It is nearly midnight and here I sit in the only place in the bustling metropolis of Nauvoo that is open — the laundromat. Abby is here with me, slogging through three days of camp-smelling, kid neglected and sweat-soiled clothes. It is a job that just needs to be done, regardless of the fact that this day began over 18 hours ago.
The plan was for us to meet at the Nauvoo temple this morning at 8am. For us, that meant getting up before 6am and getting ready in church clothes from the camp shower. The camp shower, by far not the worst I’ve seen, still leaves a lot to be desired, especially when getting ready on short sleep. But we’re trying not to murmur, even if after the fact. We knew we’d be coming here on a shoestring, we knew that because of our circumstances we would have inconveniences that nobody else would, and we knew we’d be dead tired through out. But there were times in the early morning hours that I thought we were just plain nuts for doing this.
But in the end the effort was quickly forgotten. We got into the Temple just fine and immediately noted the difference in this temple from others we had been in. The temple itself is “original size”, at least on the outside. But on the inside it is a model of efficient use of space and compact spaces. Mom had a stack of names from our geneaology for us to work on and we first went through an endowment session. It is a rare enough event for me to go to the temple with my parents. But to have both of my sisters there was a delight. To have my uncles and my aunt there just made it the rarest of temple excursions.
We next headed to the top floor of the temple to their biggest sealing room and there we got to witness some very important ordinances. My mother’s parents were first sealed to each other and then my Mom was sealed to them. It was a sacred, emotional event. I was not aware we were coming to Nauvoo to do this work — although Mom and Debbie said it was the plan all along. I’m glad it was and I’m sorry I didn’t realize it. It turned out to be a bonus for me and a sacred capstone to this whole event. Sandy and I not only witnessed this event, we were able to participate in doing sealings for my great-grandparents and a few other folks. A real honor and a distinctive way of putting this whole trip into the proper perspective.
We had left the kids — including Reeves, who had spent the night with Enoch in the 2-man tent — alone at the campground. We were anxiety filled about that for a while but it turned out well, in spite of some liberties taken by a few of the kids.
It was blazing hot today. The heat here is different in many respects. It got up to 96 today, not bad in our world in Utah where it needs to hit 110 in order for folks to really complain about dealing with the heat. But the heat today here was just oppressive. The heat I felt in Puerto Rico, which suffered from even higher humidity, was terrible but at least there you had the offset of ocean breezes from just about any direction. Here, you’ve got nothing to move the heat. It just sits on top of you like a warm marshmallow and before long you feel all your chocolate fudge oozing. It is warm and gooey and sticky and miserable.
Enoch, Allie, and Maggie went with their cousins and explored old Nauvoo. Sandy, Abby and I took Emma and Madelyn out to a mediocre lunch in downtown Nauvoo and then headed over to the visitor’s center — gloriously air conditioned — to watch a little musical production put together by young missionaries called “High Hopes and River Boats”, about life in Nauvoo in the 1840s. It was fun, though Sandy and I found the darkness and the air so appealing that we both dozed off a time or two.
We had to quickly move after that in order to take Abby and Enoch to the Temple with Maurine, Christina, and Tia with Keith and Julia in order to do baptisms. Enoch has gone a couple of times before, but Abby had never been. It was a great place for her to have her first temple experience. I was able to conduct the confirmations, while Keith did the baptizing. This too was a defining experience for us and one made especially memorable because we experienced together with Abby’s and Enoch’s cousins. The Temple is all about family and this trip has taught us that and reinforced that in the biggest of ways.
We went back to where Alan’s family had rented a home and enjoyed their air conditioning and their company for a few more hours before discussing plans for the next reunion 2 years hence (looks like Atlanta next time). By then, we were totally spent. No dinner, little rest, incessantly hot — but we’re happy tonight. We’re modifying our plans a bit because we’ve really neglected the little kids the past two days and we still haven’t seen much of Nauvoo ourselves. We’re going to try to change that tomorrow but instead of leaving on Sunday we might stay through until Monday just to give us a chance at everything.
Mormons come to Nauvoo and tell what they think of Nauvoo on their blogs?
June 21st, 2007
These are not my words they were posted on a blog by a Mormon named Kris
“As a Mormon “Mecca”, visiting Nauvoo and Carthage is a must. The spirit there and what the early Mormon’s had to endure there is quite moving…One afternoon in the humidity was enough for me and never mind the bugs!
The church owned sites were great. The missionaries that worked the exhibits were very knownledgable and friendly. The shows were top notch and the meet/great afterward left my 4 year old “star struck.” If only we had more time…
The side of Nauvoo owned by the Community of Christ - formerly the Reorganized Church of Latter-Day Saints - formerly part of the offical Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was a bit odd. The settings were ok and well taken care of. However, to visit the visitor’s center and some of the sites, cost money and viewing of their church commerical which would be ok (they need to pay for the upkeep some how) but what you learn about them is disconcerting given the fact that they control most of the Joseph Smith family sites and consider him to be their founder. The religion isn’t even a shell of what it once was when he headed it. And it makes me wonder if it made the changes because it merely wanted to be accepted? It’s a bit confusing, especially since they still regard the Book of Mormon as scripture yet contradict it’s teachings. It left me a sad feeling for them as it seems they undid what Joseph did and that for their sake, he died in vain.”
I would ask the Mormons who wrote the above one statements. Where in the Book of Mormon is there one doctrine for anything that goes on inside that Nauvoo Mormon temple or any other Mormon temple for that matter... You will not find anything that happens in a Mormon temple in the Book of Mormon. Also their words give a pretty clear picture just what they think of the people who live here in Nauvoo. (hmmmm?