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.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

What a difference a year makes!




It was one year ago today (11 August 2018), when my beloved Cheryl left her hometown of Cleveland and became my blushing bride.😍
Cheryl and I were introduced by her cousin Kathie Crouse (a.k.a. "Footsie"), from Buffalo, West Virginia, but that's another (long) story.😉
Cheryl was and remains "a marvelous work and a wonder" (Bible Old Testament, Book of Isaiah, Chapter 29, Verse 14) in my life.🙏
Soon thereafter and as an early Christmas gift for Cheryl, Bodacious Bob (the Wonder Dog) also became a beloved member of our new family.😏
More recently, Cheryl's Mother Louise Hess, Fifteen year old Nephew Joe Hess, Jr., and eighteen month old Niece Lou-Lou Hess also relocated from Cleveland and became another addition to our family here in Falling Waters, West Virginia. 🥰
I have been blessed so abundantly during this past year, that I can scarce take it all in. 😊
What a difference a year makes!

Visit www.Mormon.org/Me/4Y8B for more about how our faith makes us complete in our love.


Thursday, July 25, 2019

"Wow!" says it all!


This is "A.J", the beautiful young lady, who is holding a bouquet of roses and standing between my beloved wife Cheryl and me in the Falling Waters, West Virginia "Dollar General" store.
Last Saturday evening, when Cheryl was in the store and fainted from illness, this remarkable Dollar General employee and lady of most infinite worth, immediately sprang into action on Cheryl's behalf.
She took incredible and loving care of Cheryl, until the paramedics arrived and rushed Cheryl to the local hospital.
Cheryl and I today watched the store's security videos of the incident. It was more than scary.
A.J. truly saved Cheryl's life, and my tongue cannot begin to express my supernal gratitude.
May God bless A.J. real good!😍
www.LarryKump.us
Postscriptum: For those of you in the Falling Waters area, please stop by the Dollar General store and tell A. J. and her store manager that A.J.'s a lady of most infinite worth. 🤗

Sunday, April 07, 2019

Wise Counsel

"Believe!
Love!
Do!"
-Dieter F. Uchtdorf, modern day Apostle
May God bless you all real good! 😍

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Why I Voted "No!"

 My votes on the West Virginia House of Delegates Concurrent Resolutions #33 and #61 have been difficult, even heart wrenching.

 Truly, we, as a nation and as a society, are in an existential crisis - our national unity of principal and Constitutional clarity is coming apart at the seams.

 Furthermore, I sincerely sympathize and support the passionate proposals (i. e., term limits, fiscal restraints, & jurisdictional limitations) of those who advocate convening a Convention of the States on our Constitution.

  I also believe that it is our Constitution that is the well spring of our "American Excellence", even though it now is hanging by a thread.

 In my personal experience in life, I have been a student of our Constitution, ever since I was a teenage boy, and I love it dearly.

 In point of fact, our Constitution is deeply rooted in my simple faith, so much so that I can scarce tell the difference between the two.

 That's why this issue of convening a Convention of the States on our Constitution has brought me to my knees in deep personal prayer.

 Indeed, I too share the sincere concerns of many, who also are among my constituents and dear friends, some of whom so passionately pursue and propose a Constitutional Convention of the States.

 In that vein, I have prayerfully pondered this issue for a number of years, and have had many discussions with constitutional scholars and lawyers, constituents, friends, and many others.

 Accordingly, I simply do not believe, not for a second, that our country's woes and worries are in any way the fault of our Constitution.

 Instead, I firmly believe that those who so relentlessly twist and thwart our constitutional rights and responsibilities are the true culprits.

 Moreover, it is my understanding that there has been no Supreme Court, or even lower court ruling, regarding exactly how the procedures and scope of a Convention of the States on our Constitution actually and lawfully should play out. That might be because it's unlikely that the courts even would have any jurisdiction over these issues.

 I further believe that God has a plan for us, and that plan does not include convening a Convention of the States on our Constitution.

 Simply put: the idea of playing "Russian Roulette" with our Constitution gives me the galloping heebie-jeebies.

 Therefore, I have a moral duty to vote against proposing a Convention of the State on our Constitution, and encourage all to go and do likewise.

 May God bless you all real good!

Updated Note: House Concurrent Resolution # 33 (term limits, fiscal restraints, and jurisdictional limitations) failed by a vote of 40 yeas to 56 nays). House Concurrent Resolution # 61 (term limits only) passed by a vote of 55 yeas and 42 nays.

Postscripted Update: House Concurrent Resolution #61 (which passed by 55-42), subsequently failed to be voted upon and enacted by the West Virginia State Senate,

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

My Dad, Jimmy Stewart, & "the Greatest Generation".



My Dad, Willis "Woody" Kump, was a World War II Navy veteran, and my middle name, "Douglas", was given to me to honor my Dad's best friend and best man at Mom's and Dad's wedding.
Douglas Kauffman was a World War II Navy pilot.
Truly, they were the greatest generation.
www.LarryKump.us

Read on for more about Jimmy Stewart and that greatest generation.

For all the fans of “It’s A Wonderful Life” and Jimmy Stewart:
Just months after winning his 1941 Academy Award for best actor in “The Philadelphia Story,” Jimmy Stewart, one of the best-known actors of the day, left Hollywood and joined the US Army. He was the first big-name movie star to enlist in World War II.
An accomplished private pilot, the 33-year-old Hollywood icon became a US Army Air Force aviator, earning his 2nd Lieutenant commission in early 1942. With his celebrity status and huge popularity with the American public, he was assigned to starring in recruiting films, attending rallies, and training younger pilots.
Stewart, however, wasn’t satisfied. He wanted to fly combat missions in Europe, not spend time in a stateside training command. By 1944, frustrated and feeling the war was passing him by, he asked his commanding officer to transfer him to a unit deploying to Europe. His request was reluctantly granted.
Stewart, now a Captain, was sent to England, where he spent the next 18 months flying B-24 Liberator bombers over Germany. Throughout his time overseas, the US Army Air Corps' top brass had tried to keep the popular movie star from flying over enemy territory. But Stewart would hear nothing of it.
Determined to lead by example, he bucked the system, assigning himself to every combat mission he could. By the end of the war he was one of the most respected and decorated pilots in his unit.
But his wartime service came at a high personal price.
In the final months of WWII he was grounded for being “flak happy,” today called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
When he returned to the US in August 1945, Stewart was a changed man. He had lost so much weight that he looked sickly. He rarely slept, and when he did he had nightmares of planes exploding and men falling through the air screaming (in one mission alone his unit had lost 13 planes and 130 men, most of whom he knew personally).
He was depressed, couldn’t focus, and refused to talk to anyone about his war experiences. His acting career was all but over.
As one of Stewart's biographers put it, "Every decision he made [during the war] was going to preserve life or cost lives. He took back to Hollywood all the stress that he had built up.”
In 1946 he got his break. He took the role of George Bailey, the suicidal father in “It’s a Wonderful Life.” The rest is history.
Actors and crew of the set realized that in many of the disturbing scenes of George Bailey unraveling in front of his family, Stewart wasn’t acting. His PTSD was being captured on filmed for potentially millions to see.
But despite Stewart's inner turmoil, making the movie was therapeutic for the combat veteran. He would go on to become one of the most accomplished and loved actors in American history.
When asked in 1941 why he wanted to leave his acting career to fly combat missions over Nazi Germany, he said, "This country's conscience is bigger than all the studios in Hollywood put together, and the time will come when we'll have to fight.”
This weekend, as many of us watch the classic Christmas film, “It’s A Wonderful Life,” it’s also a fitting time to remember the sacrifices of Jimmy Stewart and all the men who gave up so much to serve their country during wartime. We will always remember you!
Postscript:
While fighting in Europe, Stewart's Oscar statue was proudly displayed in his father’s Pennsylvania hardware store. Throughout his life, the beloved actor always said his father, a World War I veteran, was the person who had made the biggest impact on him.
Jimmy Stewart was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1985 and died in 1997 at the age of 89.
Written by Ned Forney

Monday, December 10, 2018

Taking the Oath of Office

It made me feel both pleased and proud, to have my wife Cheryl join me and hold the Scriptures, as the West Virginia House of Delegates Clerk Steve Harrison administered the Oath of Office to me,  on 10 December 2018, as a Delegate representing District #59 (Berkeley-Morgan counties)🤗
www.LarryKump.us

Thursday, November 22, 2018

A Thanksgiving Day of Gratitude & Prayer

Upon awakening this morning, my heart was so full of joy from God's infinite love and blessings, which blessings absolutely include my wondrous wife Cheryl.🤗

As we knelt in prayer together, we thanked Him profusely for His love and for the infinite atonement of His only begotten son in the flesh and our Savior, Jesus Christ.

We also asked that He bless others, so many of whom are struggling and dealing with tremendous heartache and pain.

Shortly thereafter, I received an email from my friend Tricia Strader, asking for prayers on behalf of her ailing Mom, as well as for herself and her Dad.

And so, Cheryl and I immediately knelt in prayer again, on behalf of the Strader family, and we ask others to go and do likewise.

While further reflecting about all of this, I then read today's edition of "The Journal" newspaper, and decided to also share part of their Thanksgiving Day editorial with you :

"...Most people on this planet cannot even dream of the liberties and opportunities we take for granted here. Many of them would fall down on their knees in gratitude if they could only make it to our shores.
Today, then let us be grateful for our many blessings. Let us recognize that living in the United States of America is one of them,
Happy Thanksgiving."

And so, as we kneel in grateful prayer for God's blessings and our land of liberty, would you also include Tricia Strader and her family in your prayers? 🤔

May God bless you all real good! 😍

www.LarryKump.us

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Another view from our front porch

This is yet another view from our front porch, a photograph taken this morning by my beloved wife Cheryl.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

From my wife Cheryl

I came home to a beautiful surprise. 😮
Yesterday was our one month wedding anniversary, and my loving husband had something beautiful waiting for me.🤗
I am so very blessed, with the most loving, amazing man. 😍
-Cheryl Lynn Kump

Sunday, September 09, 2018

Scenes from Mom's 90th Birthday Bash


The top photo is of my brother David,  my sister Linda, me, and my Mom (left to right) at Mom's 90th birthday bash at the "B104" restaurant, in Greencastle, Pennsylvania. Dad, Willis "Woody" Theodore Kump, passed away in 2008. Note: Mom's a little tipsy (from the wine she drank).

The bottom photo is at the same location and includes all of Mom's extended family (that's me and my wife Cheryl on the left) and includes many of Mom's grandchildren and greatgrandchildren, as well as the spouses of all of her children. We all were pointing at Mom's friend "Bob" (who actually wasn't there at all).
 All of this took place on Saturday, evening, September 8th, 2018.

Monday, September 03, 2018

The View from our Front Porch

This is a photograph that my wife Cheryl took this morning from our home's front porch.
I love our "sacred grove" homestead, but not nearly as much as I love my wife Cheryl. 

Friday, August 31, 2018

A Marvelous Work & a Wonder!

Isaiah Chapter 29, Verse 14 ("a marvelous work and a wonder") surely described that glorious day when Cheryl became my wife and partner, on Saturday, August 11th, 2018.
My tongue cannot begin to tell how much she has blessed me and has continued to bless me since then.

Monday, August 27, 2018

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

Thursday, June 14, 2018

This morning's entry from my personal journal...

"This morning, my mind and heart were heavily weighed down, with the remorseful realization and reality of my myriad personal inadequacies and failures.

Nevertheless, prayerful pondering of the Scriptures, about the supernal blessing of the infinite Atonement of Jesus Christ, not only for all mankind but also for me, lifted up my heart and renewed my hope.

He knows me personally.

He loves me, despite all of my sins and imperfections.

His hand always is stretched out to lift me up, no matter how many times I stumble and fall.

Truly, Jesus Christ is the author and finisher of my faith."

Visit www.Mormon.org/Me/4Y8B for more of this about that.

Saturday, June 09, 2018

This is "a marvelous work and a wonder"! (Isaiah 29:14)

Cheryl Lynn Hess-Saliba and Larry D. Kump have proudly announced their upcoming wedding, which they describe as "a marvelous work and a wonder"! (Isaiah 29:14)

Cheryl lives in Westlake, Ohio. She is the daughter of Louise Frazier Hess and the late Callus Darrell Hess, and is employed by Kohl's Department Stores. Cheryl also is the mother of Jeanette, Christine, Samantha, and Sabrina.

Larry lives in Falling Waters, West Virginia and is the son of Betty Ann Steinbach Kump and the late Willis "Woody" Theodore Kump. He previously has served as an elected Delegate in the West Virginia House of Delegates (District #59, Berkeley-Morgan Counties, 2010-2014).Larry once again is an active candidate for election to that office, and is the father of David and Sarah.

An August, 2018 wedding is being planned, as a private ceremony, at the Hedgesville, West Virginia Ward (congregation) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in Spring Mills, West Virginia.

The newlyweds will be living in Falling Waters, West Virginia.

In lieu of wedding gifts, well wishers instead are asked to make election contributions to:

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

Saturday, October 28, 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 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


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

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

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

About God & Governance

After wondering and worrying about those who seek our election validation and votes in 2018, especially after my previous Facebook page posts about the issues of good governance, a prayerful poem by Meade McGuire came into my thoughts:

"Father, where shall I work today?"

And my love flowed warm and free.

Then He pointed out a tiny spot

And said, "Tend that for me".

I answered quickly, "Oh no; not that!

Why, no one would ever see,

No matter how well my work was done;

Not that little place for me."

And the word He spake, it was not stern;

He answered me tenderly:

"Ah, little one, search that heart of thine,

Art thou working for them or for me?

Nazareth was a little place,

And so was Galilee."

And so, as we ponder the candidates and issues during the 2018 election season, let us do so prayerfully, that Providence may chart our choices.

And may God bless you all real good!

Larry D. Kump,

Falling Waters, West Virginia

Visit the other posts on this website, and also my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/LarryDKump) for more of this about that.

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

Friday, September 01, 2017

A Letter to the LDS "Liahona" Magazine

 This morning and while continuing to prayerfully plead about an issue of lifetime heartache, I paused to do my morning scripture study.
 After reading a chapter in Alma within the Book of Mormon, the prompting quickly came to me to pick up the October 2017 issue of the "Liahona" magazine, which had arrived in my mailbox the previous day.
 At first, I idly thumbed through it, looking for the hidden picture of the Liahona image, but my attention quickly was drawn to the "Finding Help after Nancy's Death" article.
 Wondering a bit why this topic drew my interest,  the testimony by Darren Wilcox, that "the power the Savior extends to us to succor us in our trials", then led me to read the sidebar article by Elder Dallin H. Oaks, "Strengthened by Jesus Christ".
 Those profound insights reminded me yet again that, "...Our Savior's Atonement does more than assure us of immortality by a universal resurrection and give us the opportunity to be cleansed from sin by repentance and baptism. His Atonement also provides the opportunity to call upon Him who has experienced all of our mortal infirmities to give us the strength to bear the burdens of mortality. He knows of our anguish, and He is there for us" (emphasis added).
 And so, once again and always, the Savior has answered my prayers and strengthened me.

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

For more about how I found my faith in Christ, see the "My Best Buddy, Who Changed My Life" post at this website. For more of my personal journey of faith, also visit www.Mormon.org/Me.4Y8B

Thursday, July 13, 2017

"Misery is Optional"

During a Sunday morning LDS (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) Fast & Testimony meeting in Hagerstown, Maryland on June 5th, 2005, Brother Francis Vancour quoted a homily that I had previously heard but since forgotten:
"Trials and tribulations are mandatory. Misery is optional."
That wise counsel struck a particular poignant chord within me as I reflected anew about my own life's history.
How grateful I am for the multitude of blessings that have been created for me as a direct result of my personal trials and tribulations.
Truly, the truths and principles of the restored gospel have brought me much understanding, appreciation, and joy in my journey through life.
Following the testimony of Brother Vancour, Sister Autumn Betts came to the pulpit to announce that "we are pregnant again.", and then tearfully expressed her joy for her family, and especially her worthy and faithful husband, who loves her and their children with all his heart.
She went on to express her profound gratitude for her marriage to such a humble Priesthood holder, who always is available to bless her and their children, by means of the Priesthood and also his own eternal love for them.
Shortly thereafter, Sister Sandy White arose and pointed out to us how the movie, "Spiderman II", reminded her of the importance of being true to what we know is true and the trust laid upon us.
As I further reflected upon all of this, I remembered how much I have been blessed whenever I strove to be true to my faith and my Priesthood ordination, despite otherwise distressing and discouraging circumstances.
For example, more than once in my life, my financial affairs have been in such peril that I despaired of ever making ends meet or even to provide a roof over my head,
However, by always paying my tithes and offerings to the Lord as my first budget priority, "the windows of Heaven" were opened for me, so much so that I could scarce receive it all. (King James Bible: Old Testament, Malachi, Chapter 3, Verse 10)
Also, as I have striven to live the health code and other commandments for Latter-day Saints, God's promise to us that "the destroying angel shall pass by..." has been fulfilled in my life many times over. (LDS Church Doctrine & Covenants: Section 89, Verse 21)
And so it is, that none of us are exempt from life's trials and tribulations, but the restored gospel strengthens us to better cope with and overcome them, so that we find joy in our journeys.

Friday, July 07, 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!

Tuesday, July 04, 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!

Monday, July 03, 2017

Please tell my Mother!

Something especially wonderful recently happened to me at the Washington, D. C. Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

There was a small multi-racial/ethnic group of us performing vicarious marriages and family sealings for others, some of whom had waited for over 200 years for this Priesthood blessing.

These Priesthood blessings (sealings) provide the means whereby husbands, wives, and children continue together in their marital and family relationships, not only here and now, but throughout Eternity.

Sister Salazar was participating in these sacred ordinances with us, and was pregnant with her next child.

Then, as she and her husband were at the altar, the realization came into my mind that her forthcoming baby's spirit also was there in the sealing room with us.

This child was ever so grateful and proud of soon being "Born under the Covenant" to this humble sister and brother, as their previous Priesthood Temple marriage sealing also would cover their yet unborn child.

The prompting from this spirit child grew stronger and stronger, and, as the sacred work progressed, I basked in this realization.

Finally, and with more than a little impatience, a small voice softly pleaded with me, "Please tell my Mother!".

And so I did!

Visit www.Mormon.org/Me/4Y8B for more about me and how I was led to my faith.