Nauvoo Week 31 (11 – 17 July 2016)
The weeks keep whizzing by! Monday we worked at the Temple from 1:00 P. M. to 5:00 P.M. This is a temporary shift until the end of July. Sadly, I don’t think very many know that it is open in the afternoon because it is pretty slow except for the Baptistry. Tuesday we had the evening shift, which is when we are in charge of the Baptistry. We had a very busy night, the busiest we have ever been. Busloads of kids have been coming from all over the place and one of their activities is to do baptisms. It is fun to see them and to help them do the work. Some have done some genealogy and have family names which they found. The youth are amazing I think we would all agree with that.
Wednesday our neighbor from West Jordan, UT Janice King and her daughter Amy came on a tour bus to Nauvoo. It has been a church tour and they had been to the Hill Cumorah pageant, to the sacred grove and other sights. Their bus tour had reserved time on the 2:00 session which Tom and I officiated. Then at 4:00 Tom did a sealing session for Janice and her daughter. It was fun to see her and we had substitutes for our shift so we went to dinner with them and to “Sunset by the Mississippi.” Nauvoo was the end of their tour and they were tired and had swollen ankles and were ready to go home.
Thursday we went to Burlington to see the animated pet movie “The Secret lives of Pets.” Tom wanted to see it, not to sure why! Tom had been asked to do Spanish translation for the Nauvoo pageant. They sit in a little tent and have been given certain parts to say. They really don’t know how many Spanish people are even in the audience. Before it starts someone goes through the audience to give out headsets for those who don’t speak English.
Friday has been our Preparation day for the month of July. Our group went to a store called the Dutchman, which is a big store that the Mennonite people work in. They usually have some pretty good deals there and meat in big bulk. We then went back through Ft. Madison and ate at a place called The Apron. All their food is homemade and I thought it was really good. They also had some delicious deserts.
The Temple closes by 8:00 P.M. through July. So our evening shifts are not as long as the normal. Saturday during the day is always busy but the afternoon evening shift is always very slow. People that live in the temple district have to come anywhere from one to four hours away. Of course there are others who live right in Nauvoo which is great for them.
Sunday evening we had a short play about some of the Apostles and their Missions to England. It was quite touching. They portrayed John Taylor, Brigham Young, Wilford Woodruff, Parley Pratt and women who portrayed some of their wives. When I had the opportunity to talk about my ancestor Mary Smallman in February, she was living with a family named the Benbow’s. She took care of their children and was a live in Nanny. They had Missionaries come to teach them and they had all joined the church including Mary. When Elder Woodruff came to England on his mission he came to William Benbow’s home and stayed some days there while he was proselyting. Mary had the opportunity to wash Elder Woodruff’s feet, which was a great honor for her. Elder Woodruff was going to go to another area in England and William Benbow begged him to go with him to his brothers home John Benbow. He agreed to do so. He had been associated with a prominent United Brethren. He and his family were baptized within a few days and also every man of the United Brethren also joined except for one person. The group had six hundred men in it!
Both brothers went on to Nauvoo. Mary was asked to go with the William Benbow family to continue taking care of their children. She left all her family behind in England as none of them ever joined the church. After being in Nauvoo a couple of years, William and his wife became disenchanted with the church and left it. Mary still believed and was with them still. They began to treat her terribly, some thought it was because she held on to her believe. One day a farmer saw her out in a field that lived next to Benbow’s; he could tell she was in a bad way. He approached her and told her to come to his home and never to go back to the Benbow’s. It was sad that things went sour for the William Benbow, and a shame the way they treated Mary. Her posterity certainly has no love loss for that family. But in the play I realized that even though he was a turkey he was instrumental in bringing his brother John Benbow and family as well as five hundred and ninety nine other men into the gospel. They were all quite prominent church members, who joined with the saints of the church. Mary Smallman was a very brave women and she remained faithful all of her life.
We are so happy to be here, and especially this month we are grateful that we have been able to see the pageants and some of the other activities that are here. We feel the spirit of these wonderful saints who lived here and sacrificed so much to help the church move forward. Tomorrow, Jeff’s family will be here and we look forward to spending time with them. Then the following week Kristy’s family will come. We are so happy that all our children and their families have been able to come and spend time with us, and feel the strong spirit of Nauvoo.
Love to all of you,
Mom & Dad/Nana & Papa/Elder & Sister Shaw