Nauvoo Week 43 (3 – 9 October 2016)
The weeks just fly by here! Sunday, October the 2nd was cute Kenzie’s Birthday. She turned 4, and she is quite the chatter box now.She also started preschool this year.
On Monday, we went to dinner with Elder Larry & Sister Becky Curtis who are also temple missionaries. They live in Day Break and they were serving in the Oquirrh Mountain Temple before coming out. They are one of the six month couples who will be leaving on or about 29 October. We have become good friends and we are excited that they will live so close to us that we will be able to continue doing things together.
We get together every Wednesday with all the Temple Missionaries and have some training or lectures. This week we had some of our Temple Missionaries who are converts to the church tell about their conversions. We have some wonderful couples we serve with who have some special stories.
On Friday it was Phoebe’s Birthday and she turned 8.She is full of energy and we love her so much. This is her special Birthday and we will just miss her baptism. We hope you will feel us close as we will be thinking about you on our special day. We saw your pictures in your white dress, you look beautiful.
Saturday, we took two young missionaries Elders Failor and Bigelow to lunch in Hamilton, IL to their favorite Mexican Restaurant. They come to the Baptistry on Tuesday evenings and help with the baptisms.
We didn’t work on the same shifts, but they looked familiar to us. They live in West Valley and so we will be able to get together with them as we return. We drove to Adam Ondi Ahman first. It consists of 4,000 acres almost surrounded by the Grand River. Most of the acreage is leased to farmers. There are approximately thirty to forty ponds on the property all connected together with underground piping. Thirty to forty couples serve on the grounds as grounds keepers and President Monson is their Mission President. There are two prominent knolls, Tower Hill and Spring Hill. There is a place called preachers rock there. If you stand on it many people for quite a distant can hear you, as you talk in a normal voice.
We next traveled to Gallatin where Mormons voting in bloc was not received well. It led to fisticuffs and two men were hurt. Members of the Mob reported to Governor Boggs that the Mormons were trying to take over their county. The extermination order was then ready to be signed.
Davies and Caldwell counties formed in 1836-1838 for the Mormons to live in. Far West became the headquarters of the Church for a period of time; there were around 5,000 strong and the largest settlement. They were assisted in obtaining these two counties through Senator Alexander Doniphan who was an attorney. He later saved Joseph’s life, and was a great friend to the Mormons. He also threatened to charge General Lucas if he shot Joseph in town square. The Mormon war ended here with the capture of Joseph, Hyrum, and others to General Lucas and were taken to Independence Missouri. Joseph walked freely here until they were taken to Richmond for trial, then to Liberty. The final Far West Temple stone was laid and dedicated at Midnight on April 26th 1838, by seven apostles. Wilford Woodruff and George A. Smith were ordained Apostles while sitting on the southeast stone then dedicated. Kingston is where the grave of John Whitmer is.
We passed by where the battle of the crooked river took place. The mob had crossed the boundary and kidnapped 3 Mormons to see if other Mormons would cross the boundary. They came to boundary and battle began. It was reported to Governor Boggs that all of their men had been killed at which time he signed the extermination order. This was not rescinded until June 25th 1976.
In Richmond (this is where Joseph rebuked the guards) Joseph and 50 others were taken for trial. Joseph had kept the original manuscript of the Book of Mormon. It was placed in a time capsule in the Mansion House but was almost destroyed due to time, humidity and weather, the Community of Christ Visitors Center now holds the remains and the original cornerstone. The printer’s manuscript copy was kept by Oliver Cowdery. It was used to print the Book of Mormon. Oliver later married a Whitmer daughter, and was later excommunicated. On the day of Joseph’s martyrdom, Joseph received a letter from Oliver requesting rebaptism. He later joined the church in Omaha. He entered the Kanesville Tabernacle during a meeting of the church, in which he was welcomed with open arms by Brigham Young. David Whitmer gained access of the Printers copy and kept it in his house. In 1878 his home was destroyed by a tornado, all but the room with the Printers Copy and it was not touched.
We went to a Pioneer Memorial cemetery where there is a stone to the 3 Witnesses of the Book of Mormon.Jacob Whitmer and the (8 witnesses) were buried here. The balance of the trip will be written in next week’s blog.
We are grateful for the opportunity to visit these sacred sites and to feel of the spirit. We are forever grateful for the pioneers and their courage and sacrifice to establish the church. We are honored to carry the pioneer spirit in our service here in Nauvoo. We pray the Lord’s choicest blessings to be with each of you. We love you all.
Tom & Sharon/Nana & Papa/Elder & Sister Shaw