Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Nauvoo Week 18 (11-17 April 2016)

Nauvoo Week 18 (11-17 April 2016)

Monday we worked in the Temple.  That evening we had Family home evening.  Dr. Craig Dunn spoke to us about the appearance (what did he really look like) of the Prophet Joseph Smith.  He told us that Joseph was around 185 lbs to 215 lbs at his death.  He was 6 feet tall, and had flaxon red hair and dark blue eyes, that were deep set and large.  Most of the photos of Joseph in his time came from Sudcliffe Modsley who lived in Nauvoo.  He did profilist pictures where he would shine a light on his profile; he would trace that profile and then fill it in.  Lucien Foster was a photographer in 1844 also did picture of Joseph.  When Joseph and Hyrum died they made a death mask of both of them.  D.J. Bawden a sculptor did Joseph and Hyrum statues that are across the street from the front of the Temple, depicting them riding on their horses on the way to carthage jail.  They stopped up by the Temple to take one last look before leaving. 

He used the death masks and it has been said that these are the most accurate of both of them of all the other art work.  They would take thin paper like paper Mache and wet them to put all over their faces.  Once they were dry they would remove them from their faces and then pour plaster of paris in the mold and then remove the mold when dry.  It is definitely my favorite face of him.  Joseph's mask is on the left as you look at the picture (Tom's right).

After Elder Dunn was finished President and Sister McArthur passed out our new schedules and activities that we will be doing with the new couples the week they arrive.  There will be 32 new couples come to work in the Temple.  It will be fun to meet them and to help orient them to this Temple.  That means that in a couple of weeks we will have someone living below us, which means we will have to be quieter!

On Tuesday, we had another Susan Easton Black lecture.  She talked about Lorenzo Snow.  He was not a big man about 5ft. 6ins. and 152 lbs.  He came from a well-to-do family who live in Mantua, Ohio.  He had military aspirations.  He wanted to be as great as Washington on the sea instead of land.  His sister is Eliza R. Snow.  He went to Kirtland Ohio to live and he was not a member yet.  He goes to the Johnson farm and hears Joseph speak, but he is not interested.  He was going to attend Oberlin College in Ohio but his sister Eliza tells him that there is a wonderful school in Kirtland and she convinces him to come to the School of the Prophets.  He is very quiet, but he becomes friends with Joseph Smith Sr.  He asked how it was that these unlearned men knew so much.  He told him it was because they had received the Holy Ghost and that they were being prompted through the Holy Ghost as they studied. He asks how he can receive it and he is taught the gospel and baptized.  He then goes to the class again thinking that he would have more knowledge and he is told that he needed to be baptized by fire. He prayed that the Holy Ghost would dwell with him and then things became clearer.  Joseph Smith Sr. gave him a patriarchal blessing where he gave him the Priesthood power to raise the dead.  He asked the Prophet what he should do and he told him to serve a Mission which he did for ten years at which point he was 31 and still single.  He marries and is sealed to two women on the same day in the Nauvoo Temple.  He goes to Utah - he is an Apostle.  He was assigned to talk at a stake conference in Farmington and he is given a note before he is to speak, telling him that one of his relatives who lives there is very sick, and was asking him to come and bless this person.  He tells the Stake President that he will speak when he returns from giving the blessing.  When he gets there they say Uncle Lorenzo you are too late, she is dead.  He asks for oil and climbs on the body three times.  He asks for inspiration and basically performs CPR on her.  He returns to the stake conference meeting and gives his talk.  His relative is alive and the first words she said is “Where is Eder Snow, he called me back.”  When Lorenzo is serving as an Apostle he hears that Wilford Woodruff had gone to San Francisco and had passed away.  Lorenzo goes to the Holy of Holies and he fasts and prays for three days, hoping that he would have permission to raise Wilford from the dead.  He sees Jesus Christ who tells him that Wilford is with him and that he should reconstitute the first Presidency immediately.  He is put in as President of the Church with his counselors George Q. Cannon and Joseph F. Smith.  He was the first Prophet to send women on missions. President Snow and President Joseph F. Smith were headed to St. George and are in two separate carriages.  President Smith said he was tired of going so slow behind the Prophet’s carriage and asks if they can pass them up.  President Snow says no, and then from that point they have a race the rest of the way to St. George!  He gives the address about Tithing, telling the Saints that if they will pay an honest tithe, that the Lord would open the windows of heaven and that it would rain, so they could still have crops.  It did not rain immediately and he prayed and prayed and said I will give you anything Lord even my life if you will make it rain.  Of course we know that it did rain and the Saints were blessed for their faithfulness.

On Thursday, Susan gives us another lecture on members of the church.  She spoke about 4 types of people: 1) 9% stay Faithful 2) a Very Large leave the church, then come back 3) another Large group leave the church and never return and 4) 8% Leave the church and then FIGHT against it.  Those of the first group have two things in common; Confidence and the Spirit (a pipeline to heaven).  Joseph Smith and Brigham Young are good examples of group one. Thomas B. Marsh is an example of the second group; he is excommunicated over the strippings of his wife’s milk (to make cheese).  His wife is complaining that Lucinda Harris is cheating on her portions; he takes this to many church councils and is told that if there was any cheating that his wife was the one who was doing it.  Finally in a rage, he is angry and he goes to Governor Boggs and tells him that Joseph had ruled that his wife was actually at fault and proceeds to tell him lies about Joseph and how he is a fallen Prophet.  It was right after this conversation that Governor Boggs issues the extermination order of the Saints.  He stayed away from the church for 16 years.  He had lost his family and was basically a popper.  He goes to Utah and the Saints are having a Conference and he walks in.  He wants to be a member again.  Brigham Young has him come to the front and sit down by him.  When he stands he tells Marsh to stand next to him.  He goes into all of the things he had done against the church and the letter he wrote to Governor Boggs.  He then asks for a vote if they think he should be reinstated. The vote was unanimous to accept him back.  He promises that he will never fall again.  Brigham calls him out and basically says he will.  He did leave again and was later baptized into the RLDS church.

An example of the third group is John F. Boynton; a former Apostle leaves the church never to return.  He was an inventor; inventing many useful items, the first fire extinguisher, the soda fountain, torpedoes, a levy system for lifting heavy things out of water, and one of the first family history programs.  He was asked to come west, but he said he would only do so if Brigham would send him wagons to take all of his inventions.  Brigham tells him no and he tells him that if he stays he will die.  He died right after this exchange of words.

An example of the fourth group is Almon W. Babbitt, a Stake President in June 1844.  He was disfellowshipped on at least 4 occasions and later reinstated, was eventually excommunicated for creating a golden calf (creating his own counsel instead of listening to the counsel of the Lord.  He is mentioned in D&C 124.  He was always bitter, had no joy, and was angry all the time.  He was a lawyer.  Joseph sent some men to ask him to represent him in the trial at Carthage, and he said he had been asked by the accusers first.  He was eventually killed while making one of his many trips to Washington D.C. 

In the evening Sister Black gave another lecture about who will be our leader, after the death of Joseph?  Sidney Rigdon said that he should be the guardian of the Church after reportedly seeing an angel.  He wants the Saints to go to Pittsburgh instead of the Rocky Mountains.   Nauvoo is in chaos and not knowing who was in charge.  Willard Richards and John Taylor are recovering, they being the two witnesses of the martyrdom.  Sidney sets a date, August 7th for a meeting.  Brigham and 10 Apostles are serving a Political mission in Boston to let others know about Joseph Smith running for President.  Brigham Young finds out by reading a newspaper that Joseph and Hyrum have been killed.  He comes back on August 7th to Nauvoo.  He hears about the meeting that Sidney has called and goes to ask him if he may speak also.  While Sidney speaks the wind is howling and nobody can hear him but he still talks for two and a half hours.  Brigham Young gets up and the wind stops.  As Brigham stands to speak people see Joseph in his countenance, and he sounds like Joseph (Mantel of Joseph).  Those who were touched by the spirit witness this.  He talks for two and a half minutes and the leadership falls to the quorum of the Twelve.  The vote was taken; there were ten thousand people there, the vote was unanimous- the church leadership should be given to the Twelve. Sidney Rigdon tells the people that Satan has deceived them and 1,000 people went with him to Pittsburg.  James T. Strang claims to be a prophet and says that he is translating the brass plate material.  He claimed he had a letter from Joseph stating that he should be the new Prophet.  He eventually proclaims himself "King" Strang; 2,000 people from Nauvoo follow him and he goes to Beaver Island, Wisconsin.  His church grows to 12,000.  He is killed by the congregation after a speech.  Membership of the current church is 124.  William Smith, son of Lucy Mack Smith, has been ordained to be the Presiding Patriarch-is excommunicated after proclaiming his right to the Presidency (lineage of Joseph). He begins to form a church that is patterned after the original Latter-day Saint Church with many of those saints who could not go west or had stopped during the crossing of Missouri.  He becomes the President Pro-Tem of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and takes a group to Kentucky.  The RLDS ask Joseph Smith III to be the President of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ.  He turns it down 3 times due to other aspirations he has; finally accepting in 1860 and all that he wanted to do had failed.  Brigham Young leads the saints west, and becomes Prophet of the Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints.  This action was approved by the saints in Kanesville, IA.  Oliver Cowdery also showed up to this meeting, after being separated from the Church for many years and is welcomed back into the Church-rebaptism happening a little later.

We are grateful for the privilege of serving here in Nauvoo. 
The flowers are all blooming and the trees are leafing and it is beautiful.  We see miracles every day and know that we are involved in the work of the Lord, Jesus Christ.  We begin our 2 week closure of the Temple next week and will be doing a little traveling and learning more about the history of the area.  Thanks for all of your prayers, they are felt each day.  We love you and pray for your well-being.

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

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Nauvoo Week 17 (4 - 10 April 2016)

Nauvoo Week 17 (4 – 10 April 2016)

This was another fantastic week in Nauvoo!  Monday, was a good day to relax and prepare for the rest of the week.  On Tuesday, six Temple couples went a tour with Dr./Brother Craig Dunn from Nauvoo to Carthage on “The Martyrdom Trail.”  Actually, the tour described the final 21 days on the Prophet’s life, the “Road to Carthage” and several interesting stops along the way.  All in all, it was a very enlightening tour highlighting the accusations/trials/outcome of the judicial process.  It (the martyrdom) was finally brought about by charges of Joseph and Hyrum “Inciting a riot” on three separate occasions (not only double jeopardy, but triple)!  Initially, they attempted to charge them with breaking “Freedom of the Press” charges – this was later removed.

A few more facts about Joseph.  In 1844, Joseph had the several responsibilities: 1) President of the Church (26,000 members on two continents) 2) Lieutenant General of the Nauvoo Legion (Militia - 3,500 strong) - most other states had approximately 200 members in their state’s Militia - the Federal Government provided 200 guns to each state and three cannons (same with Illinois) the remainder of the Nauvoo Legion used wooden guns for ceremonial parades, etc. 3) Mayor of Nauvoo and 4) Candidate for President of the United States.
Sworn Enemies of the Prophet: 1) William Law (former counselor in the First Presidency) later excommunicated from the Church, his hatred was driven strictly by religious beliefs 2) Robert F. Smith (Head of the Carthage Greys and Assistant Judge), his hatred was driven by political beliefs-Mormons controlled key positions and 3) Thomas Sharp (Editor of the Warsaw Signal), his hatred was driven by economic impact on nearby Warsaw.  There were many others, too numerous to mention here.

Perhaps, the event that affected me most was when Joseph and Hyrum had been rowed across the Mississippi to Iowa allowing the threats to perhaps come down from a fevered pitch to something manageable.  At this point, Emma (convinced that Governor Ford would do what was right) writes a letter to Joseph stating that some of the brethren have “accused him of being a coward and the first to run in the time of trouble.”  Upon reading this Joseph says, “If my life is of no value to my friends, it is none to myself.”  He returns to Nauvoo on Sunday, June 23rd and spends the evening with his family (knowing his final outcome).  Monday morning (June 24th) he speaks again to the citizens and begins his ride to Carthage (18 miles).  IT IS SAID THAT JOSEPH WENT TO CARTHAGE TO SAVE NAUVOO AND TO BUY BRIGHAM TIME TO FINISH THE TEMPLE.  They rode, along with several others to the Albert Fellow’s Farm (about 4 miles from Carthage) where they met Captain Dunn (head of Militia from Augusta) who had a letter from Governor Ford that the citizens of Nauvoo were to surrender all their arms (Militia of 3,500). 
At this time Joseph stated, “I am going like a lamb to the slaughter, but I am calm as a summers morning.  I have a conscience void of offense toward God and toward all men.  If they take my life I shall die an innocent man, and my blood shall cry from the ground for vengeance, and it shall be said of me, he was murdered in cold blood.”  Joseph then returned with Captain Dunn to Nauvoo (14 miles) to ensure the citizens surrendered all of their weapons.  They then set out for Carthage again and arrived in Carthage (18 miles) just before midnight – 46 miles one day on a horse, ouch!
  As they rode into town past the courtyard and then on to the Hamilton Hotel many of the Carthage Greys were cursing and swearing saying, “Stand away, you McDonough boys, and let us shoot the da__ed Mormons.  G_d_you, old Joe, we’ve got you now.  Clear the way and let us have a view of Joe Smith, the Prophet of God.  He has seen the last of Nauvoo.  We’ll use him up now, and kill all the da__ed Mormons.”  Not a very heart touching welcome.  Well, more could be said, you all know the story, two days later a mob, with painted faces (which included many high profile city, county, national level citizens, leaders and politicians) charged the jail, overpowering the few guards (who by the way had blanks loaded in their guns) and killed both Joseph and Hyrum.  It is recommended that you read Dallin H. Oaks book “Carthage Conspiracy,” his findings suggest it was a political assassination. 

Wednesday, was a fantastic day in the Temple.  On Thursday, another great day (both shifts) in the Temple.  Also, another lecture by Sister Susan Easton Black Durrant on “Famous Ladder-day Saint Women.”  She asked how women in the Church become famous?  Stated the 7 main reasons that drive this familiarity: 1) Wife of Famous Husband 2) Mother of Famous Son 3) Daughter of Famous Father 4) General Church Calling (RS, YW Primary) 5) “For Such a Time as This - One Time Event 6) First to accomplish something great or 7) Talents.

Friday, Tom had the privilege to perform a live Sealing for a couple that had been married civilly 8 years ago.  Later, that day we went to Quincy to exchange Sharon’s hair coloring and to eat at Texas Roadhouse.

Saturday, Tom had a great experience in another Sealing session.  There he met the Grandparents, Parents and Sister of one of our Marshallese Missionaries (Elder Justin Horan).  It was great to meet them and to reminisce about Justin and the time spent in the Marshall Islands.  They were a great family; grandparents are Nauvoo site missionaries, so we will see them around.

Sunday, we attended Church in Mount Pleasant and lead the singing in Primary singing time.  Later that day, we hosted the “Break the Fast” dinner for 3 other Temple Missionary couples (President/Sister Hansen, Elder/Sister Baker and Elder/Sister Hendricks). 
It was a great time to spend together and to become a little more acquainted.

Sunday, was also our 42nd Anniversary.  We have been blessed beyond words, with beautiful children and grandchildren.  We are in awe the way they are being blessed by their obedience to our Father in Heaven’s commandments.  We love each of you, we are so grateful for loving parents and other ancestors who paid the price for us to enjoy all that we have today.  We pray the Lord’s blessings to be with each of them and pray that we may always bring honor to their names and history.  Thanks for your constant support, encouragement and love…it means the world to us.

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

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Nauvoo Week 16 (28 March - 3 April 2016)

Nauvoo Week 16 (28 March – 3 April 2016)

On Monday, we had a home evening with the community and the site missionaries.  The site missionaries served hot dogs, chips, and kettle corn.  They have an area on the Nauvoo property that has prairie grass that grows quite tall (5’ – 6’).  The sign posted by this property says that about 1/5 of the entire country was covered with this type of grass.  Every year they burn that field to show the power of the fire and how quickly it spreads.  Of course, the fire department was there to ensure safety.  It did go up quickly (it took about 3 and a half minutes to completely burn) and the heat from it was crazy, we had to move back because it was so hot.  As you can imagine we smelt really good afterwards!  Good thing Tom didn’t have on his suit.  We then went to the Elder & Sister Obrien’s house to watch the General Women’s conference as we had missed it.  They came in January from Dallas, Texas and we had fun talking and getting to know them better.

Tuesday evening we served in the Baptistry which was quite busy.  There were still schools that were out for spring break.  We had some more families and we enjoyed talking with them.  Before we went to the Temple we attended a fireside with Susan Easton Black Durrant.  She is now married to George Durrant.  She was a history professor at BYU.   They come to stay in Nauvoo for a couple of months every year and while they are here she gives lectures.  She talked about Emma Smith.  Emma was 5ft. 9in. and large boned.  Christian women did not ever cut their hair; it was considered their crowning glory. They would put their hair in a bun and only let it down for their husbands.  Emma was a school teacher. On June 18th 1827 they (Joseph & Emma) eloped and got married; her Father did not approve of Joseph.  Her Father reported that she was abducted so the law was looking for them.  They went to Palmyra where Joseph’s family lived.  Their first three children died within hours of birth.  Alvin and twins, Thaddeus and Louisa.  John & Julia Murdock had twins; Joseph Murdock, who died at eleven due to exposure when the mob took Joseph from his house and Julia Murdock, who died at 49 as a Catholic were given to Joseph and Emma who adopted them.  Then Joseph III was born, later he was asked to be the President of the Reorganized LDS Church.  He was asked four times, on the first three offers he did not accept but fourth time he accepted.  Then Frederick was born who died at age 25, Alexander was then born who later became an Apostle in the Reorganized Church, Don Carlos was born but died at age one, then Thomas was born but died within hours of birth and lastly, Hyrum David, Emma was pregnant with him when Joseph was killed.  Emma had 11 children in all, five grew to adulthood and six did not.  Emma went with Joseph to get the plates; she was the first one to know that he had them.  She was baptized by Oliver Cowdery June 28, 1830.  Under revelation, she chose songs for the first hymn book for the church.  She and Joseph lived with several different families during their early married lives; Joseph’s parents, Isaac Morley, and Newel K. Whitney.  She had a patriarchal blessing given her by her father-in-law, Joseph Smith Sr.  There were no “ifs” in the blessing; it also concluded “You will be saved in Celestial Kingdom, Amen.” 

The extermination order from Governor Boggs came while Joseph was in jail.  She was forced to leave Missouri with her four young children.  She crosses the Mississippi, and lives with Sarah Cleveland who took her in.  That was on October 27, 1838.  Finally, in 1839 she came to the Nauvoo Homestead.  On March 17, 1842 she (an elect Lady) becomes the first Relief Society President.  She chose as her counselors; Sarah Cleveland, Elizabeth Whitney and Eliza R. Snow as Secretary.  At that time women did not teach women in Relief Society.  Joseph, Willard Richards and John Taylor taught them.  The sisters would bring baskets to church and asked others to contribute to give them to the poor.  As we know Emma did not go west.  Later she marries a man by the name of Lewis Bidamon.  Emma owns a lot of property as saints that left Nauvoo put many of their parcels of property in her name to take care of.  They want taxes for the properties and they have no money.  So Lewis goes to California for the gold rush and comes back empty handed.  When she dies she was said to be calling Joseph’s name.  She dies April 30, 1879.  Her lot was very difficult but she stood by Joseph till his death.  She is truly elect lady in my eyes.

On Thursday, we had another lecture of Susan Easton Black Durrant.  She spoke on Joseph Smith’s Ancestry; a man by the name of Reverend John Lothrop, later changed to Lathrop when he arrived in America, who was born in England in 1584 and died in 1653 (USA).  In 1601 he enters Cambridge University and in 1605 graduates.  In 1609 he receives a master’s degree.  Ordained a Deacon in Church of England and assigned to a small Parish.  He was a very popular speaker.  In 1623 he wanted to trace his Priesthood Line of Authority; he had difficulty trying to do so.  Some men have died he can’t find others.  He creates a church called the Independent Church.  Meets others and friends who are espousing doctrine other than what the Church of England teaches because they don’t think the Church has the authority of God; they were rounded up and put in New Gate Prison.  He refuses to sign a document stating that the King of England has all power-politically and spiritually.  His children pleaded with officials to have him released from prison.  He is sent to America.  He brings his Bible which is now in a museum in Barnstable, MA.  He would circle passages that had to do with authority and because of the candle wax it burned places in his Bible.  It turns out that this man is Joseph Smith’s 5th Great Grandfather.  Also, of course related to Hyrum, Joseph F. Smith, and Joseph Fielding Smith.  A story of interest, Joseph F. Smith was a strapping young man who was the Historian for the church.  One day Brigham Young passed by his desk and asked who he was, he told him he was Hyrum’s son.  He (Brigham) asked if he could give him a blessing and said that it would be from his Father Hyrum.  The blessing included a call to the Apostleship and to be a member in the First Presidency; there was no vacancy at the time.  John Lathrop was also the 5th Great Grandfather to Oliver Cowdery, Orson and Parley Pratt, Frederick G. Williams, and Wilford Woodruff.  More distant Great Grandfather to Harold B. Lee and Marion G. Romney.  All very prominent men in the church.  Another side note: Asael Smith, Joseph’s Grandfather had had a vision that told him that someone in his family would revolutionize religion.  His father, Joseph Smith Sr., had seven visions before Joseph had his first vision, one of which was very similar to Lehi’s dream of the Tree of Life. 

Later that evening we went to another one of her lectures in the Nauvoo Visitor’s Center.  In this one she talked about the days leading up to the Martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum.  Starting with June 12, 1844 the city sheriff (John P. Green) came to arrest him-the charge that he and Hyrum had caused rioting and destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor (Joseph all in all had received 38 warrants for his arrest in his lifetime).  There was a loop hole where he could have a court held in a location of his choice; he contacted Judge Aaron Johnson of Nauvoo (member of High Council in Nauvoo) - he was found not guilty following 14 hours of deliberation and testimony.  June 13th again they came to arrest them for the exact same reason-Joseph could choose where he wanted his case to be heard.  Judge Daniel Wells holds a court in Nauvoo that day and they are found not guilty again, following 14 hours of deliberation and testimony.  Later that day Joseph calls young men to come to his home and to bring horses.  June 14th to the 17th (Days of Communication) the young men rode away on their horses carrying letters explaining the plight of the Church and its leaders.  Their Fathers who were younger than 45 years of age were called on missions to Carthage to try and change public opinion about Joseph and Hyrum.  One hundred men went to Carthage to try and change public opinion.  The men 45 and older were asked to write letters to government officials pleading for help.  On June 18th distribution of the letters stopped because of degraded conditions in Nauvoo and the men came back from Carthage.  Later, Joseph dresses in his Nauvoo Legion Lieutenant General’s uniform and calls out the Nauvoo legion and declares the city under martial law.  The enemies establish a “line of aggression” on the east side of Nauvoo.  A “line of defense” is also formed by citizens of Nauvoo.  They said they would not break the line of defense unless members of the 12 Apostles or if someone who had direct word from Governor Ford to ease the situation and brings matters into control approached the line (Joseph had sent word for all of the Apostles who were out on missions to come home).  On June 22nd the “line of defense” was broken when men with white flags representing Governor Ford came to town.  These representatives (posse) of men were sent by Governor Ford with an arrest warrant for Joseph and Hyrum (meanwhile, Governor Ford stayed in the Hamilton Inn in Carthage).  The same charges were filed but it stated that they could only be tried in Carthage.  Joseph was hiding upstairs, when the posse left he and Hyrum, in counsel with other brethren, decide to escape to Iowa.  Joseph and Hyrum are rowed across the Mississippi into Iowa where there was no warrant.  Many saints there in Iowa thought that they should go to Carthage and then come back and head for the Rocky Mountains.  Joseph and Hyrum decide to go to the Rocky Mountains and Orrin Porter Rockwell is to accompany them and then Brigham Young would bring the rest of the Saints.  On June 23rd Porter goes to Emma and tells her that Joseph is not coming back and she writes a letter to Joseph and asks him to give it to him (he cannot read and so he does not know what it says).  In the letter she tells him that many think that he would look like a coward if he did not go to Carthage.  She encourages him to come back, they had gone through many other trials over things he did not do, this would just be one more and things would be alright.  She had confidence that Governor Boggs would take care of him.  It was at this point that he said “If my life is of no value to my friends, it is of none to me.”  He and Hyrum go back on June 24th.  Joseph and Hyrum head for Carthage with about 40 friends.  Five miles before Carthage Governor Ford had sent a Military escort. They instructed the Smith’s they were to turn around to go and ensure they could take weapons from the citizens in Nauvoo.  She ended there and will tell the rest next week, but we may not get to go. 

It was Ethan’s Birthday on Tuesday March 28th.  We are so excited for you and for the opportunity you will have of receiving the Priesthood, Sunday April 10th.  You are becoming a valiant young man and we love you so much.  We hope you will feel us close to you on that day, and wish that we could be there.

On Saturday, we watched General Conference which was great.  We went into Keokuk in between sessions and stopped to see a barge go through the locks on the Mississippi.  We also picked up a deranged man on the side of the road; the wind was blowing so hard that he could not pedal into it.  He asked if we would take him to a gas station so he could buy a drink.  He had a disability and didn’t really know who he was or where he was going.  He had a scratched note that gave some directions, but they were not clear.  We took him to the gas station, bought him a drink and asked the cashier if she knew where there was a home that had llamas?  She said no, but to try near Camp Nauvoo; she gave us directions there.  We came to Camp Nauvoo but he was not sure where to go; we tried a couple of roads with no success.  Finally we saw a man on a riding lawn mower and stopped to ask him if he knew the gentleman, he said “No” and told us to call the cops and let them find out whom he was and where he lived.  We did so, waited for the cop, unloaded his bike from our trunk and left him in the hands of the officer.  We pray he made it home safely.

Today we watched conference again.  Wow as you know it was Awesome.  The talks about Temple work really meant a lot to us.  So grateful that President Monson was able to speak.  We know that he is a true Prophet of God.  Things are starting to green up here and the trees are blossoming.  We are so happy to be serving here.  We love you all, and we hope you have a wonderful week. 
Mom & Dad/Nana & Papa/Elder & Sister Shaw