Nauvoo Week 14 (14-20 March 2016)
We had a great week with a lot to talk about. Monday we had family home evening with the Temple missionaries. One of the temple workers, Robert Wright, who lives here in Nauvoo talked to us about symbols of/on the Nauvoo Temple.William Weeks who was the architect of the temple proposed that the windows should be half round. Joseph Smith told him that they must be round as he had seen them illuminated in vision. William told him that they would have to add ten feet to the temple to do that, and Joseph said then do so. The temple sits in the heart of Nauvoo; 1 mile to the North is the Mississippi, 1 mile to the West is the Mississippi and 1 mile to the South is the Mississippi. They were also going to build a canvas Tabernacle (tent) on the West side of temple. It was going to be 225 feet by 150 feet-same size as the Tabernacle on Temple Square in Salt Lake City. The canvas had been ordered but when it came, due to the persecution, it was instead used as covering for the wagons going west. The cornerstones for the original Nauvoo Temple were laid by the following: Southeast-Joseph Smith, Southwest-High Priests, Northwest-12 Apostles and Northeast-Presiding Bishopric. The cornerstones for rebuilt Temple were laid by the following: Southeast-President Hinckley, Southwest-Presiding Bishopric, Northwest-Nauvoo Stake President Durrell Nelson and Northeast-12 Apostles. The Jewish people used the moon to designate when they would have their feasts while many others used the Sun. They were governed by the full moon. There are thirty pilasters on the outside of temple. On each pilaster there is a sun, the moon and stars. The hands holding the trumpets above the sun is spreading the gospel to the world. The sun’s face personifies us and the gospel going to the world. The marble stars with the elongated downward pointing ray represent the condescension of God. The star colored windows with five points with twelve surrounding stones. Twelve symbolizes perfect government. The beautiful colored windows have special meaning; the blue signifies water and baptism, the white signifies the Holy Ghost, and the red signifies the Atonement of our Savior.
I love to look out of them when I am in the Temple. They are beautiful and are much bigger than they appear on the outside. The eight spoke wheel is a symbol for Christ. I haven’t included everything he talked about but it was really interesting.
On Friday, we had another speaker, Reed Moon. His parents work at the Temple. He lives in Provo and was visiting to speak at the Women’s retreat for the reenactment of the organization of the Relief Society. He has found and collected several very important documents and books throughout his life. He had “History of Joseph Smith” by Lucy Mack Smith printed in 1853-original copy. Scriptures of Joseph F. Smith; he had marked 1Cor. 3:18, and 4:6. He had a Book of Mormon; 1st Edition, 588 pages which did not have 3rd and 4th Nephi designated. Orson Pratt, in 1879 designated 3rd & 4th Nephi. Samuel Smith the 1st convert and 1st missionary went on mission and gave Book of Mormon to Phineas Young, who then gave it to Brigham Young, who gave it to Heber C. Kimball. The Book of Mormon 1st Edition had 5,000 printed. The testimonies of the witnesses were in the back of the book, it also contained a preface which spoke of the lost 116 pages. In 1888 the first large edition was printed. So, from 1830 to 1888 all Book of Mormon’s, 3rd Edition were pocket size. There was a Nauvoo edition in 1840. In 1841 the 4th Edition was a European made copy. There were several “deluxe bound” copies made of this edition; Joseph, Hyrum, Samuel and some others. In 1842 the 5th Edition was printed in Nauvoo, only 600 were printed (most prized of all the editions).
Phebe W. Carter lived with her parents and had joined the church against their will. They did not want her to go west and she honored there request for a couple of years. The opportunity arose for her to go and she took it. She left a letter to her parents expressing her love and thankfulness for their care and told them that she needed to leave. Brother moon has that letter she wrote to her parents. She married Wilford Woodruff in 1837. He served a mission where Phoebe had been raised. After their marriage he went on another mission to England. Before he left they had had a child, while he was away the child died. She was having such a hard time coping so she went back to where her parents lived to spend time with them.She kept asking how he felt about their child and kept asking as she didn’t have his letters. Before he returns home Phebe becomes very ill and just as he arrives home she has died. He blessed her and through the Priesthood brought her back to life. Some had said they did not think that she had died, but she relates of how her spirit left her body and how she could see her body and everyone there. She was told she had two choices; she could stay or she could come back as long as she would promise to always stand by her husband and take care of him. She promised she would and that’s when her spirit came back and was brought to life. She lived forty more years. All of these experiences are recorded in Wilford Woodruff’s journal which he kept faithfully from 1834 to 1898. In 1840, he went on a mission to England. He wanted to buy something for her and he decided upon an earring holder made out of Wedgewood pottery.
So he asked them to change it but Phebe’s name was still not totally right. He had no more time, he had to send it. He wrote a little note explaining what had happened. Brother Moon has this little jewelry box. He never did tell us how he acquired these things and when asked how valuable they were he said at least seven digit amounts. In 1841, the European edition had several deluxe copies made. He had Joseph’s, Hyrum’s, and Samuel Smith’s original copies. He had a copy of Joseph’s first vest pocket Bible, which is approximately 1 inch by 2 inches. He had a copy of D&C section 11; the original revelation written by Hyrum dictated by Joseph. He had Wilford Woodruff’s scriptures he used as a Prophet; he had 400 scriptures marked. It was an 1835 1st Edition of Book of Commandments which was the name until it became Doctrine and Covenants. He also had a poem taped in the front of his scriptures to remind him to treat Phebe well. His stories and books and artifacts were fascinating. He also had Thomas Payne’s original copy of “Common Sense, These are the times that try the souls of men.” This copy had the greatest saturation of any book sold in the USA. I hope some of this makes sense. I wish you all could have been here to hear and see it.
We have had a lot of visitors in the Temple this week as many schools were on spring break. We had the Baptistry on Tuesday evening and we were quite busy. We had some special families come from Texas and Arizona. One of the sons in a family was 6 ft. 9 in. His parents were tall but not that tall and everyone was glad that his Dad was there to baptize him! We love this work and the experiences we are having here. We can’t wait to share it with all of you as you come to visit.
We love you so much,
Mom & Dad/Nana & Papa/Elder & Sister Shaw
P.S. We want Ashtyn to know how proud we are of her and know she did an outstanding job in the play. We have seen some sweet pictures, Love you