True Stuff that I Made Up

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

Learning from Malachi

It was about 1969, after I turned 21 and joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), over the objections of my family (who earlier forbade me, as a young teenager, to join).
I was a student at Frostburg State College in Western Maryland and literally starving.
My tuition and books were paid for by scholarships, but I was on my own to otherwise provide for myself.
(I weighed about 125 pounds when I finally graduated).
I earned a small wage working as a student employee in the college audio-visual department, but it took almost all of that income to pay the rent for my little two room, second floor apartment on Maple Street in Frostburg, MD.
My monthly paycheck was in my hand, but the rent was due, leaving me almost nothing left to buy groceries, let alone pay tithing.
The situation was grim, but, deciding that paying an honest tithing was my first priority, I mailed my tithing plus a small extra amount for a "fast offering" to our local church branch president, and then also mailed my next month's rent payment.
That left me with only a couple of dollars for the coming month.
I was more than a little worried.
I was frantic.
Somehow, it never entered my mind to ask others for help, and I really believed that my financial plight wasn't known to anyone else.
However, in retrospect, I realize that the other members of our little Frostburg-Cumberland LDS Branch had figured out my situation.
Every week at church, someone always was giving me a casserole or mason jar full of stew to take home with me.
There also were many many invitations to visit others and share their family dinners.
Often, those were my only good meals.
The Emericks, Muellers, Bakers, Brants, Farrs, Olsens, and a host of other LDS families took me under their wings.
(Libby Ross and Janice Landis also conspired with others to organize and provide a wonderful blessing for me, but that's another story)
These wonderful folks helped feed a poor starving boy, but they also helped me learn and apply gospel principles to my life.
And, so it was for me that day, after I paid my tithing and rent, that I sat on my bed, with my head in my hands, wondering how I would survive.
Finally, I got up and decided to try to find a little something to eat.
The cupboard almost was bare, with only one can of tomato soup
in it.
The refrigerator only contained a pitcher of ice-water and a few slices of bread.
So, I heated the soup, dipped the bread in it, and wondered about when I would eat my next meal.
That was when I heard the postman come and pick up my tithing and rent mail.
Without anticipation of any good news, I went to the downstairs mailbox to see if any letters had arrived for me.
To my amazement, there was a hefty check waiting for me from the Internal Revenue Service, who had discovered an error on my previously filed tax return and issued me an additional refund.
I think not.
(See the Old Testament of the Holy Bible: Malachi, Chapter 3, Verse 10)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Kump is a grand and gentle man.

10:54 AM  
Anonymous Peg Gross said...

Although I am not a Latter-day Saint, your experience deeply touched my heart.

11:07 AM  

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