True Stuff that I Made Up

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Saturday, May 07, 2011

About John Franklin Kump

My Great Great Grandfather John Franklin Kump was born in or near Chambersburg, in Franklin County, Pennsylvania

His father David gave him the middle name of Franklin because of his birth in that county.

 (David S. Kump was the Master Mason who supervised the building of the huge stone bridge that still stands today and spans the Susquehanna River into the Pennsylvania State Capitol of Harrisburg. Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery were baptized in the same river, albeit far upstream)

John was a young boy when the Confederate Army under Robert E. Lee captured Chambersburg, on the way to the battle of Gettysburg, and threatened to burn it to the ground if the town leaders did not pay a ransom to supply Lee's troops. Chambersburg refused and Lee had the town burned to the ground, except for a square block around the Masonic Temple (both Lee as well as Joseph Smith were Masons).

John was caught by the confederate troops and pressed into service by them to gather firewood for the camp cooks. Each day he went farther out and took longer, explaining that firewood was harder to find. Finally, he just kept on going and escaped.

He had a beautiful tenor voice and often was asked to sing "The Old Rugged Cross", solo and without musical instrumental back-up, at family gatherings.

He wore a beard all of his adult life, except once when his beloved wife once told him that she thought he would look better without it. He didn't say a word, but then shaved it off the next day while he was a work as a surprise for his wife.

When he came home, she was in the kitchen and he crept up behind her and nuzzled her neck. Startled and knowing that her husband was not clean shaven, she screamed and struck him as she turned.

Weeping, she then made him promise never to shave off his beard again.

Years later, as an extremely elderly widower, he was dying in a Chambersburg hospital bed (why is another story, related to his Germanic heritage of stubbornness). His beard was stained from a lifetime of tobacco chewing, and the nurse told him that it must be shaved off. Weeping, he told the nurse that he had promised his wife that he never again would shave and never had broken that promise.

And so it was that that sweet nurse spent hours gently washing his beard until it was snow white.

John died soon afterwards.

I previously have had his and all my other kindred dead's LDS Temple ordinances and sealings completed.
Many times, especially in the Temple, I have felt the presence of my kindred dead and that they have been reaching out to help remove stumbling blocks in my path.

And so it goes.


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