Nauvoo Week 8 (1-7 February 2016)
It was so great to spend some time with Scott, Malia, and Corban. We arrived on Saturday evening, so we just chatted that night. The next day we went to church with them. It seems like a great ward and they have really made them feel welcome. Some have invited them over for dinners and have called to see if they need anything. Corban went to nursery which was super.They took us for a ride to the Chicago Temple. It reminded me of the San Diego and Washington D.C. Temples because of the spires. Scott is really busy trying to get things ready for the first optical store to open. It is only minutes from their home. He had training all day Monday so we spent the day with Malia and Corban. We went to lunch at a fun place called Portillo’s (famous for Hotdogs) and then on a ride through Northwestern University and to Lake Michigan.
It was a beautiful sunny day and we had a great time. Corban loves cars in particular the cars from the show cars. We helped line them up and raced them many times especially Papa. He plays with them all day basically! He told us all their names and who were racers and who were not. He is the cutest most determined little guy. Unfortunately when you visit you always have to leave, and that was hard. We are grateful that they live so close and we look forward to seeing them again in the future. We left Tuesday morning and arrived back at Nauvoo in the afternoon.
On Thursday we had a fireside given by Craig Dunn, about the Battle of Nauvoo. As we know the first Saints left on February 4, 1846. The U.S. government was trying to stop the exodus for fear they would be caught in the middle of the Mexican-American War and secondly, the British had just landed in the Oregon Territory and they were fearful with so many of the saints being British that they would join forces with them in claiming the territory for the Crown, but of course the mobs wanted them out and were forcing their will. Following the exodus, Col Kane, U.S. Government agent, struck a deal to form a Mormon Battalion of 500 men which helped finance the trek west. Six hundred and four saints remained in Nauvoo after exodus. The mob wanted them out by April 1846. Captain Harden was sent by Governor Ford to hold peace. The mob members, most that had killed Joseph and Hyrum, were a big part of this group of “protectors.” There was a state military that was sent to keep peace; however, most of them were drafted for the Mexican War. Emma and Mary Fielding were still in Nauvoo and Mary tried to talk Emma into going west with her but she would not go. So Mary Fielding left. At this point there were only one hundred fifty Mormons left. There were six hundred mob members. They tried to burn the Mansion house down, but didn’t succeed. Emma was relocated out of Nauvoo at that point and rented the Mansion out. The mob bedded down at the nearby cemetery, east of the city limits. They shot cannonballs made out of steel and the Mormons shot small steel balls. The battle lasted fourteen hours over three days where three Mormons were killed and one on the side of the mob. The mob desecrated homes, and ransacked the Temple. They drug mothers and children out of their homes by gunpoint into the streets. On September 16th both sides signed a treaty because the Mormons were out of bullets and weapons. Cannon balls were being fired at the Mormons as the last group crossed the Mississippi. They were starving and the Lord sent Quails for them to eat. Emma returned in the spring to Nauvoo as she had received word that the man she had rented the mansion home to was taking everything out of the home and leaving. Orson Hyde who had been on a Mission came to Nauvoo and dedicated the Temple in May of 1847.
Starting on Friday February 5th they had presentations available in the Joseph Smith Historic Site Visitor Center, which is the Community of Christ center. This was all in conjunction with the Exodus Commemoration. We missed the first hour of classes as we were working in the Temple. We split up for some of them. Tom attended the “Dead Men’s Tales: A look at Cemetery symbols and their Meaning”. I attended “Women and the Mississippi River.” There were 2,000 miles of Mississippi river and the main mode of transportation. Steamship travel was the preferred mode of travel-they lasted about three years. These boats were not inspected or insured and many times they caught on fire with the boilers blowing quite often and killed many passengers. It may have been the preferred way to travel especially by women but it was a dangerous! Four thousand deaths occurred on boats during the three years. Trees could be found floating down the river and back then there were some Islands here and there. A lady, Mary Logan, grew up in Nauvoo and she told how things were when she was growing up. Both on Friday and Saturday there were six different simultaneous presentations available. Some were better than others.
Friday evening we had a buffet in the Nauvoo Motel. President Nelson, who is in the Temple Presidency, gave the keynote address about the German influence in Nauvoo.The German influence was don’t change the outside look that was the integrity of a building. You could change the interiors, but not the outside. Quincy was made up mostly of Germans who were kind, preserved peace, and had a desire to assist forlorn people. We all know how kind Quincy was to the Mormons. George Hart (Hart home south of Temple)-he always lived on or near the Temple site. He would always care for the Mormon missionaries who would come to Nauvoo in preparation for their missions. As a side note, Germans were the first to make the artificial Christmas tree.
In January, in preparation for the exodus reenactment, we looked up ancestors names who we knew had been in Nauvoo. Then we turned them into the Land and Records Office of Nauvoo. They would then send us any additional “Nauvoo specific” information they had about them and others who might also have lived here.They made us tags that we put on our coats and scarf. I walked for Mary Smallman, James McDonald-McDaniel, and Christina Stoker. Tom walked for Henry Eccles, Elizabeth Spurr, and their daughter Sariah Eccles.
Saturday all of those who participated in the reenactment of the exodus gathered at the Family Living Center. We had a continental breakfast and some readings to set the stage for the conditions as the Saints left. It was nothing like the weather they had on the original exodus. We had sunshine and temperatures in the forties. The men representing the Nauvoo Legion started out first, and then the flag bearers. There were some wagons and horses, and onewagon with oxen. There were also some handcarts as well. We walked down Parley Street the same street the Pioneers walked down, to the Mississippi River. When they left the Mississippi was frozen solid which enabled a faster exodus. This day there was some ice but the whole river was not frozen, because so far it has been a milder winter. As we reached the end of the street they had everyone come together; raise the American Flag, recite the Pledge of Allegiance and sing “Come Come Ye Saints.” It was very touching to be in that spot and to imagine the Saints 170 years ago. They have a little Pioneer Memorial Pavilion listing names of those Pioneers who didn’t make it to the Salt Lake Valley. People come from all different places to participate in these events. Some come year after year.
That evening we had Bryon Andreason speak to us about Lincoln and Mormon Country and the influences and possible crossing of paths during Lincoln’s court service and campaigning.
Sunday morning we went to church at the Mt. Pleasant Branch. They had an investigator there who wants to be baptized the end of this month. Her husband and two small children were with her. The Sister Missionaries say he is not interested in the church; however, he had come that day so they could talk to the Bishop about getting married next Sunday. The Bishop’s wife asked us and the other senior couple (Elder & Sister Winn, Nephi, UT) if we would help in Primary with the music. This will be new and different for us but I’m sure we will enjoy it. We will switch with the other couple every other week.
In the afternoon we had “Break the Fast” lunch at our home. They rotate who is in charge every month and we had three other couples come to our house. We had the Droste’s (full-time District Missionaries), the Chapman’s, and the Hendricks’. We got to know them all better and had a great time.
That evening we had a program where certain people had been asked to share a story about an ancestor. A lady had put together a collage of pictures on the screen as each person talked about them. There were nineteen presenters, and I was asked to be one of them. I talked about Mary Smallman a great great, Grandmother. If you want to read about her you can go to the family tree and click on her. She comes from the McDaniel side. I was the fourteenth presenter, so I had plenty of time to be nervous! It was a neat opportunity.
On Monday we had a Family Home Evening in the auditorium of the Nauvoo Historic Visitor’s Center. Bryon Andreason talked about the new Museum in Salt Lake. We did not go to see it before we left. It sounds amazing. They have amazing artifacts and presentations that make you feel as if you were in the time frame they are talking about. Everyone should go and see it, with your families.
Yesterday was my Birthday and it was a good one. Thank you so much to our family who sent me a blanket with a lot of pictures on it of all of you.I love it! Thank you so much. Also, thank you to friends and family for the phone calls and the cards you sent. We had a wonderful and super busy week. How much we love and admire the pioneers who paved the way for us so that we could enjoy these latter days. This is truly hallowed ground that we have the opportunity to live on, and to serve in this historic Temple. We thank our Father in Heaven for this experience, and for all of your support.
We love you all. Mom & Dad/ Nana & Papa/Elder & Sister Shaw