to mention my new LDS Church affiliation to them, because it would offend my grandparents' fundamentalist religious affiliation and sensitivities.

And so I followed my Dad's counsel, inviting myself to visit his family, but not mentioning to them the larger purpose of my visit.

However, when "Pap-Pap" met me at the L. A. airport, I felt prompted to tell him of my newfound faith and my desire to go to the Temple.

He became very quiet upon hearing this news, and the drive back to his home seemed to last forever.

Arriving at his housing development, he spoke for the first time since I had bore my testimony to him of my conversion, asking me to go with him on a walk before we finally went home to see "Mam-Maw".

He knocked on every door of every home of that little retirement community within Tustin, California, whereupon, at each door, he stuck out his chest and proudly introduced me as his "Mormon Elder" grandson.

Before we finally went back to his home, he then confided in me that, many years ago, he was converted to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but, because my grandmother refused to change her faith and religious affiliation, he reluctantly opted not to join the LDS Church.

Having said that, he bore his testimony to me, and promised me that I never would regret the choice I had made, and how proud he was of me.

Both my grandparents never did join the Church, and they have long since passed away, but it has been my blessing and privilege to have their vicarious Temple work done on their behalf.

Larry D. Kump, High Priest
Hedgesville, West VirginiaWard
Martinsburg, West Virginia Stake

For more information about the difference between LDS Churches and Temples, and the eternal blessings availiable to you, call 1-888-537-6777 at any hour or day and ask for the free video "Together Forever".

"Dear David and Sarah" (published in the 12/01 "Ensign")

(excerpted from the December, 2001 "Ensign" magazine)
As a divorced Dad, I worried about my two young children-David and Sarah-who lived more than 500 miles away in Hanover, Pennsylvania, from me in Indianapolis, Indiana, and without the Gospel in their home.
I talked with my Bishop, and he suggested that I use my Family Home Evening time each week to write a personal letter to each of my children.
He promised me that faithfulness in this labor of love would provide the key to answering my prayers for my children's well-being and lead them to baptism
I was skeptical, but agreed to follow his counsel.
Years passed, and I continued to write each week, and also to visit them as frequently as possible.
Unfortunately, my children seemed to be moving further and further away from the Gospel.
It was discouraging.
Nonetheless, after David and Sarah became young adults, both of them chose to be baptized-one in Fort Knox, Kentucky at a military installation, and the other a few years later in Martinsburg, West Virginia.
It was a marvelous work and a wonder to me that they gave me the honor of participating in their baptisms.
Excercising faith in the promises of the Lord's chosen representative provided the means to bring forth this blessing on behalf of my children.

-Larry D. Kump
Hedgesvile, West Virginia Ward
Martinsburg, West Virginia Stake

My "Sacred Grove" Home (first posted in 2004)

An email to a friend on the West Coast:
Dave just posted the photo of my home on his website about me. Thank you for emailing that photo to him.
Thank you also for the "Sacred Grove" reference about my home. You spoke of things near and dear to me, but also stirred up memories which had faded away with time. Those memories are precious to me beyond words.
I took my daughter Sarah and son David to the Church "Hill Cumorah" pageant when they were just little tykes. The weather mostly was foul and we watched the pageant in a heavy downpour, but we had a rare gift of sunshine when we visited the "Saced Grove" near Palmyra, NY, where Joseph had his first revelation and visitation from God and his son Jesus Christ, in answer to his heartfelt prayer of which Church to join. The New Testament Scripture that led him there to pray in private (James 1:3-6) to this day is a guiding star in my life.
Anyway, I previously had thought that our visit to Palmyra had made little impression upon my children, and that they were far more entranced by the amusement park that we visited near Canidiqua and the boat ride at Niagara Falls. However, in 1991, when I purchased the three acre lot upon which I was to make my home and Sarah was helping me pound in metal lot boundary markers, she remarked to me that my little section of woods reminded her of the "Sacred Grove".
And so it has been for me, a place of healing, solitude, and prayer. Thank you again for drawing these spiritual threads together for me.

Postcript: In response to several inquiries about my home, the photo is somewhat deceiving, inasmuch it gives the impression that it just is a small cabin, due to the angle of the photograph. My home actually is much larger than it appears in the photograph, and includes four bedrooms and a personal library/office.

More Reflections on my "Sacred Grove" Home

(Originally posted 10/1/06)
It rained heavily during the night.
Earlier this morning, I noticed the rays of Sunshine streaming through the morning mists and woods surrounding my home.
That scene reminded me again so much of Joseph Smith, when that unlettered farmboy knelt in his own "Sacred Grove" and had a revelatory experience that changed the world (and also profoundly affected my life), as previously pointed out to me so many years ago by my daughter Sarah.
For a photo of my wooded homesite, go to www.indynerds.com/larry.
Also, for the same photo, but a better description of my home; scroll down these entries to "My Sacred Grove Home".

My Mentor (also published in the 9/85 "Ensign")

(Originally posted in August 2004)
In 1970, about a year after I joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) in Cumberland, Marland (22 February 1969), I was called by the Mission President to audit the financial records of all the various branches in the Blue Ridge District (covering parts of four States - Maryland, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Virginia).
As a 22 year old convert, I had an intellectual appreciation of the gospel, but had not as yet developed much spiritual depth.
As part of my assignment, I was to meet with President Self, who was both Branch President and Financial Clerk of the tiny Branch in Keyser, West Virginia.
My first impression of him was that he was a good man, but not given to much "book learning".
With all the arrogance of my newly acquired college degree, and knowing the difficulties much more educated people had experienced in maintaining the records in the other branches, I had put off this visit with him until last and worried about what I would find in Keyser.
To my amazement, his ledger, with the crabbed yet ever so carefully made entries, was without flaw of any kind.
Dumbfounded, I asked him if he encountered any difficulties keeping these accounts.
Humbly, he replied that he knew that he didn't have enough education or experience to handle his calling and assignment.
He then went on to admit that the task had been painstakingly difficult at times.
His method simply was to work on the books until he "got stuck".
Then he would take a break to kneel in prayer and ask the Lord for "more help".
Working far into the nights, and with many "breaks", he accomplished the task to which the Lord had called him.
This was not a formal classroom.
President Self was not specifically set apart as my teacher.
Nevertheless, he taught me a great lesson in faith, humility, and how God will help us in all that we are required to do.

Larry D. Kump
Ravenswood (Indianapolis), Indiana

Saturday, July 26, 2014

More Temple Reflections

LDS Scholar Hugh Nibley once pointed out that he learns something new each and every time he goes to the Temple. I thought about that, early this morning at the D.C. Temple, and it seems that also applies to me even more now than previously.

Temple ordinance participation super-charges my appreciation for the difference between the sacred and the profane, as well as strengthening me against all of the slings and arrows of everyday life.

 This morning, my eyes misted and my heart trembled, when I pondered Adam's sacrifice for Eve and the gift of their deliberate choice that made it possible for all of us to be.

 As these promptings continued to cascade through my thoughts, the Atonement of our Savior and God's Plan of Happiness for all of us was and continues to be a wonder and an amazement to me.

 Further, to know that Christ's gift to us of the principle and practice of repentance, gives me new hope every day of my life.

 Just sayin'.  
 
Larry D. Kump



 



Wednesday, June 25, 2014

With a Munchin at the Local Library

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Gunga Din


Received from David "Navy Dave" Woods :


Larry,

In the various channels of life I've trodden, I guess the terns government, military,  academic, & civic cover my record in fewest words.


In the military in general and the navy in particular, we use the phrase "an officer and a gentleman"  to  apply to certain select members we choose to honor for their role in life.

While I'm uncertain of the exact status of some of your prior work, so while "officer" may not apply specifically --  from the many other, & particularly  more recent aspects of your life, I can testify that "gentleman" clearly applies.  

In point of fact, I envy you the judgment, courtesy, tact, & knack of choosing the right expressions to discuss the latest incident in your latter-day (note: pun intended) political career.*

 

 It is a tribute to your strongly held principles that you have, are, & will act as you have always done since I met you...

... I cannot conceive of anyone I've ever know speaking as thoughtfully & apparently truthfully as you did in describing the results of the last primary & indeed the local election itself that followed.

 

 As Kipling's  old story goes: "You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din."


Navy Dave



* See the "Buying Green Bananas" entry at www.LarryKump.com for the "National Review" magazine article  and Delegate Kump's  personal legislative news & views. 



Thursday, June 19, 2014

Buying Green Bananas

What's It Like to Lose an Election to a 17-Year-Old Girl?

by Tim Cavanaugh "National Review" magazine
November 5, 2014

For West Virginia Delegate Larry D. Kump, the 2014 midterm election brought an additional sting beyond the pain that normally comes with being a man of a certain age.

The libertarian-leaning Republican had to watch the person who defeated him in the primaries, 18-year-old Saira Blair, cruise to a commanding victory in the general election. At the time of the primary, Blair was all of 17, not yet old enough to vote.

But when National Review caught up with the 66-year-old Kump Wednesday, he was magnanimous.

The Mountain State, he noted, has a citizen legislature, and after serving a few terms Kump is placid about leaving office when his current term ends.

The former case manager at a maximum-security prison notes that he was already retired when he entered the West Virginia House of Delegates.

"She won fair and square," Kump tells NRO of his primary opponent, "and she won real big in the general election."

So what went wrong?

Kump speculates that party bigwigs may have been displeased by his votes against a law that allows police in West Virginia to collect blood samples from drivers stopped for DUI and against new regulations on pet ownership that were adopted after the Great Zanesville Zoo Massacre.

A member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Kump specifies, "I am a constitutional libertarian, not a libertine libertarian."

"I've been a very independent legislator with a strong libertarian streak," Kump says. "I voted principle rather than party. It was a low-turnout primary, and the party regulars wanted somebody more loyal to party.

In the primary, the Democrat had no opposition, so many independents voted in the Republican primary." Although Blair is the daughter of a state senator whose father helped with her run, Kump gave the young politician credit for her campaign.

"She worked the numbers real well," Kump says. "She ran a real strong, and positive, campaign."

Kump says he has been contacted about future political efforts, but he is still assessing his options. "I don't even buy green bananas," he says. "I don't know what I'll be doing in 2016."

Visit www.LarryKump.com for other legislative news

Monday, June 16, 2014

First Voter

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Children of Abraham

Elder Russell M. Nelson's recent and inspiring article on "The Book of Mormon, the Gathering of Israel, and the Second Coming" (July 2014 issues of the "Liahona" and "Ensign" magazines) also reminded me of the other children of Abraham, to which the Abrahamic covenant continues to apply.
Jacob (Israel) was only one of Abraham's descendents, and we sometimes forget the multitude of other peoples and nations who are heir to the blessings of Abraham.

Elder Larry D. Kump, High Priest
Hedgesville, West Virginia Ward
Martinsburg, West Virginia Stake

Saturday, June 07, 2014

What Now?

 In the aftermath of the recent West Virginia Primary elections, lots of friends and associates have asked me, "What now?".

Truly, it has been both a sacrifice as well as a privilege to serve as a citizen legislator in the West Virginia House of Delegates.

It also will continue to be my duty and responsibility to serve the remainder of my term of office, throughout the rest of 2014.

And, after then?

Who knows?

The opportunities to continue to serve are too numerous to count.

However, it simply is not true that I plan to organize a "Boy Band" and go on a world tour.

Just sayin'.

Larry
www.LarryKump.com

 

2014 Primary Election Reflections

 Although I did not win the West Virginia May 13th Primary election, the selfless efforts of that League of Extraordinary Citizens, who volunteered and voted for me and the principles of Liberty, were and are a marvelous work and a wonder.



 Their passionate pursuit of our God given Constitutional rights of individual liberty, personal accountability, and personal empowerment are all about that which should matter most to Mountaineers and our families.



 These principles still are and always will be sacred, so let us "not go gentle into that good night."



 May God bless you all real good.





Larry
www.LarryKump.com
 

Friday, June 06, 2014

About Ed Coleman:

 My next door neighbor, Ed Coleman, suddenly and unexpectedly passed away yesterday, and I'm not sure how I feel about that.

Ed was a crusty old coot, but that does not begin to explain or excuse why it never even crossed my mind to share the news of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ with him.

 

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Voices


Often, when elected and wanna-be elected officials advocate their position(s), they profess that they merely are responding to the voices of their constituents.
 
Which therein begs the question: Which constituent voices should matter the most?

My simple solution to this cipher is to carefully consider the merits and consequences of all constituent concerns, and then also be diligent to uphold the Oath of Office, sworn to by all elected officials. 

This Oath of Office is to understand, uphold, and defend the principles and provisions of our Constitution.

This sacred vow is made, not only to ourselves and our citizens, but also to God.

 Truly, doesn't our Constitution mandate that the first principles and practices of our government are the pursuit of individual liberty, personal accountability, and personal empowerment (i.e., the "Pursuit of Happiness")?

 After all, is it not us but our Constitution that is the well-spring of our unique American Excellence?
 
Just sayin'.


 Yours for better governance,  
 

West Virginia Delegate Larry D. Kump



Please share this message with others and visit www.LarryKump.com for more legislative news and views. 
 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The "Widow's Mite"

 During the recently concluded  2014 session of the West Virginia State Legislature, I joined seventy-four other Delegates in sponsoring various and sundry legislative proposals on a number of issues.

 

 This session, in particular, was one of conscientious concern about our individual and collective Mountaineer well-being, that occasionally even careened into contentious calumny.

 

 The principles of individual liberty, personal accountability and personal empowerment were uppermost in my thoughts then, as well as now.

 

 During this legislative session and as the filing deadline approached for the 2014 election cycle, the multitude of candidates vying for voter approval in various government offices also were a matter of deep reflection for me.

 

 Thinking about my own bid for re-election and doing my best to resist the clamor from some politicos, who were urging me to "fudge" my political principles and pander to the lowest common denominator, an envelope arrived in the mail.

 

 Enclosed therein was a personal check for two dollars on behalf of my re-election, including a personal note from a lady in my district.

 

 She apologized for the amount of her  contribution, explaining that it was "all that she could afford" from her limited budget but wanting to do all she could do to support me and my efforts.

 

 This "Widow's Mite" from this lady of most infinite worth is, and always will be, my personal "Pearl of Great Price".


 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A Christmas Greeting & Reminder

None of us would have a fullness of liberties and blessings without the "American Excellance" we especially enjoy as citizens of the United States of America.

However, as our world changes all around us, there are fewer folks who believe in faith based justice, compassion, and respect for human dignity.

Further, the continued erosion of family and faith even has prompted some lost souls to join gangs for the counterfeit feeling of belonging to something that will give them purpose, security, and a sense of belonging.

Far too many of us do not understand or even believe that our founding fathers knew that religion always should be a foundational principle of our beliefs and behavior. These fathers of our liberty knew that morality does not exist without faith.

They testified that faith was and is an essential ingredient of good governance and human happiness.

George Washington, in his Farewell Address, warned us that, "...Reason and experience both forbids us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle...It is substantially true that virtue or morality is a necessary spring to popular government."

Regarding our individual rights and liberty, Harold B. Lee, former President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), taught that, "...we seek to build the individual and we must not mistake the scaffolding of the soul."

All of us should and must seek out and be true to the principles of our faith.

We must dare to be different from those who lack faith (and hope).

During this Christmas holiday season and especially throughout our lives, let us be bold in our testimony of Jesus Christ as the central focus of ourselves and our sacred national legacy and patrimony.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Shared with Old Friends

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Thank you all ever so much for the gracious and warm welcome you shared with me when I arrived midmorning yesterday at your LDS Meetinghouse doorstep in LaVale, Maryland.

Visiting and worshipping with you was a very big deal for me.

It just has been too many years (and years) since my last visit.

Baptized on February 22nd, 1969, as a truly starving student at Frostburg State College in Western Maryland, yours then was the Frostburg-Cumberland Branch of the Blue Ridge Mission District of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church).

Years later (1978), my wife Carolyn and children David & Sarah moved from 810 Shriver Avenue in Cumberland to Indianapolis, Indiana.

Even so, my memories of the time spent with you remain most sweet and precious to me.

In point of fact, it was your fellowship that sustained and strengthened my faith when, as a college student, my family and friends rejected and disdained me and my newfound faith.

Further and also during that time, it was your dinner table generosity and hospitality that helped sustain me, often when I simply did not even know where or when would be my next meal.

Moreover, there have been many more kindnesses bestowed upon me and mine from so many of you in the years thereafter.

The years speed by much more quickly now for me, and I do not know when, if ever, I may pass your way again.

So, adieu, at least for now, and may God bless you all real good.

Brother Kump

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Truth through Music

While watching a little TV on Sunday instead of going to church, I watched a Church in Atlanta honoring one of its senior pastors who had been retired many years. He was 92 at that time and I wondered why the Church even bothered to
ask the old gentleman to preach at that age. After a warm welcome, introduction of this speaker, and as the applause quieted down he rose from his high back chair and walked slowly, with great effort and a sliding gate to the podium.
Without a note or written paper of any kind he placed both hands on the pulpit to steady himself and then quietly and slowly he began to speak....
"When I was asked to come here today and talk to you, your pastor asked me to tell you what was the greatest lesson ever learned in my 50 odd years of preaching. I thought about it for a few days and boiled it down to just one thing that made the
most difference in my life and sustained me through all my trials. The one thing that I could always rely on when tears and heart break and pain and fear and sorrow paralyzed me... The only thing that would comfort was this verse.........

"Jesus loves me this I know.
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong,
We are weak but He is strong.....
Yes, Jesus loves me...
The Bible tells me so."

When he finished, the church was quiet. You actually could hear his footsteps as he shuffled back to his chair. I don't believe I will ever forget it. A pastor once stated, "I always noticed that it was the adults who chose the children's hymn 'Jesus Loves Me' (for the children of course) during a hymn sing, and it was the adults who sang the loudest because I could see they knew it the best."

Here's yet another version:

Jesus loves me, this I know,
Though my hair is white as snow
Though my sight is growing dim,
Still He bids me trust in Him.

(CHORUS)

YES, JESUS LOVES ME.. YES, JESUS LOVES ME..
YES, JESUS LOVES ME FOR THE BIBLE TELLS ME SO.

Though my steps are oh, so slow,
With my hand in His I'll go
On through life, let come what may,
He'll be there to lead the way.

(CHORUS)

When the nights are dark and long,
In my heart He puts a song.
Telling me in words so clear,
"Have no fear, for I am near."

(CHORUS)

When my work on earth is done,
And life's victories have been won.
He will take me home above,
Then I'll understand His love

(CHORUS)

I love Jesus, does He know?
Have I ever told Him so?
Jesus loves to hear me say,
That I love Him every day.

(CHORUS)

Monday, January 14, 2013

Just Imagine...

In preparing my remarks for yesterday's LDS Church Sacrament meeting (worship service)in the Hedgesville, West Virginia Ward (congregation), my personal prayer and concern was to be prompted by the Holy Ghost to share principles that would best touch the hearts and help others.
Accordingly, just imagine my reaction, after the conclusion of the worship service, when a child handed me the following note on behalf of her parent:

"Brother Kump,
Thank you for sharing your beautiful testimony with us today. You have been the answer to my prayers. Thank you for all that you do. (Name redacted, to preserve the privacy of the note's author)"

Postscript: The foundation of my remarks was Doctrine & Covenants Section 1, Verse 23 and Section 64, Verse 33.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

It's a Miracle!


The photographer made even me look good. Kudos to Martin Valent, official photographer for the West Virginia Legislature.

Friday, December 07, 2012

My Aborted Temple Trip


  It always has been a challenge for me to be able to get away and make the long drive from my home to the Temple of  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) in Washington, D.C..

 And so it was that it particularly pleased me to be happily driving there in the wee hours of a recent weekday morning.

 Then, my world exploded all around me.

 A reckless and speeding motorist suddenly and unexpectedly rear-ended me, causing me to briefly lose control of my car, before finally coming to a stop on the side of the highway.

 The damage to my car was total, and all four of the vehicle doors were crushed shut, but I finally was able to crawl over the front seats and climb out through the rear door window on the passenger side.

 When the State Trooper arrived on the collision scene, he was surprised that I had been able to get out of the mangled wreck and stand upright.

 Meanwhile, my immediate attention was focused on the frustration from being stymied from getting to the Temple.

 It wasn't until some moments later that I became aware that another, unseen presence  was  gently whispering to me.

 It only was then that I began to realize that the Hand of Providence had been watching over and preserving me.

 This realization became more fully apparent to me when I finally was able to get to the Temple the following week.

 Although I am not where I have been and not where I am going, I am grateful to be on my way.

 This is the process of life and more.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Islamic Issue

Having previously studied Islam and their Quran, I wonder and worry about those who so maliciously malign all those of that faith.

We should take great care to avoid conflating the Islamic faith of approximately 1.5 billion people with the twisted agenda of some revolutionary extremists, who pervert and subvert that faith into their raison d'etre.

While not Christian, most Muslims also are God fearing and sincere in their beliefs. Defaming their faith plays into the very hands of terrorist evil-doers.

After  all, how would we react if Christianity was judged on the basis of David Koresh's child abuse or the Reverend Jim Jones' kool-aid drinkers?


Postscript: The purpose of this entry solely was to caution against stereotyping any group of people. I did not make any distinctions regarding the validity of the various sects of the Islamic (or any other) faith, nor was it my purpose to suggest any weakening of support for American Excellence (as embodied by our Constitution) or our national interests. Furthermore, this entry made absolutely no suggestions regarding our Middle Eastern foreign policy.

Note: See other entries on this issue.

A Chaplain on Islam

As a retired military Chaplain let me say an "amen" to Mr. Kump's remarks about Islam. One of the fine lines of distinction that I was always concerned about was precisely the point made here (see previous entries).

In matters of faith the primary call to the believer is to know his or her faith and to incorporate that faith into his or her life.

The primary focus of our faith should lie in ourselves, not in rushing to condemn others, who may not hold the same belief set that we do.

A tricky proposition at best.

And yet, if one really studies the history of o ur country and asks the question, "What caused many of our ancestors to leave their old homeland, family, and friends and undertake a risky journey across many a stormy sea?", you will find in a surprisingly large number of cases the answer was "Religious Intolerance."

Grace and Peace.
C.R.

More on the Islamic Issue

Dear Dorothy,

Thank you.

I've gotten disagreement from a few about my earlier email on this issue.

The point that I was trying to make was about our own behavior and stereotypings, not the behavior and faith of the Muslims.

However, some instead have responded to me by cataloging what they feel is wrong with the Muslim faith and culture.

Larry

--------------------------------------------------------------
Dear Larry

I agree with you. I have a friend who is Muslim, who also was very supportive of my faith. In fact she invited some of us to dinner---I shared a copy of the "Ensign" magazine with her once that educated us about the Muslim religion.

It is the extremists of any organization that are just that --extreme.....!

Dorothy


Note: See other entries on this issue.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Irony (not Wrinkly)

The High Priests of the Charleston, West Virginia 2nd Ward (LDS Congregation) hosted a well attended social and grub-fest last Saturday night down here near the State Capitol.

A spry 98 year old brother was there and busily circulating among us.

The irony of it was that I was told that he was inactive in the Church until age 92.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

To a Friend, about Faith

Dear XXXXXXX,

After already finishing a complete re-reading of the Book of Mormon recently this year and then studying all of the Bible Dictionary, Maps, and Pearl of Great Price; I wasn't exactly sure where next to continue with my morning Scripture studies.

My first thought was to perhaps re-read again the New and Old Testament of the King James Bible, but couldn't decide with which one to start.

As I sat in my recliner this morning and thought about that, as well about an email conversation yesterday with a friend, I finally and simply started studying the Doctrine & Covenants again.

Section 1 (the Lord's own Preface, and the only Scripture containing God's own preface), renewed my hope and refreshed my heart.

He promised strength and hope to "the weak and the simple", and if that doesn't describe me, then what does?

He also reaffirmed His forgiveness for us.

Then, in Section 2 and comparing it for the first time, line by line and word by word, with Malachi in the Old Testament, I found information therein that previously was oblivious to me. It also comforted me a great deal in regard to my participation in the Temple.

I feel much better now.

Larry

Friday, August 17, 2012

A Prospective Principle of Power

While continuing to struggle with my own inadequacies and frustrated with my constant stumbling, it helped me this morning when I picked up the September issue of the "Liahona" and read the article by Elder D. Todd Christofferson, "Building Faith in Christ".

His words seemed to leap out of the page at me, wherein he pointed out that "the baptismal covenant applies prospectively as well as retrospectively: each time we truly repent, that covenant is reinvigorated and we once again qualify for a remission of sins.".

He went on to say that he was "speaking of faith not only as a principle of action but also as a principle of power" and reminded me again that "out of weakness" all of us can be "made strong".

And so it goes that, once again, I am reminded and strengthened to keep on keeping on.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

What's in Your Wallet?

A new pastor was visiting in the homes of his parishioners.

At one house it seemed obvious that someone was at home, but no answer came to his repeated knocks at the door.

Accordingly, he then took one of his calling cards out of his wallet, wrote 'Revelation 3:20' on the back of it, and stuck it in the door.

When the offering was processed the following Sunday, he found that his card had been returned.

Added to it was the scripture, 'Genesis 3:10.'

Revelation 3:20 begins 'Behold, I stand at the door and knock.'

Genesis 3:10 reads, 'I heard your voice in the garden and I was afraid for I was naked.'

Remember: 'A cheerful heart is good medicine' (Proverbs 17:22)

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

What Shakespeare Failed to Tell Us

Pondering how we strain and struggle with our individual failings, wanting to be so much better on behalf of our loved ones, the words of Shakespeare recently came into my mind.

"My stars shine darkly over me; the malignancy of my fate might, perhaps, distemper yours..." (from "Twelfth Night").

And yet, we also are given the sweet assurance that  "...the Lord God will help me, therefore shall I not be confounded..." (Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 7:7).

"Therefore, cheer up your hearts..." (Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 10:23).

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Where's the Pretzels?

While I was traveling this morning on InterState 270 to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) Temple near Washington, D.C., traffic was snarled and stopped.

A huge tractor-trailer truck, loaded with over 70,000 gallons of Budweiser beer, had crashed and overturned.

There were suds everywhere, but no pretzels.

Postscript: Upon hearing this news report, my friend Bud was excited about the possibilities, but beer does not make Bud wiser.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Just Another Wise Guy

Larry,

 I found your recent post card very inspiring.

 It's obvious that even God sees the things I see, and He even had Moroni write it down to confirm it (Moroni: Chapter 7, Verse 5).

 You are more of an inspiration and help than you could ever imagine.

 But, at least you are wise enough to be modest about it.

 Never change.



Roy

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Providing Pause to Ponder

After Church services last Sunday, one of the brothers was talking with me in the foyer, just making friendly conversation.

He seemed to me to be so sad, frail, and elderly.

Accordingly, it then surprised me to discover that he and I are of about the same age, with me being slightly the elder.

Then, during my annual medical check-up this morning, Dr. Shranatan told me that my good health is most remarkable, especially considering my previous medical challenges, and that it actually has improved in recent years. He went on to say that my health now even is better than many younger men.

All of which gives me much pause to ponder the miracles that God has so lovingly wrought throughout my life, and very much more so than just concerning my physical health.

Friday, July 06, 2012

The Voices in my Head (and Heart)

The August issue of the "Liahona" magazine (www.Liahona.lds.org) arrived at my home today.

I immediately turned to my favorite magazine department, "Latter-day Saint Voices".

Each of the four department articles spoke directly to my heart about God's guidance, His love, the power of the Scriptures, and the power of prayerful fasting and Priesthood blessings.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Other Stuff I do at the WV State Capitol

Yesterday, at the local "Mountain Mission" thrift store, I discovered a wonderful maple colonial rocking chair, in pristine shape and for only $30.

It looks great in my legislative apartment.

It will feel even greater when I find a cushion for it.

All of this eclectic elegance will be further enhanced with the lava lamp that a friend has promised to give to me.

Now, if I just can find that lighted and neon bordered wall clock...


Friday, June 15, 2012

Is Atlas Shrugging?

Reflecting yesterday, on our nation's "Flag Day", it grieved me to consider the panderings of a handful of partizan zealots, from both major political parties, who use the anonymous local newspaper reader forums ("Journal Junction" & "Mail Call") to distort and manipulate issues on behalf of their political parties and candidates.

Do they not realize that they are contributing to the disillusionment and disgust of the people in our entire political process and Constitutional system of governance, bought so dearly by patriots' blood?

Are our forefathers turning over in their graves?

Is *Atlas shrugging?


* "Atlas Shrugged" is a political novel by Ayn Rand.


Visit http://www.larrykump.us/ for other poltical news and views.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Lawn Mower Accident

I got a haircut (and then some) at the Award Beauty School in Hagerstown (Maryland) on Tuesday.

I've used their student services since 1989 and never had a bad experience...until this Tuesday.

Somehow, the student who was cutting my hair got it into her head that I wanted a crew cut, and when I looked up and saw what she was doing, the damage already had been done. (Don't look, Ethel!)

It is even more traumatic for me, because my haircut reminds me of exactly how I previously looked, many years ago, when my hair just was starting to grow back after some really nasty cancer chemotherapy.

It continues to make me shudder when I look in the mirror, but then that must be the reaction that others normally have when they look at me anyway.

Still, it's creepy, but I'll just tell folks that it's from a lawn mower accident.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Kumpdillylicious

Dear XXXXX,

 Last night, while out teaching the gospel with our local LDS Missionary Elders, both of whom are age twenty, I pointed out to them that I am over three times their age.

 Of course, I also am over three times as "Kumpdillylicious" as both of them put together.

Larry

Postscript: I may be older than dirt, but dirt is just mud with all of the water squeezed out of it. And, I have a T-Shirt to prove it ("Old Guys Rule").