After finishing dinner at Aurthur Bryant's in
Kansas City, my Hero-Of-The-Highway (aka Collin)
made the 4 hour and 50 minute drive out of Missouri and into
Illinois where we would stop in the small,
yet historically packed town of Nauvoo :]
(It was about 2am when we arrived!)
Needless to say we had to stop a couple of times for sunflower seeds and soda pop.
We took the craziest, windy-est roads to get there. But get there we did!
It was an amazing sight when we arrived.
Our car came around a sharp corner, and all of a sudden
the Nauvoo Temple filled over view. It was completely
aglow with lights shining up all around it!
It was beautiful.
Our first day in Nauvoo was Sunday.
We walked to church. I got us a little lost... but eventually we found the church building.
At the edge of town there is a path, which has since been paved, that was taken by
the Mormon Pioneers when they were, once again, kicked out
of there homes. Along this path are markers
with journal entries of some of those faithful Saints. Many were
accounts of the people as they left their homes.
Many were testimonies of their faith in God.
Rising above the trees, the Temple stands in the skyline.
You can only imagine how much faith and strength and energy it must have
taken to leave not only your home, but
that magnificent Temple which had taken so much to build.
The next day we took a wagon ride and toured the now small, but once thriving community.
Afterward we made our way back through the town to see some of the homes
and shops of the people who once resided there.
(Like Collin's sweet goatee? I think it makes him look like
he should be on a motorcycle!)
Something SUPER neat, and maybe even my favorite part of Nauvoo,
was being able to find some of our ancestor who had once lived there! There is a records
office where you can look up the names of your family members.
Then, if there's a match, they will give you a map of where they lived!!
Collin and I each found a family member
that had lived in Nauvoo;
Zara Pulsipher and Christopher Layton.
We tried to track down the actual plot of land where Zara and his family
once lived, but we concluded his home has since been turned into something else (cause
we couldn't find it anywhere?)
After leaving Nauvoo we traveled a few miles to the city of Carthage.
When we arrived, we were amazed
to learn that this was the actual building, not a reconstruction,
where the Prophet Joseph and his brother
Hyrum were jailed, without cause, for the last time.
I felt a deep reverence for this building as we spent time inside.
Elder John Taylor, who would later become the 3rd Prophet of
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, wrote of the Prophet,
"He lived great, and he died great in the eyes of
God and his people; and like many of the Lord's
anointed in ancient times, has sealed his mission
and his works with his own blood."
What a wonderful man the Prophet Joseph Smith was. How blessed
I feel to be apart of the great work he gave his life for!
So much lies ahead for the Latter-day Saints. I am thankful
for those Saints from earlier days who sacrificed
much, if not all, they had to press forward the work we now get
to move forward today!