The first thing in the morning, we went to the Smith family's
first homestead and had a tour of the home
adjacent to Joseph, Hyrum, and Emma's burial place.
I felt distinctly as I entered the small family cemetery
that I was on hallowed ground.
It is a peaceful plot of land close to the Mississippi River.
Joseph and Emma's 'Mansion House' home was also close by.
Not sure I would have made a good pioneer.
Jim and I went for a long walk through Nauvoo
and ended up at the Relief Society women's memorial.
For me, it was the highlight of my trip.
There is a beautiful Spirit there.
It's been a great blessing in my life to
prepare my sons to serve the Lord.
It's been a great blessing in my life to
prepare my sons to serve the Lord.
and I was teary-eyed in more than one place.
The teachings about womanhood
are crystal clear there.
Each monument has a scripture plaque underneath.
This one talked about a woman developing her talents.
I was most touched at the last one.
It dissolved me to tears.
It talks about the ultimate blessings that comes to a woman
because of her desires to follow God's will for her in this life.
The statue depicts an old woman quilting.
The plaque says
I thought to myself while I was there that I have learned how to become a woman of God because of the teachings of so many wonderful leaders over the years and because of the scriptures. Those teachings have blessed my life immensely. I have been and continue to be, very grateful for such clear understanding of my potential as a daughter of God.
We visited an out of the way home off the beaten path
the Sarah Granger Kimball home.
Off in the distance (look closely) out Sarah's living room window, she and her domestic helper saw the men working on the Nauvoo Temple and wondered what they could do to help them. They decided to make shirts for them. More women wanted to help. Within a few days, Eliza R. Snow drew up a Relief Society organization charter and presented it to Joseph Smith. He told them the Lord had something better in mind...
Within a few days of that first experience, Joseph organized the Relief Society on the top floor of this building after the pattern of the priesthood. Relief Society has been a certain in my life.
Joseph and Emma
This depicts Joseph's monetary contribution
to the Relief Society at its founding.
This is at the top of the stairs in the Red Brick store.
A plaque (certainly not the original) says it
was Joseph Smith's office.
It's not a great picture but I went back up the stairs the second time to get this picture representing my joy at my membership in this Church and for Joseph Smith the prophet.
On the way down the stairs...
I heard a crunch in my hips...
Too many stairs for one day!
Here are the day's notes:
I am so glad I decided to try and email each night. Our days are so filled to the brim that if I didn't write this stuff down, I would forget it.
It's been a WONDERFUL day to say the least here in Nauvoo. We are tired to the bone but so happy. It's been wonderful to see Dad so happy and not burdened by his duties as bishop. They have been feeding us like it's the end of the world and Dad is taking full advantage. We've had every meat imaginable in all the forms Dad loves with much potatoes, gravy, biscuits, treats, etc, etc, etc. He's pretty happy.
This morning first thing we had a huge breakfast. Then we went to the Smith family homestead. We saw the house Joseph and Emma lived in and the Smith family cemetery. It is surrounded by a black iron fence (small) with a few trees on it. There are 18 family members on the lot I think. Joseph and Emma, Hyrum, Lucy, and Joseph Sr. are buried there. As I walked through the gate, the Spirit said, "The ground you are walking on is hallowed ground." It was a lovely experience to be there. I took pictures for Nels of his ancestor's graves.
We have a tour bus driver who made the rounds to pick people up today. Dad and I decided to walk to destination one. We thought it would be a short walk. We told the bus to go without us. It took us 45 minutes to walk and it was such a wonderful walk. Dad was so happy. We just walked along in cool weather and enjoyed Nauvoo by ourselves. That was a great part of our day. It was a good kind of error.
We walked to the Visitor's Center. Behind that is the Relief Society women's monument with all the statues dedicated to women in the various stages of their life. That was my most favorite part of today. I did not expect to feel so overwhelmed as I did with the Spirit confirming the roles and blessings of women. I took some pictures. It was a blessing to be there.
We had lunch in the park and caught a bus ride to an off the beaten path little pioneer home. It was the home of Sarah Granger Kimball. She was the wife of a wealthy man who was not a Mormon early on. They had money and means. She had a domestic helper. Their view from her front windows were dead on looking at the Nauvoo Temple. Her help said to her one day, "The men working on the temple every day work so hard. I wish we could do something to help them." Sarah said she had the means and her help had the talent. They decided to make shirts for the men. Others decided to join them. A charter for a "Relief Society" was drawn up and they presented it to Joseph. He said "The Lord has something better in mind for this society." Not long after, the Relief Society was organized. I took pictures out the window at this little home of the view of the temple that inspired them. Wonderful.
Dad and I spent the afternoon exploring Nauvoo and WALKING a LOT! Dad loved the barrel making exhibit. I went to the bread making exhibit while he was there and learned how the women made "ash bread" and used a brick oven by putting their arms in to test the temperature. Dad spent a long time at the gun making exhibit while I explored the John Taylor home, which I loved. On quote from the John Taylor home stuck with me. He said regarding the mobs who caused so much trouble for the saints, "We will suffer wrong rather than do wrong." I really liked his home although the stairs in all these houses were SO STEEP and my hips didn't like them!! I loved Lucy Mack Smith's home. She had arthritis and had a cool bed right in her living room. It looked good to me. :) We went to the brickyard and learned how they made bricks. They gave us a "Nauvoo RED BRICK." Cool. We went to the print shop and the post office and saw fun stuff there. We went to the shoemaker shop, that was fun. I saw the pioneer quilt exhibit-Elisa would have liked it.
We went to the "Lands and Records" building. We had a 5:00 appt. and had to hurry. We got a CD of 9 pages of info on Dad's direct ancestor(s) who lived in Nauvoo. Going back tomorrow for more. On the way out we needed to hurry. We walked along thinking we were going in the right direction. Low and behold, the bus came. The bus driver felt in his heart to check that area once more. We got on the bus and I thought, he's going in the wrong direction but really it was us!!
Our appt was at Joseph Smith's Red Brick store. We went in the upper room and had a presentation on the organization of the Relief Society which happened there and they made mention of the first endowments that were held there. We sang "Praise to the Man" in the space directly next to Joseph Smith's office. It was very, very tender, especially for me because that's how I joined the church because of my testimony of him as a prophet. The Spirit was very strong there.
We had a huge dinner and now I am tired!! The day starts early tomorrow. We are off to Carthage in the morning, back to Nauvoo for the afternoon, and a trip across Iowa tomorrow afternoon ending up in Garden Grove. We'll think of Gregory because that's his old mission!!!! We stay in Iowa tomorrow but don't get to the hotel until very late tomorrow night.
We love you all. It's been a wonderful trip.