Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Nauvoo Week 44 (10 - 16 October 2016)

Nauvoo Week 44 (10 – 16 October 2016)

We will finish our trip to Adam Ondi Ahman, Far West, Richmond, Liberty, Independence and Kansas City in this blog.  On Monday, we had stayed in Liberty, MO on Sunday night; we arose and visited the Liberty Jail Visitor’s Center. 
We were the first ones there for the day and had the entire center to ourselves.  We were met by sister missionaries and taken into the reception area.  Here we were walked through the adventures of the saints in Independence, MO their banishment to Clay County and then on to Caldwell and Davies’ Counties.  We were led into a hall where the Church has rebuilt a portion of the Liberty Jail (2 floors with a small attic).  It was basically escape proof (for those days), the walls were almost 4’ thick (2’ of stone, 1’ of loose rock and 1’ of rough-hewn timbers), the floor was dirt with a little bit of dirty straw and 2 small windows (there was no insulation, so it was very cold in the winter).  The attic also had a layer of loose rock that would fall on you if you tried to escape through the roof.  The jail was later deemed to be “unfit for human life.”  The basement (dungeon) level was not tall enough to stand in, so all those incarcerated would have to bend over if they were over about 68” tall). 
Joseph, Hyrum and the others were here during the coldest time of the year (Dec 1838 – April 1839).  While here the Prophet received revelations (D&C 121, 122, & 123).  Joseph spent 1 week out of jail while he was here meeting with his defense attorney (Alexander Doniphan), then returned to spend the rest of the time.  Joseph, Hyrum and the others were released (allowed to escape) near the Charlton River and immediately proceeded to Quincy, IL to be with the rest of the persecuted saints.  They were released when all of the saints had been driven from the state of Missouri.  There is a special spirit here, to know that the Prophet of the Lord was allowed to suffer here for so long (all the time giving him experience and preparing him for what was to come).  It brought tears of gratitude to our eyes to see the lessons the Lord teaches us each day of our lives.

Following our time at Liberty we traveled to Independence, MO to see the dedicated Temple site, visit the LDS Visitor’s Center, the Community of Christ Temple and the surrounding headquarters area of their church. 
It was fascinating to stand again on the dedicated site of the Temple and to reflect on what happened here and what will happen in the coming years.  The Church originally owned 63 acres of land in Independence, but following their forced exit they lost all (they now own about 20 acres of the original land).  Independence means the “Center Place” and where Joseph stated was the location of the Garden of Eden and will become the “New Jerusalem.”  The Temple Lot (dedicated August 1831) will be on the location of the 24 Temples that will be built-it will be the #1 Temple where Christ will reign as “King of Kings” (Head of Government) and Old Jerusalem will be (Head of the Church) where Christ will reign as “Lord of Lords.”  In the LDS Visitor’s Center we watched a short presentation of the plan of our Father in Heaven and the eternal nature of the Family.  It was very touching and strengthened our testimonies of being Families Forever. 
We then visited another exhibit of the early pioneers and their gathering in Independence and some of the trials that they experienced.  We then visited the Christus statue and the young sister missionaries and a couple of the older missionary sisters sang the song “How Great Thou Art,” it was a very fitting conclusion to our visit here.  Right next to the Temple Lot, there is a small church (Church of Jesus Christ-Hedrikites) established on April 6, 1837.  They have about 200 members, 12 Apostles, and use the Book of Mormon. 

Following our visit to the LDS sites we walked by the RLDS (Community of Christ) Stone Church, built in 1888. 
It served as the centerpiece of their church until the construction of their auditorium and later their Temple built in April 1994.  We entered their Temple and proceeded to visit their museum and meditation chapels.  We then entered the Sanctuary by the inclining walkway passing by many beautiful sculptures and modern artwork.  Here in the Sanctuary is a large pipe organ and where they hold a daily 1:00pm Prayer for Peace Ceremony (each day they pray for one country in the world).  As you look upward you can see up about 150’ into a cone shaped ceiling, it is very beautiful and well lighted.  There was an organ recital in progress; we had met the gentleman that was playing in the LDS Visitors Center earlier, he was a pilot that was overnighting in Kansas City and had requested and been approved to play this day.  It was very interesting and sounded very good. 
We finished our visit to the Temple and noted the difference in its’ use and how we use our Temples.  We then returned to the hotel and then went to eat.

On Tuesday, we awoke, ate and went to the Kansas City Temple and participated in an Endowment Session.  It was a beautiful session and a very fitting end to our trip.  The Temple was dedicated in 2012 and appears to sit on quite a bit of property owned by the Church.  We then began our trip back to Nauvoo (about 4.5 hours).  It was a great time to get to know Elder Chris and Sister Laurene Brown, they are wonderful people and we are sure we will be able to stay in touch with them as they live in West
Valley City and work in the Jordan River Temple.

On Wednesday, we again had the opportunity of listening to Brother and Sister George Durrant.  Sister Durrant spoke on Life in Nauvoo, we then served out afternoon/evening session in the Temple.

On Thursday, following our morning service in the Temple we traveled with Elder and Sister Garff (CA) to Camp Point, IL to the home of the Saturday afternoon shift coordinators (Brother and Sister Victor Hart).  Mapquest took us a round about way and consequently we were about 20 minutes late arriving.  They have a very nice home (out in the country) and there had a wonderful meal of smoked pork, potato salad, cole slaw, rolls, beans and a wonderful dessert.  We talked and laughed a lot and got to know each other a lot better.  They directed us to a more direct route home, thankfully.

Friday, we served in the morning shift and then met Sharon’s friend, Robin and Gary Anderson along with Robin’s brother (Roger & Joyce Stroud) who are site missionaries in Nauvoo at Angelini’s Restaurant in Keokuk, IA.  It was good to see them again and to get caught up on what is going on in Utah.  Following the dinner we took off for New London to watch Dallas Bell and Corey Jacobs play football.  It was a cold night and they lost in the last three minutes.

Saturday, we served in the afternoon/evening and had some more wonderful experiences.  It was also the Nauvoo Stake Conference.  Sunday, we attended the 10:00am Stake Conference Session.

We love each and everyone of you, you are in our daily prayers.  We are realizing just how fast time is passing and we want you all to know that we love you and will be home with you before you know it.  We look forward to your hugs again. 
Thanks for your support, love and kindness to us.  We know what we are doing is what we should be doing at this time of our lives.  We know we are involved, as you all are, in the work of our Father in Heaven and His Son, Jesus Christ.  We love you.

Tom & Sharon/Nana & Papa/Elder & Sister Shaw    

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