Sunday, January 24, 2016

Nauvoo Week 6 (18-24 January 2016)

Nauvoo Week 6 (18-24 January 2016)

Another great week in Nauvoo!  It was mentioned last update that we would be attending a Temple Missionary Report Meeting and then would have a Fireside Speaker (Dr. Craig Dunn).  It was entitled “Nauvoo Temple-Then and Now.”  It was a great presentation-I will include my notes at the end of the update; we will be traveling with him in April for a couple of days through Missouri on a Church Tour.  We will be visiting Adam-Ondi-Ahman, Far West, Richmond, Liberty Jail, Independence and the Kansas City Temple.  Then again with him on a tour called “Martyrdom Trail Tour” which follows the life of the Prophet Joseph/Hyrum going from Nauvoo to Carthage.  There is so much Church history here it is unbelievable.

On Monday, we served in the Temple (Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday), it was pretty busy with people who had the day off.  We then drove to Burlington, IA to look at their Mall, see a movie and eat dinner.  We found a very good Mexican Restaurant.

Tuesday night and Wednesday we saw some measurable snow and cold temperatures.  Received about 2-3 inches; Nauvoo is incredible covered with snow.  This week we started our new schedule; our full day at the Temple is now on Thursday instead of Wednesday.  We had a special Temple Missionary Meeting on Thursday between shifts where Elder (Dr.) Chapman spoke about our health giving many tips for eating, exercise, etc.

Both Friday and Saturday were fairly busy in the morning with patrons.  There were a lot of people desiring Sealings to be completed, so it was a long day of speaking…but very spiritual.  We had some people from our assigned Branch (Mt. Pleasant) come to complete some Sealings: Sisters Sanchez & Argueta-(Branch President’s mother and mother-in-law) and Brother & Sister Kearns.

Sunday both us of had the opportunity to speak in Sacrament Meeting in the Mt. Pleasant Branch.  There was a great spirit and all seemed to go well.

Weather permitting, we hope to travel to visit Scott, Malia, Corban and ? this next weekend following our shift Saturday morning in the Temple.  We would spend the weekend and return to Nauvoo on Tuesday prior to our night shift.  They are a little more than 220 miles north of us (about 4.5 hours by Google).

Here is a capsulized version of the Nauvoo-Then and Now presentation that we attend last Sunday evening.
Nauvoo Temple…Then and Now
Brother Dunn

In 1839 the Prophet Joseph was given two priorities, 1) buy land for the Temple which he did on credit and 2) Get the saints better from all of their sicknesses which he did by rising from his sick bed and going to all the people and giving them blessings.  Elijah Fordam was miraculously healed by Joseph (he later designed, created and built the baptismal font and oxen upon which it stood (made from wood)).
            His second priority was to build a Temple where the eternal ordinances could be given to all worthy members.  Kirtland Temple was built for the purpose of receiving keys and for education.  Later, the saints were commanded to build a Temple in Adam ondi ahman, but there was too much persecution and also at Far West where a site was actually dedicated but not built due to persecution.  Nauvoo was the first place where a Temple could be built to provide the saving ordinances to the saints.  Joseph had been told that he would only be in the hands of his enemies for another 5 years so he knew his time was short to complete his Lord given priorities.
            In 1840 Joseph was speaking at a funeral of a friend “Seymour Brunson” when he announced that “Baptisms for the Dead” was a commandment of the Lord.  Immediately there was a free-for-all and the saints were baptizing in the Mississippi River anyone and everybody (males for females, children, etc.) all without a recorder or any fashion of order.  This continued until about Oct 1841 when Joseph put a stop to all such actions, stating that these baptisms must be performed in the Temple.
            In December 1840 the Charter for Nauvoo (created from the city of Commerce) was given by the Legislature.  This included creation of the Nauvoo Legion (Joseph liked the sound of legion versus militia) and the University of Nauvoo.
            In January 1841 the revelation was received to build the Temple and the Nauvoo House (D&C 124); if the saints built a Temple many people would come and they needed a place to stay.  The Temple lot was selected and as it turns out was the “Center of Nauvoo.”  The land was purchased from Daniel H. Wells for $1,100…Wells Fargo and other buildings in SLC were named after him.
            In April 1841 the cornerstones were laid SE corner by Joseph Smith (representing 1st Presidency), SW placed by high Priests, NW by High Council and NE by the Bishops.  Thomas Sharp (journalist/antagonist/editor of the Warsaw Signal Newspaper from nearby Warsaw) was invited to attend along with 10,000 saints.  It was a grand affair with the Nauvoo Legion leading the procession.  William Weeks was chosen to be the architect and built a home just to the northwest of the Temple lot where he could keep a close watch on the progress.
            On 9 May 1842 the first endowment was given on the top floor of Joseph’s little Red Store (room was divided into smaller rooms for the progression of the endowment by curtains).  Only men received their endowments at this time.  Later, from SLC, Bathsheba Smith (wife of George A. Smith) and Wilford Woodruff testified that they had received their endowment from the Prophet Joseph Smith.  There was a “Quorum of the Anointed” created, those that had received their endowment.
            By 1844 there were 50-60 who had received their endowment and could administer the endowment for others.  Joseph and Hyrum were killed on June 27, 1844 (the Temple was not completed.
            Brigham Young Era:  He had 2 years to complete the Temple (persecution was rapidly increasing).  In December 1844 the Nauvoo City Charter was repealed by the Legislature. All rights were taken away.  Brigham renamed Nauvoo the “City of Joseph.”  Those that policed the city were known as the “Whittling & Whistling Brigade.”
            In June 1845 Porter Rockwell was sent to help the saints come to Nauvoo.  He was given a promise by Joseph that as long as he didn’t cut his hair he would not be felled by an enemy.  He was also made a Deputy by the acting Sheriff.
            By 1846 the workers on the Temple were out of food and were quickly losing ability to continue work on the Temple.  Joseph Toronto shows up with $3,000 dollars wondering how he can help in the work.  His money is used to buy food for the workers, the Temple must be completed. 
            The Temple was dedicated and used in several different parts.  First of all, the Baptistery was dedicated and baptisms for the dead recommenced.  In May 1845 the Apostle Orson Hyde dedicated the last portion of the Temple.
            The Temple was opened for endowments Dec 10, 1845 through Feb 7, 1846 (7 weeks).  An ad was placed in the newspapers that the Temple was “For Sale.”  During this period over 2,500 saints received their endowment; slightly less than ½ of all that received the endowment in Nauvoo.  There were two sisters that basically lived in the Temple during this time taking care of many of the daily preparations.  There were heaters on each of the five levels and they would be started at 2:00am to heat the Temple and to dry the clothes from the previous day’s work.
            On February 3, 1846 the saints received notice from the US Government that they were not to leave Nauvoo at this time, but the mobs wanted them out now and were persecuting with all vengeance.  The US Government did not want the saints to leave for two reasons, 1) they were just entering a war with Mexico and they didn’t want a lot of people spread out all over the country and 2) they were contending with the British about the Oregon Territory and knowing that many of the saints were British were afraid they would go to the aid of Britian.
            During all of this, on February 3, 1846, Brigham arrived at the Temple to see a long line of saints waiting for their endowments.  He approached and told them that they were going to leave before the government could stop them.  He then departed the Temple area, he looked back and saw the people were not leaving, so he returned, opened the Temple and 600 people received their endowments on that day.  They worked long into the night…remember there was no film at that time and the endowment took approximately 3.5-4 hours.
            The saints then began leaving Nauvoo for their own safety, leaving most everything they owned.  Saints that arrived after they had left found notes written that said “Sorry we’ve gone, do your best to follow us.”  As the saints were leaving (crossing the frozen Mississippi) the agitators were firing cannon balls (for three days) at them trying to add insult to injury.  Some were gathered up and presented to the governor of Iowa saying that Illinois had declared war on Iowa…nothing happened.
            The Temple was burned by an arsonist in 1848.  Thomas Bagwell claimed responsibility.  The outer walls were left standing then in 1850 a tornado destroyed most of the standing walls.  In 1865 or 1866 the one remaining partial wall was torn down.  Townspeople gathered many of the stones and used them in their building.  Many are still visible in Nauvoo today.
            The last Apostle left Nauvoo on February 22, 1846, Washington’s Birthday…for many years they had been ringing the Liberty Bell on his birthday in Philadelphia, PA on this day the Liberty Bell cracked as they rang it.  A coincidence or a message from heaven (total lack of support from the US Government in their persecutions and amends)?
            In 1948, Vern Thacker was serving a mission in California when he knocked on a door of William Weeks’ relative; he was not interested in the gospel but said he had something that he thought he might be interested in.  He in turn gave it to the Church, what follows is a restoration of great importance in the history of the United States and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

We pray the Lord’s choicest blessings to be with each of you.  We love you all!
Mom & Dad/Nana & Papa/Elder & Sister Shaw

Monday, January 18, 2016

Nauvoo Week 5 (11-17 January 2016)

Nauvoo Week 5 (11-17 January 2016)

My turn to do the blog!  Monday we had a full day.  We went to Quincy to have our car serviced.  This was a place where the Saints went after some persecution and the people took them in and tried to help them.  The saints needed that reprieve.  We talked to a nice lady while waiting who was not a Mormon but she spoke highly about the church.  She was reading some scriptures for her bible class, and at first I thought she might be a member.  She was a longtime resident and she told us as she was leaving that she was ninety years old.  After the car was finished we went to Sam’s club.  So of course we had to have a hot dog along with all the other retired people!  They actually had Kohl’s store there.  Tom is not, I repeat is not, a good person to shop with!  We actually bought a few things, it was get in and get out!  Then we just tried to kill time until Texas Roadhouse was open, so we could go to dinner.

In the evening we had a combined home evening with the Temple Missionaries.  They had asked President Nelson, who is a counselor in the Temple Presidency, to speak about the Nauvoo Temple.  When the construction started President Nelson was spending four and a half hours a day with local leaders or with SLC.  He was the Stake President at the time and he and his wife owned a fudge store.  The city and church leaders wanted to keep the ground breaking quiet because there could be so many visitors and the city was not ready for that.  So it was mentioned the day before and over five thousand showed up!  He said they were concerned over the numbers who may come to the open house.  When the dates were announced he started receiving phone calls, over five hundred from people all over the world.  They were asking if there was an airport close by and what kind of public transportation they had here.  Over three hundred thousand people did come in that couple of month period.  Tours started at 5:30 A.M. and ended at 10:00 P.M.  There were thousands of volunteers that worked and helped and they were exhausted!  President Nelson said there were so many miracles that happened during the reconstruction, it would take hours to talk about them, and he wouldn’t because it would take away the sacredness of them.

One of the first days last week, I saw a very special thing.  A couple had brought in some cards for sealing of parents and the eight children to be sealed.  They were able to get enough temple workers to be Proxy for the children.  All ten were surrounding the altar in proxy for all involved.  I was not able to participate because I was the last one to come in and they already had enough.  But what a sight to witness; the spirit was strong.  I’m sure that doesn’t happen too often.

The weather has been crazy, one day it was almost fifty degrees and then the next day with wind chill was below zero!  Yes we have now experienced the bitter cold that they talk about here.

 Saturday we worked the morning shift and it was very busy.  The sessions were bigger to where they had to bring in chairs.  There were two live Sealings:  one, a couple in their late thirties, and it was their first marriage.  Tom had the opportunity to perform that one.  There was also a lady who was in a wheelchair, and hooked up to a machine.  She required two nurses to go with her on the session to assist her.  She was receiving her own endowment.  They would have to take her out a time or two to clear a tube she had.  Then after the endowment she was sealed to her living spouse.  Wow!  We were told that she did not have much longer to live.  I’m sure the Lord was pleased that she went to that kind of an effort to do these ordinances on the earth.

We attended a branch baptism on Saturday at 4:00pm; he was a child of record.  They were also having an International Dinner social at 6:00.  So to kill some time we went to wash the car.  Then drove around for it to dry which the drops immediately turned into ice!  The dinner was good, but I have to confess that we went to McDonald’s to eat a little something in case we did not like the food!

We have a Temple Missionary Report Meeting tonight with the Presidency; there will be a speaker that will discuss the Nauvoo Temple Then and Now.  We have some great couples here.  They all have their various talents.

Mom & Dad/Nana & Papa/Elder & Sister Shaw

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Nauvoo Week 4 (4-10 Jan 2016)

Nauvoo, Week 4 (4-10 Jan 2016)
This week was pretty quiet and late in the week a winter storm and temperature arrived.  On Monday, we traveled to Burlington, IA (about 35 minutes), ate at “Applebee’s” then went to the Westland Mall.  We walked around the mall for a while, and then went to the movie theater to see “Star Wars - The Force Awakens.”  We had a good time and returned home late that evening.

Tuesday, we worked at the Temple in the afternoon/evening shift.  Also, President McArthur gave me a copy of President Monson’s letter to him stating that my sealing authority had been transferred to the Nauvoo Temple.  That was neat to receive a personal letter signed by the Prophet.

Wednesday, we worked both the morning and afternoon/evening shifts at the Temple (not much time to do anything else).  We continue to have daily, wonderful experiences in the Temple serving the Lord and patrons.

Thursday, we worked the morning shift at the Temple.  We Skyped with Kristy and her family later that night. 

Friday, we again worked the morning shift at the Temple.  Later in the day we went to Keokuk, IA to buy a few things at Wal-Mart and Tom got a haircut.  Sharon wanted tacos at Taco Bell, so we ate there.  The weather changed greatly this day (temperatures from the high 20’s to mid 30’s down to the teens, with snow and wind).

Saturday, we got up early (too early, in fact, arrived at the Temple for a Preparation Meeting at 6:20am which didn’t start until 7:30am – Sharon wasn’t impressed with me).  Tom had the privilege of performing his first Sealings for both the deceased and a live Sealing following a Civil Marriage.  It was a great experience and seemed to be heartfelt by all who attended.  Our assigned Branch from Mount Pleasant also had their youth come to the Temple for Baptisms.  We greeted them and were hoping to assist them but they brought sufficient Priesthood holders to perform all of the ordinances.  The temperature and wind were really cold today with the high being about 6 degrees.

Sunday, attended the Mount Pleasant Branch; Tom taught the combined Priesthood lesson and we were assigned four Spanish families to visit with the Branch President’s father who speaks nothing but Spanish.  We will start our visits next Sunday following the Church meetings. The weather was a -1 degree when we left our apartment but the roads were dry all the way there.  It is now up to +10 degrees with the wind only at about 10 mph.  We have been invited to eat dinner with Elder & Sister Burns (Vernal, UT-they are good friends with David & Eleanor Rust who served with us in the Madrid Spain Temple) tonight and then we have invited 3 couples E/S Davenport-WA, E/S Massey-Bountiful UT and E/S Burns to come to our apartment for dessert to finish off the day.

We love our mission; work with magnificent couples and have really felt the history of the Saints that built this historic site.  On February 6 they will reenact the exodus of the saints; walking down Parley’s way to the Mississippi River.  There will be many other presentations the previous Friday, that day and Sunday evening.  We have been blessed to find a few ancestors that actually lived in Nauvoo; have read their stories and appreciate this assignment that much more.  We stand tall on their shoulders trying to further the work of the Lord.

Mom & Dad/Nana & Papa/Elder & Sister Shaw

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Nauvoo, Week 3 (28 Dec 15 - 3 Jan 16)

Nauvoo Mission Week 3 (28 Dec 15 – 3 Jan 16)

I was disappointed that Tom did not put a picture of our Christmas tree in the last blog.  It was the best we could do in so short of time!  On Monday, our Preparation Day, we went in to Keokuk, IA and bought some more things for our place at Walmart.  That was the highlight of our day, and also stopped at McDonald’s for a McRib!  Pretty hard up for entertainment I would say!

We went to some of the sights in Nauvoo this week while the Christmas decorations were still up when we weren’t working in the Temple. 

 Lucy Mack Smith’s home, the mother of Joseph, is the close to where we live.  It is a smaller home which was purchased for her in her later years.  There was a bed on the main floor so she wouldn’t have to climb stairs.  The steps that went upstairs were very steep and narrow.  Once you were on that floor there was a piece of wood that came down and covered the stairs so children would not fall down the stairs.  We didn’t think to take pictures inside this house, so we just took a picture of the outside.  We will go again and take some pictures inside.  Lucy was so faithful and defended the church always.

John Taylor had a wonderful house which they only got to live in for four months because they had to leave and go west.  After crossing the Mississippi river, the Taylor’s little boy was so upset that he had to leave his rocking horse, he cried and cried.  So John waited until dark and went back over the frozen river to get the rocking horse.  He couldn’t bear for his son to be so sad.  Looking at some genealogy I read that Mary Smallman was married in Nauvoo by John Taylor to Watkin’s.

We went to the Pendleton Home & Log School which was cute.  They have most of the places decorated for the Holidays which was fun.  In the school they had a table of animals and Noah’s ark.  All the animals were made out of cat tails.  They Nauvoo settlers spelled words different due to their backgrounds/country of origin back then and it was fun to guess what they were trying to say (i.e. “shouse” means shoes).

The Heber C. Kimball home was very nice and they didn’t live there very long either before going west.  If you remember the story that Heber and Brigham Young were to go on a mission to England.  They were both very sick and Heber’s wife and children were sick and Heber was having a hard time leaving them.  When they got in the wagon he expressed his concern to Brigham about leaving his family in that condition.  They had been laying down in the wagon and Brigham suggested that they stand and give a “Hurrah for Israel.”  They stood and waved their hats back and forth and gave the shout.  Heber’s and Brigham’s wives were in the bedroom when they heard the shout.  Heber’s wife got out of bed and the two of them went downstairs to the front door to wave to them.  It did Heber good to see his wife up and he then felt better about going.  Wow the things these pioneers went through.

Brigham Young had a nice, large house.  He added two side rooms (one room was used for business and church meetings with a separate entrance so as not to interrupt the family) after the Prophet Joseph was killed.

There was a log cabin typical of that time in Nauvoo where a lady named Patty Sessions lived.  She was the midwife for Nauvoo and she delivered four hundred babies in Nauvoo.  When she went to Salt Lake she delivered four thousand more!  Next to that cabin was the drug store.  An Epocolythic (sp) (Medicine Man) was the man who could diagnose people and then prescribe what they needed to get better.  This guy was also a dentist.  I know I wouldn’t have wanted to have a tooth pulled back then!  He sold material, hats, blankets, all kinds of goods and spices.  He also had a corner for things that people could barter for.  They might give him a turkey for some yarn or whatever.

The Brick Yard is also close to us, just across the street.  We went there and got another Nauvoo brick to add to our collection.

Thursday was New Year’s Eve.  We got together with the Temple missionaries to eat some great goodies and to play games, or watch “It’s a Wonderful Life.”  We went out on a limb and stayed until nine thirty!  No, we didn’t see the New Year come in!

Friday we went to the play that the Nauvoo site Missionaries do twice a week called “Rendezvous.”  We went with the Elder & Sister Moon.  It was really cute.  In the summer they add a different play called “Sunset.”  It was held in the Cultural Center that is a replica of the one before.

We feel like we are getting to know our way around the Temple, which is a good feeling.  I think they are adding a few more sessions this month.  We are getting to know the couples better; they are great people as well as the site missionaries.

Today we went to Mt. Pleasant to go to the branch that we are assigned to.  It was fast day and the spirit was very strong.  As you can see from the picture they actually had snow.  We then went to the President & Sister Hansen’s house to have a “Break the fast” lunch.  Can you tell food is a big thing here?  When the saints meet they eat!

We love you all, and wish we could have been there to see Paul ordained as Bishop.  We hope you could feel us close we have been thinking and praying for you today.  Thanks for your love and prayers.

Mom & Dad/Nana & Papa/Elder & Sister Shaw