Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Proof of a Prophet's Life & the Witness of Saints...

It's always nice to get a reconfirmation of your convictions once in a while.
That's what we were hoping for by planning a little trip to Nauvoo with the Young Women's group from our church...and 4 days, 1 spectacular Nauvoo pageant and a bazillion spiritual experiences later, that's just what we all got!
Annnddd I imagine over 400 pictures should suffice in helping me explain the awesomeness of the whole trip, don't you think? 

"It was on the morning of a beautiful, clear day, early in the spring of eighteen hundred and twenty...I kneeled down and began to offer up the desires of my heart to God...I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me...When the light rested upon me, I saw two personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake my name and said, pointing to the other - This is my beloved Son. Hear Him!"
~ Joseph Smith

After 13 hours of driving through the night we arrived in Carthage and decided to begin our half-week long tour with the place of the prophet Joseph Smith's martyrdom.
Statue of Jospeh and his brother Hyrum Smith. 

When the mob descended on Carthage jail, bullets were said to rain down like hail.

The bullet hole where the shot that killed Joseph's brother Hyrum came through. He was shot in the face and died instantly. Joseph and the other prisoners, friends and followers of the prophet, tried to hold off the mob as best they could. Ultimately, the prophet was shot and fell through this window...
This is where he fell and the mob rushed down to see if he truly was dead.

Fearing the mob would come back to kill the other prisoners, John Taylor, who had been shot several times and was bleeding profusely from his hip, was hidden by his friend and cellmate, Willard Richards. John Taylor would later become the 3rd prophet of the Church, succeeding Brigham Young.

The feeling at this site is tremendously strong. The Spirit just pounds on your soul listening to the missionaries talk about his martyrdom. These 2 men where sitting outside crying and wiping their tears with their ties.

These little girls play around the statues. One is even trying to hold Joseph's hand.

On to our next stop, but not before a photo op in front of the long Mississippi River.

The Nauvoo Temple. It's probably one of my favorites.

It's late afternoon and we've yet to make it to our hotel room, there's just too much to see! We decided to watch the Nauvoo pageant that night and saw all these fun pioneer-like activities going on, so we stayed! Here are some boys dressed in pioneer attire playing stick ball.

Bishop Mason and Jerry decide a little stick pull competition is in order.

Bishop loses round 1!

Let's see what Rounds 2 and 3 bring...

Bishop wins! But Jerry didn't go down without a fight, that's for sure!

Crystal and the girls decide to try Stick ball...played with scrap wood and balls of yarn.

Here comes Maddie racing for home plate!

No strikes for Jesse. That ball is outta here!

Watching some good old fashioned square dancing.

This adorable couple and their pooch were enjoying the music and some nachos. The pooch has her own nachos!

Bagpipes played throughout the festivities and were quite pleasing to listen to.

Stilt walking is SO much harder than it looks!

Jesse is the exception to this rule, however. She made it look like it was so easy! Even the instructors were asking her to stay and teach everyone else.

Bishop doesn't look like he has much confidence in my ability to safely pull this handcart from one end of the field to the other with him in it, does he?

I showed him!

Now it was his turn to find out that it wasn't as easy as it looked!

Daphne and Maddie were challenged to carting Jerry around! They did pretty well! (Don't mind Bishop's feet in the back. He was only there for support.)

Crystal and Daphne use teamwork to saw a piece of wood.

Before the pageant began I caught these 2 missionaries and the local Catholic priest, who had come to watch the pageant, cheerfully engaged in conversation. Isn't this the way it's supposed to be - all religions respecting and supporting each other?

The pageant was a stunning display of history and left us all in awe. Not a dry eye in the crowd!

The next day, (after we finally got a shower and some sleep!), we headed out to downtown Nauvoo for a tour of all the many facilities and shows! Here was the tiny school house.

This was the post office. Paper was such a precious commodity, a luxury really, that the people would write on both sides horizontally first, then if they still had more to say, the paper was flipped sideways and they wrote vertically. It was very difficult to read.

Quick photo op in front of a cute red wagon.

A tiny stairwell inside one of the homes.

Our tour guides on the wagon ride through old Nauvoo.

Again, the temple.

The group makes a stop at the Old General Variety Store.

At the Women's Exhibit.

Jesse tries to make her move.

Daphne was the perfect height for this sweet photo op.

In the Cultural Hall. This was the place of many happy times for the Saints and the people of Nauvoo. It was also where the prophet spent most of his time planning the trek from Nauvoo (where it had been revealed to him that the Saints would not be able to stay), to the Salt Lake Valley (of which he would never get to see).

On to the Family Living Center. Here we learned how to make our own bread, weave, make barrels, and our own rope. Here Daphne and Libby are twisting the strands of Sisal to make our rope.

It's been a long 2 days for us!

While we waited for "Sunset on the Mississippi" to start, I found this little cutie crawling around and had to take some shots...

(To the mother of this cutie pie, I have more photos that I will upload to my flickr account. However, it will be the  beginning of August before I can do that. Thanks for letting me take these photos!)

The Parade of Children, before "Sunset" began.

We really have never laughed so hard! It was a great little variety show.

And these 2 with their little chicken were hysterical!!

"I ain't gonna take it sittin' down!"

Now that the show is over, time for some goofing off ourselves!

We love Nauvoo!

And of course, what's goofiness without Bishop and Jerry's two cents? Good form, Bishop Mason!

Our final full day found us in Nauvoo for an amazing temple trip. My daughter turned 12 just a few days before so this temple trip was uber-special!

Daphne ran off before we could grab a photo with her. lol! She was so excited to be there.

After the temple we toured the local Catholic church. It was beautiful. I had never seen a pink chapel before.

Their statues and art work and stained glass were gorgeous.

This is a statue of a grieving family in the burial grounds for the Saints that never made it to the Salt Lake Valley. The journey was hard and their sacrifices incomprehensible.
I, my family and our posterity will be eternally grateful  for all they gave up in the pursuit of hope and happiness beyond that which this earth-life can offer us.

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