Funeral for Kumen Jones -- June, 1942
Prayer by Patriarch Benjamin D. Black:
Kind and Heavenly Father, we are very grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and we thank Thee that we have been permitted to assemble here at this time. We pray that we may enjoy the spirit of peace for we have come here, Our Father, to pay respect and tribute to Brother Kumen Jones, one of Thy sons who has departed from this life. He has stood for peace. We thank Thee, Our Father that we have had the privilege of associating here in this life with Brother Jones, that he was firm in this Gospel of Jesus Christ, and that he will come forth in the Resurrection of the Just and receive a crown of glory in the Celestial Kingdom.
We thank Thee that we can look forward to meeting him if we are faithful. We pray, Our Father, that Thou will enable us to live the Gospel, be faithful and true, and do those things that will bring our lives to conform with Thy work that Thou hast established in the earth for the salvation of Thy children. We pray for those that are called to speak on this occasion, that the Holy Ghost may rest upon them that they will say those things that will be a blessing and a comfort to his family and to all that are here assembled, that we may be edified and blessed that we may live here with a greater determination that we will carry on and keep Thy commandments and order our lives according to Thy will our Father in Heaven.
We thank Thee for our associates and all that are here today to attend this funeral. We pray that we may have Thy Spirit that we may listen attentively and that we may hear those things that will be for our good and blessing and that everything may work together for our blessing and good today. We commit ourselves into Thy hands, and we pray that Thou will comfort the family. Let Thy Spirit be with them in rich abundance. May everything that is done here be done under the influence and inspiration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Unto this end we dedicate ourselves and our lives unto Thee, Our Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Song: The Morning Breaks
Remarks by President J.B. Harris:
I think this audience is a wonderful compliment to the respect of Kumen Jones, and I am sure he must be happy to realize, as I am sure he can, what fine things are being contributed here this afternoon. I feel very dependent on your sympathy, brothers and sisters. I do not feel-I never feel adequate on occasions of this kind or to discharge such wonderful responsibilities. But I do know and I testify that the Lord is near, and if we are worthy of His blessings, He usually comes to our aid. I trust this afternoon I might have the Spirit of the Gospel and the spirit of this occasion that what I might say will be an expression of the things I feel and of the wonderful life that we are here to appreciate this afternoon.
Brother Jones had such a varied experience in life, he had such a great variety of responsibilities in life that it would be impossible to discuss them and adequately portray them from any point of view.
I came here about 35 years ago and fortunately it happened that I fell under his influence a great deal. He was distantly related to my wife, and because of that he took us in charge and did everything he could to make life pleasant for us. He took us into his home, provided for us, and showed his respect and love in a thousand ways, and made life very very pleasant. I have always felt as though I were a part of his family. I would feel much more at home this afternoon if I were sitting among those who are the family.
Brother Jones was a prince among men. I see no serious wrong in admitting that Brother Jones probably had his weaknesses. I have never seen anybody that has not had. So we are assuming that he probably had a few weaknesses. But we didn't come here to speak of men's weaknesses. We came here to talk of the fine things they have done. Unfortunately there are some people among us who feel that people might be stretching the truth a little when they are honestly telling the fine things they know about the life and character of an individual. I think it would be wrong if we didn't tell the things we know of people because there is no question but what we could say the weaknesses and bad things that almost anybody possesses. I think Kumen Jones was a great man among men. A very great man in many many respects, and I shall always have the deepest regard and love for the many fine examples and things he did to establish my confidence in him.
Kumen Jones was a religious man. I have known him as a counselor to the Bishop, and I have known him as a Bishop, and I have known him for years as a Patriarch, and I have seen him put in every kind of situation that almost any man would be expected to meet in life. I know he discharged every obligation correctly. He was a very very generous man. I have been obliged to go after donations and money contributions for every kind of cause and until very recently practically all of our progress depended upon personal contributions. Practically all of our roads and all of our improvements came from personal contributions. We got very little help from the State and other sources until the last few years. I remember on many many occasions, I went to Kumen Jones for help and never never has he turned us down. He had a little pet saying all his own. No one else could have said it just like he did. He said, "Yes, I will chip in a little." He did his full share and more, very much more than the average run of people. I testify that that is one of the finest tests of human character when men are willing to dig down in their pockets to help a cause. They know what they are doing shows that they have sympathy to the point that they realize that it is necessary that these things be. He was a man who sympathized very greatly with people in public office. He never misunderstood them as far as I know. I was mayor of this community for a good many years. We had lots of difficulties. We were always in need of help, always in need of money, but it seemed to me that we could go to him for sympathy and we always got it. We could go to him for advice and we always got advice filled with wisdom. Not only that, but he was willing to follow it up as I said a moment ago with his money. People with good sense and judgment will appreciate what was done and why it was done. There was one occasion when Kumen Jones wrote out a check for $5000.00 and saved the interests of this community and the people of this town. It was many years before we could pay it back. I could not begin to enumerate the fine things he has done in life but long long after a lot of these other things have faded out we will still have to remember his wonderful interest in the community and sacrifice he was willing to make that others might enjoy the benefits and conveniences of civilization. I will always appreciate and always respect him for it.
He understood motivating causes. There are too many of us willing to pass judgment without understanding why the other fellow does the things he does. One wonderful thing about Kumen Jones was that he did not pass judgment. As far as we know Kumen Jones never did pass judgment in a hurry. He never did that thing. I want to tell you brothers and sisters that if we follow that as a rule in life, we are willing to study the motives of other men. We will have surer judgments to pass on men than we sometimes pass on them. Jesus understood the motives of men. He understood the causes why men did things as they did and then if he had a judgment to pass he passed it righteously.
I think possibly the finest thing I could say of Kumen Jones was his wonderful, and there are many many of them, was his attitude toward the Indians. I sometimes think that even his family and a lot of his intimate friends failed to understand his motives. They failed to understand his wonderful regard and love for the Indian. I don't believe that they gave him as much encouragement as they should have done because they failed to appreciate his stand on that thing. I think that we should appreciate his sympathy and feelings toward them.
I have been in his home several times when characters like Jim Joe have come in and they have just reveled in each other's company. He was one of the most sincere friends the Indians ever had. He was as genuine a friend of the Indians that ever lived. I would not be a bit surprised if he would go right on from where he is today and continue to be the great missionary that he has always been.
A good many years ago I was invited to go with Brother Jones and a few other men out on the Indian Reservation to talk to some of the road men from Arizona. We got out there in the evening and got settled down and were having a good visit when all of a sudden I saw an old Navajo. Something about him attracted my attention and I decided I would just sit there and see what happened. That old fellow came down and I saw another man rush out and the two men met. They put their arms around each other. As far as I know they kissed each other and were very affectionate. After the excitement died down I said, "Kumen, what is the big idea?" and he turned to me and just like this said, "Brother Harris, black or white God never made a finer man than that. He is one of the finest men I have ever known." He went on to tell me the story. When Kumen and a group of men were sent to explore before Bluff was settled, they traveled practically the complete reservation from the south side to the north side. Pretty near to where Bluff now stands, Kumen told me this story. Kumen said that when they had got up there they found that something had been overlooked and that somebody had to go back about 60 miles to get that thing or to attend to the particular business whatever it was. They drew lots and the lot fell to him. He was 22 years of age at the time. They gave him a packhorse and a saddle horse. The Navajos were on a rampage and were very bitter and had very bitter feelings against the whites, generally. He rode all day long and just at dark came to a large hogan. A young couple's. He got down in the sand and made signs and so on. They finally decided to take care of his horses. The man took them off over the ridge. He was gone a long time and Kumen began to worry about it. He was afraid he was going to lose his horses and everything else. That little squaw cooked up what was fine meal to her. He wished many times after that he had eaten it because he knew it was perfectly all right. She did the very best she could. It was just his finicky way. They went to bed and in the night he got to thinking about it. He got out as noiselessly as he possibly could. He could trail the horses in the sand. He went over there about a mile. Those horses were in the finest feed he had ever seen on a reservation. He made up his mind he was foolish and crept back to bed without disturbing them. In the morning just at the break of day that man was standing over his bed waking him up. And over here the horses were ready to go. Their friendship lasted and they exchanged presents from that day to this. He told me, "Without a doubt there is no man on earth that I respect more than that man." I have been visibly affected all my life when I realize the wonderful love he had for those people. It is too bad he was not able to do the things he wanted to do for those people. I would like to say that Kumen Jones was quite a letter writing man. He came to me one day and told me, "When I am gone I want you people to gather up my writings and have them published into a book." Two years ago or more I went to him and got a lot of his notes and turned them over to Albert Lyman. He had dozens and dozens of beautiful stories and experiences and I hope that the day will some soon when we can have access to those fine things that he wrote.
Kumen Jones was a man that was generous, as I said a moment ago. He was generous with his friends and his family. I never saw two people get along finer than Aunt Mary and Uncle Kumen. It was a blessing to live with them and be around them. Aunt Mary was a shrewd businesswoman. Kumen was kind of a second partner and they worked well together. People respected them most highly. I appreciate what Aunt Mary and Aunt Mamie have done to make life happy for him. I want his folks to know that I sympathize with them. I am not saying that it is a sad thing that he has to go. I think it is a wonderfully fine thing. I believe we ought to feel that way. I pray that God will sustain and bless us and help us to magnify the fine things we have seen in his life. I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Violin duet by Joe Hunt and Hyrum Porter, accompanied by Mamie Adams: "I Shall Meet Him Face to Face."
Remarks by Sister Carolyn Redd:
I can say that I feel it a great honor to be asked to say a few words today by the Jones family at the funeral of their father and of such a wonderful man, as I know Uncle Kumen to be. I have always found Uncle Kumen to be a man that everyone could trust, and they had confidence in him. I pray that the Lord will bless me this afternoon that I may be able to say just a few words in expression of my feeling and appreciation for this fine man. We have always lived quite close to this dear family and been well acquainted with them, and I have learned to love Uncle Kumen and his family. As I grew older, my love and confidence increased. We know that everybody loved Uncle Kumen and his family.
He was always kind, not only to the Indians, as Brother Harris has said, but to everyone that came into his home. There is not many men that had the faith and confidence of the authorities as Uncle Kumen had. No matter what he was asked to do by them he would do it without questioning their word. I think one of the hardest missions that Uncle Kumen was ever called to do was the settlement of San Juan. He said that he would not turn back until he had accomplished the thing that he knew he had been sent to accomplish, and that was to make peace with the Indians and help civilize them. We know that he was always so friendly with the Indians that they were always thoughtful of him and would come and see him at times when he was sick. I have seen Uncle Kumen face about one hundred Indians who were on the warpath painted as warriors and come to their door with the intentions of killing them. They could have done it because there were only about three men in the town at that time. Through his faith he went out there and talked to them and told them that he had not been sent there to do them any harm but to do them good. After talking with them for just a few hours they made peace with the Indians. They followed out the instructions of Brother Brigham Young when he said, "It is better to feed the Indians than it is to fight them." After that it seemed that the Indians had more confidence and respect for Uncle Kumen than they had ever had before.
He was counselor to my father for 25 years and later became Bishop of the Ward. I am thankful that I was brought up under his influence, because I know that that had a wonderful impression on me, the way he did. I have never appreciated the Gospel more than I have at the present time. It means more to me and the beautiful teachings that our Gospel has revealed to us on occasions of this kind when we are called upon to lay our loved ones aside. How beautiful it is to think that we will meet our loved ones on the other side. It won't be long until we do meet them and we will appreciate them a great deal more than we have ever done before. The Resurrection is certainly a reality to me. I have never dreaded it and it seems like as I grow older I am more impressed with it and feel that when we go to the other side we will certainly meet those that we have loved here so much. I read a little poem not long ago and it goes like this:
I seemith such a way to me
Across that strange country the beyond
For it has grown to be the home
Of those whom I'm so fond
And as for me there is not death
It is just crossing with abated breath
That little strip of sea
To meet our loved ones waiting on the shore
More precious, more beautiful than before.
I pray that the Lord will help each one of us to live our lives as we know that Brother Kumen has lived his that when we go to the other side we will meet our loved ones there as Uncle Kumen is doing now meeting his loved ones. How happy we will all be. I pray that the Lord will bless us to all be worthy and live the Gospel. In the name of Jesus, Amen.
Solo by Ernest Adams, accompanied by Mamie Adams:
"My Faith In Thee"
What tho' the sky be dark and drear though this heart of mine is sad,
Have I not faith to trust in Thee, Thy love to make me glad
What though unrest be in my soul, I know that Thou art near
Thou promised Thou wouldst watch o'er me What then have I to fear?
When comes temptation in my path when mistakes I find are mine
On bended knee I'll come to Thee Thy power to guide is Thine,
When sorrows bow my head I know a comfort Thou will lend
My faith is all in all to me T'will last until the end.
My faith in Thee
My faith in Thee
Shall never change
No matter what betide
T'is like a star in Heaven above
To ease my pain
My steps to guide
When heartaches come
When hope is dimmed
When clouds appear
And dreary is my day
I know with me Thy love wilt be
My faith in Thee shall last alway.
Remarks by Brother Walter C. Lyman
My dear brothers and sisters on occasions of this kind we are brought face to face with the realities of life. I suppose that all people sometimes in their life ask themselves this question, "What does life mean, where did we come from and why are we here on this earth; and what are the conditions if there are such, on the other side when we pass from this life into the Spirit World?" I suppose nearly all of us think of those things and ask those questions of ourselves. I think that gatherings of this kind among the Latter Day Saints are possibly the most profitable of all of our assemblies together. It brings home to us the fact that sooner or later we who are living now will have to pass through this change that we call death, and leave our bodies for a time in Mother Earth and pass on into the Spirit World where our friends and loved ones have passed on before us.
I do not care to say very much in regard to Uncle Kumen or his life. I can say this much though that I have known Uncle Kumen for 62 years. Others have known him longer than that of course but I became acquainted with him when we first came through the Hole in the Rock and became located at Bluff. In all these 62 years I have never heard anyone voice a complaint against Uncle Kumen, nor have I heard of anything in his life that wasn't exemplary and as it should be. I think that is a wonderful thing to know that he has lived as long as he has and had the reputation among his brothers and his sisters and those who know him best of being almost without fault.
It is not altogether a sorrowful condition that we meet on occasions of this kind, where men have lived and made a record in life. It seems to me that this should be one of the happiest times in our life.
It is reported that when the Titanic was sinking, that great ship that went down with so many people, one of the men standing on deck said to those around him, "I think that death is the most wonderful adventure there is in life." Especially for a man who had a little knowledge of our preexistent state and those who have some belief in a hereafter it would be a wonderful adventure. There are so many things that the world does not know about and they are wondering about. To me that is not the great adventure of life, that is the end of a great adventure. When we hear and understand the Gospel and make up our minds to live it and obey it that to me is the great adventure. It offers us the most wonderful thing that the mind of man or woman can conceive of. We have the opportunity for just a few short years that we have of living here on this earth, of earning eternal life and exaltation with every wish and desire of our hearts, our bodies resurrected and made beautiful and glorious and eternal wealth and health and youth and everything that we can conceive of, to bring a happiness to our mind through all eternity. That is the adventure that the Gospel offers us. Brother Jones has taken advantage of that and lived so that when he looks over his record as he can do and is probably doing at this time and sees how near he came to filling the mission that was assigned to him before he came to the earth, I am sure that he will be a very happy personage, and it will not be many years until Uncle Kumen will again receive this body that he has used as his house for 86 years, I understand, or about that. And he has made a very proper and a wise use of it, and in the Resurrection which will not be very far in the future for men like Brother Jones, his body will be purified and cleansed and made glorious beyond the power of mortal man to describe or to picture to us.
I could feel very happy my brothers and sisters, if I could know that when I come to lay this body down or this house that I have lived in, that I could feel as sure of my salvation and exaltation and the happy condition that Brother Jones is occupying, I certainly should be a very happy man.
There are quite a number of us sitting here in this room this afternoon. Sooner or later all of us will have to meet this condition that Uncle Kumen has met at this time. I wonder if we really appreciate the wonderful beauty and the glory of the opportunity that these few years that we have been here in mortality mean to us, how much we can gain in the few years that we live here. We can gain salvation and exaltation and eternal life, or we can do just the opposite. Just a few years and our whole eternal life without end depends largely on just the few years that we spend here in mortality. I think we should value this probation that we have, the privilege of living here and proving to our Father in Heaven and to our brothers and sisters that we are willing to keep the commandments of our Heavenly Father so that when we come to pass to the other side there will be no regret, that we can go to our Father in Heaven and say that we have done the best that we knew how, that we have filled the mission assigned to us and did as we had promised to do with the very best of our ability.
My brothers and sisters, I do not feel like taking up more of the time. I pray that our Heavenly Father may comfort the family and relatives of Uncle Kumen. Cause that they may realize what a wonderful thing it is to have such a man as him to be their father and companion in their journey through life. I feel thankful for the privilege that I have had of associating with him and the influence that his example has had on my life. May the Lord bless us that we may all realize and understand the importance of the few years that are left to us to remain here in mortality, I ask in the name of Jesus, Amen.
Remarks by Bishop John D. Rogers:
I can endorse all the fine things that have been said about Brother Jones this afternoon. I remember Brother Jones as my first Deacon's Supervisor. When I was in the Deacon's Quorum down at Bluff, Brother Jones always met with the boys. We had a lesson, and we received our assignments for the week and for the following Sunday. I remember Brother Jones through all my boyhood days. When I was growing up, Brother Jones was always on the job. He always served with the boys and the Relief Society and the Mutual Improvement Association and the Sunday School and everything that was going on in the community. It seemed that Brother Jones was always a part of it, always concerned, always taking part and always stood for the right. I have known him all my life and that is the kind of man I have always known him to be. Since he has been too old to be very active, he has always been concerned about everything that is going on in San Juan County. He has been concerned about, studied about it, and tried to do his part. Above all else it has always seemed to me that he has had a strong testimony of the Gospel. He has always exercised that testimony. He has exercised the Priesthood all the days of his life. He has used it to bless people and through it all he has blessed and helped himself. I am sure that he has worked out his salvation and we may profit by his example.
I pray the Lord that he will bless each one of us that we may profit by his example, that we may follow in his footsteps and do some of the fine things that he has done, that we may accomplish some of the good things that he has accomplished in his life. I pray in the name of Jesus, Amen.
After the singing and the benediction these services will be concluded in the cemetery.
Prayer by Brother Guy Hurst:
Our Father who art in heaven, we a few of Thy children have come before Thee at the close of these services that have been held for one of Thy noble men that Thou hast seen fit to take from among us. We pray unto Thee, Father in Heaven, that we may follow the example that he has set up, and that we may always appreciate those examples that he has given to us and appreciate his life. And we do appreciate, Father in Heaven, having been acquainted with this good man, and we pray to Thee that Thou will bless us and help us that we may be able to serve Thee and keep Thy commandments. Bless us now and during the remainder of these services and on the way to the cemetery that nothing of an evil nature will befall us. We ask in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Prayer at the cemetery by Bishop McConkie:
Our Father which art in Heaven we Thy children gather here today to pray beside this one of Thy servants Thou hast called home. We feel grateful, our Father in Heaven, for the long life of this Thy servant, for the example of courage and faith and desire to serve Thee that he has manifested, that while in his youth he obeyed the call of Thy servant to settle this country.
We pray our Father in Heaven that Thou will bless us that are left, that we may have the same kind of testimony that he had, that we may be strong in bearing it to all the world. We at this time, Our Father in Heaven, dedicate this remains and this spot of ground as a resting place and we pray that it may be protected and not disturbed until Thou shall call him forth on the morning of the Resurrection, when with this body he will continue his work. We pray for his children that Thou will bless them, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.