7.26.2011

Celebrating our pioneer heritage

Pioneer day...July 24th...this past Sunday.  The day we commemorate the saints entrance into Utah Valley.  I can't think of a better way to honor the memory of the pioneers than to spend the prior weekend in Nauvoo.  It was painfully hot and humid, but it was one of those experiences that left me a little different.  It left me thinking.  It left me longing to change.  It left me craving to be just a little bit better as a person.  Why?  Let me share a little bit about the story of Nauvoo...and my story of Nauvoo.

The saints came to Nauvoo after financial problems in Kirtland, Ohio and being run out of Missouri.  It was swampy and infested with mosquitos carrying Malaria.  Many got sick, but many miraculous healings were performed.  And these early saints got to work transforming this swamp into a city that would champion Chicago in size (at its' height, it had 300 people less than Chicago).  They built a community, they built a temple, and they built their faith.

Now my experience.

Here's some pictures.  They might tell the story better than me. :)

We stayed here the first night.  Praire Winds Motel.  Carthage, IL.
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Hotel phone...yes, we unplugged it.
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Friday morning.  Nauvoo temple.  The temple was gorgeous!!  This temple was built as a replica of the original that was destroyed by mobs when the saints were forced to flee Nauvoo.
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These statues of Joseph and Hyrum Smith commemorate their last ride from Nauvoo.  They stopped in this area and looked at the temple.  Joseph commented how much he loved the people and how they had no idea of the hardships that awaited them.  He knew he would not be coming back.
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I was so impressed by all the couple missionaries in Nauvoo! They were all there on a volunteer basis.  No pay.  They all had a quiet confidence about them.  They guided us on tours of the different pioneer homes and demonstrated crafts of the day, and they always found ways to share their testimony of Jesus Christ and Joseph Smith!  It invited such a gentle and sweet spirit.  Never overbearing.  Always full of sincerity and love.

Webb Brothers' Blacksmith Shop.  We got cool "diamond" rings here.
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John Taylor Home
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The below rocking horse was made by John Taylor for his son.  When the Saints were forced from Nauvoo, this was left behind.  His son was so upset, that John Taylor rode the 20+ miles back to Nauvoo, knowing that mobs were out searching for any "mormons".  Needless to say, he made it back safe...he later became the third prophet of the church.
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Print Shop
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Browning Home & Gunsmith Shop
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Pendleton Home & Log School- I love how the walls are hand scrapaped!  Can you imagine the work it would take?!?
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They also told us here about some of the efforts for education.  There were immigrants from all over Europe who had come to join Zion.  Most did not speak english.  Some did not have the means to pay for an education, so they paid in eggs, apples, and other commodities.
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Brigham Young Home- so glad we don't have to wear bonnets!  The one below apparently sits high on the head to allow circulation in hot months.
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Scovil Bakery- yum!  We got to try pioneer ginger bread.
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That night we attended the Nauvoo pageant.  I've been to two others- the Manti pageant & Mesa, AZ pageant.  This one is my favorite so far...minus the mosquitos & humidity :)
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This was our first day touring. More to come about our second day!

3 comments :

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  2. Really? Grandma Wadell? I probably misspelled that :)

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  3. My aunt and uncle are the camp director's near Nauvoo and my mom and sister were there last Friday and Saturday! I was hoping they may had made it into some background in your photos. Beautiful photos!

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