Sunday, June 17, 2012

Lydia Frances Kemp 2

James and Mary Francis Kemp came across the plains with the pioneers and were sent to Wellsville,  Cache County, Utah to settle. James and Mary Francis Kemp came from England, crossed the plains and were sent to Wellsville to make their home. On 12 Oct 1863 Lydia Francis was born. She had many other brothers and sisters but I want to tell you about her.  When she was 16 her father became disgruntled about some of the things in the Church and he felt that Joseph Smith's son should have been made President of the Church after all. He decided to leave the Church and go to Denver Colorado to join the Reorganized Church, but Lydia did not want to go with him. She had a strong testimony of the Gospel and refused to leave it. Because of this her father told her that he would disown her and she would never see them again.  However, she would not leave the Church, so was left with nothing, not even a place to stay and the family moved to Denver, where her father became a prominent figure in the Reorganized Church.  She never saw her family again until just a few years before her death when some of her remaining brothers and sisters came to see her but they were never members of the church.
Lydia did housework in order to support herself until she met a young convert from England and they fell in love and were married.   About 1 year later this young man who was working on their farm drank some ditch water and contacted typhoid fever and died on Oct 7 just one week before their 1st child was born. Lydia had no family to turn to and she was so lonely that she went to the cemetery every night and prayed that when her baby was born, she and the baby would die because she did not know how she would ever support them.  One night her husband appeared to her and reassured her that she would be taken care of, that her mission was not yet fulfilled.  She received peace  in her soul and soon after the baby was born went to care for the two children of John Packham who had lost his wife in child birth.  They were latter married and raised a large family. She had children who were all very active in the church and left a posterity of fine latter day saints. 
Lydia was called to be the First Relief Society President of the Acequia Ward and served in that position for five years. She moved back to Utah and in 1929 returned for a visit.  A special tribute was paid her for her faithful service to the Church.
In about 1935 she came to visit again and I, Arlene Radmall, great granddaughter was to sing "That Silver Haired Daddy of Mine." I got scared in the middle of it and started to cry. She patted my head and told me it was all right.  My Dad didn't think so, but I got away without finishing it and learned that grandmothers are very understanding.
She was my great grandmother and I am so very thankful to her for the decision she made which gave me the opportunity of growing up in the Church.  We must remember that the decisions we make will affect our posterity.
As told to Arlene Radmall Thompson by her mother Lea Stevenson Radmall in 1980 (compiled two versions)

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