Sunday, August 4, 2013

Last day at Nauvoo

This was another great day, with a few little stresses. We went to Carthage first thing. We got there half an hour before it opened, so we spent some time in the parking lot getting ready. Then they let us in, and we had the place to ourselves. The guy who gave us the tour did a great job, and since no one was waiting behind us he let us have a little time in the room where Joseph Smith was killed. We had a very moving time there. I think everyone will always remember it. The peace and the Spirit were strong. It was a really wonderful, momentous time. Jacob talked about it several times over the next few days.

Memorial to Joseph and Hyrum Smith at Carthage

Mom looking out the window where Joseph Smith was shot and fell at Carthage

The whole family near where the Prophet Joseph Smith died after he fell out the window at Carthage

Then we went back to Nauvoo. We saw Brigham Young’s home, Heber C. Kimball’s home, and Wilford Woodruff’s home. These were great men. They gave so much to the kingdom of God. They built, worked and sacrificed. The things that happened in these homes are amazing. To be in the home where Brigham Young lived as he took leadership of the church. I walked through the Heber C. Kimball home and thought of the things that must have transpired in those walls as Heber and Vilate considered having Vilate marry Joseph Smith, and then the thoughts and prayers as 14 year old Helen did marry the Prophet. What dedication was shown in these homes.

A horse that Wilford Woodruff's boy missed so much that Woodruff traveled back by night after they left Nauvoo to get it for his son

We also did the brick making shop, which was interesting. The missionary there was in my Grandpa Muhlestein’s ward. It was nice to have that connection. We also watched a little play for the young kids.
We went to the RLDS sites and got tickets and a time to go in. As we pulled up we saw that the motorhome was leaking again, quite a bit. It looked like maybe we would need to get it fixed before we could go anywhere. This stressed me.
We couldn’t get in to the RLDS sites for an hour, so we went to the blacksmith shop. It was a great experience to learn so much about how they got ready for the trek. I learned a lot about a number of important things. The kids really liked it too. 

When we went to go back to the RLDS sites, the motorhome radiator was leaking quite badly. I took everyone there, and let them go to the shop, etc. It was leaking worse. So I left them there and went to the one autoshop in town. The guy there was so very nice. He said he knew Jed and was in his ward growing up. He looked it over and couldn’t see what was causing the problem. As we spoke a feeling of peace, that all would be well, came over me. He told me that it seems to just be leaking when we first turn it off, probably because of the pressure that builds when you turn the engine off. He said he could fix it on Wednesday (it was Friday), but I could just try stop leak if I wanted. That was kind of what I was thinking. He gave me some stop leak for free, and wouldn’t take any money for it. He helped me get some air in my tires, which has been a hard thing for me to get done. I felt pretty good about things as I left.

I drove for a while to work the stop leak through. It only leaked a little when I finally stopped. I met my family when they were part way through seeing some of the Joseph Smith sites. I was so grateful to be with them. I was able to be with them in a number of places where I know Joseph Smith lived and important things happened, and where I know the mummies and papyri were. I did a little bit of filming for my class for that. I was able to teach some people who had questions. I got some good pictures in as well. The guide was very good, and after asking some questions I figured out that he is a descendant of Joseph Smith through Joseph Smith III. I was impressed with him. 

The grave site of Hyrum, Joseph and Emma Smith
The mansion house, where Joseph Smith lived the last few years in Nauvoo
My kids were very, very touched with this place. After spending some time at the Joseph Smith grave site, Kaleb and Alexi were so excited to have been that close to the Prophet. They felt like it was one of the most sacred places they had ever been. They told me that they never wanted to wash their shoes because they had walked where Joseph Smith had died and where he was buried. I think they have developed a strong testimony of and love for Joseph Smith. I am so happy with this.

Kaleb at the prophet's gravesite
View of the Mississippi from the Prophet's home

I have to say that again and again I have been reminded of what an amazing prophet Joseph Smith was. Sometimes it is easy to forget, but he is such a remarkable man. He is someone who lived so close to the Spirit and had so much inspiration and revelation flowing through him. He is a remarkable prophet, and my testimony of him and love for him has been renewed and grown. I am grateful for that.

The Red Brick Store where Joseph Smith did work on the Book of Abraham while in Nauvoo
Joseph Smith's office in the Red Brick Store where Joseph Smith kept the papyri and worked on the Book of Abraham
The foundation of the Times and Seasons Building where the Book of Abraham was first published

We watched a little musical put on by the missionaries. A bit long and boring for me, but Julianne enjoyed it. I am glad we went, both so she could be happy about going there and because as Jacob got bored he started asking me questions about Joseph Smith and how and why he was killed. We had a meaningful time there.
Then we went to the temple and talked about it. We talked about how important it was. We talked about how Grandma and Grandpa Muhlestein served a mission there. 

All of us at the Nauvoo Temple
We talked about all the history of the Saints we have traced so far. Independence was out of order. But we have gone to Palmyra, over to Kirtland, then to Nauvoo, where we spent one day learning about the people that were there and how it grew. Then we spent a day learning about Joseph Smith and the way he lived and died there and the men who led the Church after him. The last thing they did was build the temple, which is where we ended, and then we headed out for Winter Quarters, just as they did.

We drove a few hours to Ottumwa Iowa (only after we were half way there did I realize that this was where Radar O’Reilly from MASH was from). When we got there we learned that they had reservations for us for the next day, and had no openings that night. So we drove another two hours and just spent the night at a truck stop. It rained and there were motorcycles and diesels going around us all night. It was not the most restful night. But it worked out fine.

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