Monday, April 25, 2011

Church History Tour Part 2: Nauvoo

After leaving Missouri we continued our tour of the early history of our church in Nauvoo.

Nauvoo was absolutely amazing.  There is lots that I need to share. (sorry for the really long post)

The church has bought most of old Nauvoo and have restored many of the buildings.  Visitors are able to learn stories of the early saints and to see much of how they lived.  Much of our time in Nauvoo was spent seeing what it was like to live in the early 1800s.  Here are a few fun experiences we had.

We made rope and were so proud.
We visited the schoolhouse to be educated by Robyn
We preached the gospel in the Seventies Hall
We got "prairie diamonds" from the blacksmith.  (These nails were used as rings because couples couldn't get actual diamonds.)
We walked down Hotchkiss street but edited the name to make it a  little extra awesome.
We rode on a wagon, where we discovered that Robyn could not have been a pioneer because she gets too cold.
We went to David's Chamber where Joseph Smith's son David went to paint.
We found an old school outhouse that was awesome.

In addition to all the fun we had, we had some great experiences that were very profound.  There were two that really stood out to me.  The first was the visit to Carthage Jail.
I have studied the accounts of the martyrdom of Joseph Smith when he was murdered in Carthage Jail.  I've always wanted to piece together the stories and being there in the jail really helped me to do that.  It was particularly profound being in the "martyr room" as they call it, the room where Joseph was when he was killed.
This is the bullet whole from the bullet that was shot through the door and into Hyrum Smith's face.  (Don't be bothered by Jared's finger sticking through.)
This is the window that Joseph Smith jumped out of.  He was shot twice in the back from the mob that was coming up the stairs.  He was also shot from the outside by the militia that had been assigned by the governor to protect him.  It was extremely powerful for me to be there and think about what happened there.

The last thing that was extremely profound for me was the walk down Parley Street.  I don't have any good pictures of it except that I took a picture of this monument at the end of the street.
This is a statue of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young looking west beyond the Mississippi River.  Of course, we know that after Joseph was killed, Brigham took the saints west to the Salt Lake valley.  This monument commemorates that but it also had a quote from Joseph Smith that showed that the exodus had been planned before his death.  Joseph said, "My people shall become a mighty host in the vastness of the Rocky Mountains."

This statue wasn't what was powerful to me though.  What was powerful was what they call the "Trail of Hope."  Parley Street was where the saints drove their wagons to the Mississippi River and then crossed and went west.  Along this street they have placed plaques with entries from the journals of the saints as they left.  Many of them talked about looking back at the temple one last time, and the sadness they felt.  We were able to make this same walk to the banks of the Mississippi and to look back at the view of the temple up on the bluff.  It was incredibly powerful for me to look back and to see that same view and try to imagine how they felt.

Overall, it really was an incredible trip.  We had lots of fun and we also were able to learn a lot about the history of the church.  It was a great experience and I'm very glad we went.


  1. What a great trip. I'm glad that we took the time to go out there. Thanks for the good times.

  2. I also loved the "Trail of Hope". I love that they had hope of finding peace and a place they could stay. I had a great time and thanks for going with me.

  3. Your trip looks like it was really fun! I loved Nauvoo and am excited to go back some time. I still need to get to a lot more of the church history sites though. I love the pic of Robyn wrapped in a blanket. That would totally be me. Haha.

  4. I'm so jealous! I have to go out there someday. I loooove the picture of you and Jared next to the outhouse. Hahahaha.


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