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).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).
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