Monday, May 30, 2016

Nauvoo Week 23 (16 - 22 May 2016)

Nauvoo Week 23 (16-22 May 2016)

This was an exciting week with many activities and an upcoming visit from Scott, Malia and Corban.  On Monday, Tom played golf by himself and shot his best round of the year…is there a message here or did he fill out the scorecard and then play the round?

On Tuesday, we traveled to Keokuk, IA to do some shopping for the visit of Scott, Malia and Corban.  We are really excited for them to visit Nauvoo!  Later that day we served as Baptismal Coordinators in the Temple, it was a rather slow evening but we are promised as the summer arrives it will be almost nonstop.  We had better enjoy a little peace and quiet now.  We soon hope to have our “permanent” team assigned so we can begin to train them in the duties and responsibilities of the position.  Late in the day Sharon became ill and returned home a little early, hopefully able to shake off what she had as we are leaving tomorrow on a tour that had been cancelled (tornado warnings, etc.) about a month ago to the Church sites in Missouri.

On Wednesday, we arose early to meet with the other couples going on the tour with Brother Craig R. Dunn.  As Sharon awoke this morning she felt it best that she not go and expose all the others to her “Nauvoo Crud.”  So, she stayed home and I went with the other 6 couples (we had paid for the tour a few months ago).  She assured me she would be fine and would just rest and get better for Scott, Malia and Corban’s visit.

We met in the Temple parking lot and headed off in a small tour bus to Adam Ondi Ahman.  I remember about 20 years ago a few us from the Guard were at a conference in Kansas City, MO and we took one afternoon and drove to what we thought was Adam Ondi Ahman…now that I have been there I am not sure we ever knew where we were?  The site is well marked now and there are plenty of signs directing you to the various landmarks (I know this was not there 20 years ago).  As we arrived we ate our sack lunches at a designated picnic area, then walked down to a site where you could see most of the 4,000 acres that the Church owns. 
It was a beautiful site; most of the acreage is being farmed by people on a lease.  There are also about 40 little ponds that dot the area and they are all connected via underground piping. There were 4x4 tractors with extending arms for spraying that were going over the ground spraying something…they were pretty impressive!

We then traveled to Spring Hill and Tower Hill within the acreage.  Zions Camp had passed through much of the Adam Ondi Ahman area and the Prophet Joseph had stopped and declared that at one certain point was the site of the altar that Adam and Eve had prayed at every day after being driven from the Garden of Eden. 
There is a small stone here without inscription.  We then walked to Preacher’s Rock we Brother Dunn did an experiment of the wonderful acoustics of this little valley.  Several of the brethren climbed upon the rock and I went down the hill and about another 120 yards.  They then spoke in normal tone and I was able to hear as if they were next to me…I spoke from my spot in a normal voice and they heard me clearly.  With nothing but a few trees and a wide open sky it was amazing to find such a spot where you voice could be heard for hundreds of yards. 
There were several trees planted in the bottom of the little valley, he stated there was a tree for each cabin that stood in this area.

We then proceeded to Far West to see the Temple site (cornerstones) and to hear of the trials of the Saints in that location.  It was told that following the “Driving out” of the Saints a few of the Apostles snuck back there at midnight from Quincy, IL and dedicated the Temple site. 
This was really risky, but they figured they could do it in the night and not be killed by the mob(s). 

We then continued on to Liberty Jail in Liberty, MO.  Boy how this town has changed!  It is now a huge city (basically a suburb of Kansas City).  The Visitor’s Center there is very touching and the spirit is in abundance.  The Church has reconstructed about half of the Liberty Jail inside the center and it is amazing.  It truly was a very bad situation particularly seeing that he and others were incarcerated unjustly…they kept them in the jail for sufficient time to drive all of the members out of Missouri and then they let them escape.  The jail itself was very cold, hardly any light at all and had a terrible odor.  It had been constructed just prior to his/their entering and was pretty much escape proof.  The walls were approximately 48” thick (16-18” stone walls, 16-18” of loose rock and finally 12” x 12” timbers for the inside walls.  It was dismal, dark, damp and some of Joseph’s worst days were spent here.  Even though this was a difficult time for him and the others, he grew much and learned much about who he was and what he was becoming.  Many people think this is where Joseph rebuked the guards following hours of bragging from the jailers about the atrocities they had committed with the saints.  This was done in a holding cell in Richmond, MO.

We spent the night here in Liberty and the next morning drove to Independence, MO.  We visited the Temple Lot and stood on the four cornerstones of the future #1 Temple.  Joseph described that in that area there would be built 24 Temples, but the cornerstones that were laid out were for the # 1 Temple where Christ will reign as King of Kings or of the government of the world following the second coming and during the millennium.  Jerusalem will be the headquarters of the gospel where Christ will reign as Lord of Lords.  Originally, the Church purchased 63 acres in Independence, but this property was all taken from them when they were driven out.  The Church has since repurchased 23 acres of the Temple site.

We visited the Community of Christ Temple (not used the same as our temples). 
Independence is the world-wide headquarters of this Church.  Their Temple is used as a Visitor’s Center and a place for daily prayer at 1:00pm for Peace throughout the World.  They have a large auditorium which holds approximately 1,600 people.  It is a beautiful building.  Across the street from the Temple stands the Community of Christ’s (formerly Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) Assembly Hall that is used for their world-wide conference (held approximately every two years-this year June 4-11, 2016).  They hold many other events here and rent it out for other special occasions in the community.  We visited the “Old Stone Church” which was the Community of Christ’s first official meeting house…it was locked so we were not able to see the inside where we understand they have many beautiful stained glass windows.

We then traveled to the Kansas City Temple and attended a Temple Session.  It is a beautiful Temple and we enjoyed our time there and felt the spirit very strongly. 
Following this last stop we headed home, arriving around 9:00pm.  It was a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the history of the Saints; their trials and tribulations and yes, the blessings that came to them through their obedience.  As we continue to learn more about these faithful people and their willingness to leave all of their families, traditions and belongings to follow a living Prophet we are in awe of their sacrifice and willingness to forego many pleasures, a much easier life and to give their all to their God.  We are grateful to them for their diligence, strength, faith and love of their God; we now stand proudly and perhaps a little taller…but we are standing on their shoulders.

On Friday, I served in the Temple (Sharon is still recovering from her illness).  Early evening, Scott, Malia and Corban arrived from Lake Zurich; it was so good to see them and to get hugs from them.  Corban is growing and Malia is getting closer to delivering their little girl (Ruby). 
Later that night, following dinner, we attended the Nauvoo production of “Rendezvous.”  It’s kind of a play that depicts life in Nauvoo up to the exodus of the Saints.  They then went to Hotel Nauvoo and spent the night. 

On Saturday, Scott and Tom played golf in Hamilton, IL and had a great time.  They returned and we visited a few more of the historic sites in Nauvoo, went to dinner in Keokuk, IA and had a great time catching up on how things were with them.

Sunday, we attended Church in the Nauvoo 1st Ward and then headed to Carthage, IL.  We followed the approximately the same route that Joseph and Hyrum (along with others) took to Carthage.  It was about 18 miles one way from Nauvoo to Carthage. 
They left early in the morning and rode 14 miles to the Albert Fellows farm where they met Capt. Dunn and the militia with a written order from Governor Ford for all the state issued arms to be collected from the Nauvoo Legion-Joseph signs the order and returns with Capt. Dunn to Nauvoo (another 14 miles) where they collect all the arms.  They then begin again the ride to Carthage (18 more miles-a total of 46 miles that day on horseback, ouch!).  We took the tour of the Carthage Jail where the Prophet Joseph and his brother, Hyrum were martyred by a mob.  There is much to be said here, but perhaps it will suffice to say that it was not only a religious martyrdom, but an economical as well as a political one.

We are grateful for each of you; we love you with all of our hearts.  We know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the true and living Church here upon the earth.  We are led by a Prophet, Thomas S. Monson.  The Book of Mormon is another Testament of Jesus Christ and was written for our day.  The Temple is the house of God, His spirit permeates it and as you attend you will find answers to your prayers and the spirit will testify to the truthfulness of the gospel and God’s eternal plan of Happiness.  We love you all, thanks for our love, support and prayers.

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

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