Visit to Nauvoo


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So, my family just spent a week at Nauvoo.  The weather has been really pleasant.  Interesting changes.

Apparently, the Church recognized that with as many years as the historic reconstruction has been in existence, many urban myths about Nauvoo had crept into the narrative.  So, a concerted effort was made to consult historians and search through first-hand accounts to verify every story that was told about the various sites & individuals throughout Nauvoo.  One thing that disappointed the kids was that they no longer handed out the rings made from horseshoe nails.  Apparently the story behind it was a myth.  They also cut down the presentation for John Browning's shop.  I remember it being much longer.  But they took out what they couldn't verify from first-hand accounts.  I found many of the presenters in all areas of Nauvoo were very happy to simply say "we don't know."

The Carthage visit also changed.  And I actually found the new tour to be more meaningful.  Someone had asked whether Joseph died and then fell, or if he lept and was shot on the way down or if he died from the fall, or if he died from being shot afterward.  They were happy to say they didn't know.  I pointed out that we know that he was alive as he left the window because first hand accounts say he cried out "O, Lord, my God!"  In that two or three second interval between leaping and death, how is anyone supposed to know whether the fall or the many bullets killed him, much less the bullets before or after the fall.

We did baptisms in the temple and I noticed these marble pilasters in the assembly hall.  I asked if the original temple had marble pilasters as well.  I was told that they did.  The next day we did endowments.  When in the Celestial Room, I was admiring the workmanship of the marble.  But I noticed something strange about it.  It wasn't marble!  It was painted "something".  It could be wood or paper for all I knew.  It wasn't stone or metal.  But it was covered in paint.  But I considered something.  The paint job was perfect.  The marbling pattern in and out of the flutes was exactly how it would be in real marble.  It was expertly done.

When waiting in the chapel, the officiator came to me and asked if we could be the witness couple.  But he pointed to me and my daughter.  All three of us had an amused, yet, quizzical look.  He thought I was young enough to be married to my daughter.  Or he thought my daughter was old enough to be married to me.  Anyway, I pointed out that I was holding hands with my wife who was seated to my right.

My wife pointed out that it was probably because I was laughing (quietly) at my daughter pointing out the amusing phrasing of Abraham 1:1. 

There was a fun song that was played in those days called "A Gallant Ship Is Under Way".  I had to ask if anyone else noticed the similarities with "Old MacDonald".  None of my family noticed.  But when I asked the musicians, they hummed a few bars and realized I was right.

I never knew that the Nauvoo Brass band was employed in what we today might call panhandling during the trek west.  The Brass Band was one means of income/food as they traveled through cities and towns along the way.

Pioneer Pass-times was as annoying as ever.

We visited the gravesites of the Smith Family.  Joseph and Hyrum's bodies were moved several places prior to their final resting place.  And the current lot is under a small building.  So, highly unlikely that they will be exhumed.

As we went by the renamed "Trail of Hope" and read the placards taken from the journals of individuals who walked it, I realized that these stories are OUR stories.  I have no pioneer ancestry.  My wife does.  But it isn't about our families.  It is about our faith.  People died and suffered to hallow the ground and hallow our dispensation to allow us to have the blessings of this dispensation.

Also, because we've been studying the Old Testament this year, I noticed the parallels between Joseph and Moses, Brigham and Joshua, the Ancient Israelites and the pioneer generation.  The River Jordan was the Mississippi.  Utah is Israel.  I would wonder who will be the "judges"?  Who will be "Samuel"?  Where will we raise our Ebenezer?

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2 hours ago, Carborendum said:

We visited the gravesites of the Smith Family.  Joseph and Hyrum's bodies were moved several places prior to their final resting place.  And the current lot is under a small building.  So, highly unlikely that they will be exhumed.

You have perhaps already seen this forensic review that includes an account (and photos) of the bodies’ 1928 exhumation and relocation.  

Edited by Just_A_Guy
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1 hour ago, Just_A_Guy said:

You have perhaps already seen this forensic review that includes an account (and photos) of the bodies’ 1928 exhumation and relocation.  

No, I had not.  Prior to tis day, I had never even thought about where they may have been buried.  It just never occurred to me.

The information in Weber's work, contradicts the placards at the family plot.  It may be that they simply have not yet been updated.  But the family plots still mark the graves of the other members of the family.  But Joseph and Hyrum are not so labeled.  But the placard says that they are buried under that outbuilding that is pictured in Weber's paper.

I also noticed Weber mentions the Scannel Daguerrotype.  I thought that had been debunked.  In fact, I thought all the images had been debunked.

The controversy on page 4... I don't see how they could have mixed up the two skulls.  Hyrum was shot in the face.  That would have damaged the bones.  It would have to have been broken to some degree because it was a fatal blow.  Did no one notice? 

Back to the site.  The placards talk about how they moved the bodies around to several places because they were afraid of enemies seeking to desecrate the bodies.  I don't know about all the descriptions of exhuming and relocating, etc. that Weber describes.  I just know what I saw currently at the site.  And it only shows other people's names.  Joseph and Hyrum don't have a placard.  Only the placard at the front saying that they are still buried under that outbuilding. 

NOTE: the plot is currently owned & maintained by the Community of Christ (formerly the RLDS church).

Edited by Carborendum
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On 7/1/2022 at 4:58 PM, Carborendum said:

The controversy on page 4... I don't see how they could have mixed up the two skulls.  Hyrum was shot in the face.  That would have damaged the bones.  It would have to have been broken to some degree because it was a fatal blow.  Did no one notice?

Joseph's is the skull missing the face. Natural decay; note that Emma died years later and without massive injury, but her exhumed body was in much worse shape than either of the brothers. The shot that killed Hyrum apparently did not mess up his facial structure very much.

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1 hour ago, Jedi_Nephite said:

Navoo is great.  My wife and I were sealed in the Navoo Temple 12 years ago this month.  We haven’t had a chance to go back and visit since then, but hope to soon.

Can you choose what temple you get sealed at?

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2 hours ago, LDSGator said:

Can you choose what temple you get sealed at?

Yes, you can.  We decided on Nauvoo, as it was roughly half the distance between where our parents lived.  And, of course, the historical significance made it all the more enticing.

 

*I also just realized I misspelled Nauvoo in my previous post.  Shame on me. 🙄

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23 minutes ago, Jedi_Nephite said:

Yes, you can.  We decided on Nauvoo, as it was roughly half the distance between where our parents lived.  And, of course, the historical significance made it all the more enticing.

 

*I also just realized I misspelled Nauvoo in my previous post.  Shame on me. 🙄

Never knew that. Thanks. 

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Wow. 

I just got off the phone with my son.  It's his p-day.  I normally don't get to talk with him.  I'm usually busy on p-day.  And by the time I'm available, he's almost out of batteries.  So, our conversations are very short.  But today was a holiday when everyone else was gone.  And I was home sick with a headache.

He spoke of his "two favorite talks".  He mentioned this one. (Jeffrey R. Holland speaks of the actual copy of the Book of Mormon that Hyrum read from while in Carthage).

Something pricked my mind to ask him, "When did you come across that talk?"

"Friday morning".  Came the reply.

I told him, "That was the same morning we were at Carthage... It almost seems like you were there with us."

"Maybe I was."

Coincidence?  Not only was it within the same hour that I was listening to the talk as he was reading it.  But I would have been the only person in our family that would have even thought to ask the question of the synchronicity.  And I was the one person available to speak to him about it.

Some say there is no such thing as coincidence.  I disagree.  There are. 

But the Spirit bore witness to both me and my son that this was coordinated by the Lord.

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On 7/3/2022 at 1:55 PM, Jedi_Nephite said:

Navoo is great.  My wife and I were sealed in the Navoo Temple 12 years ago this month.  We haven’t had a chance to go back and visit since then, but hope to soon.

You wouldn't happen to live in Tennessee, would you?

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On 7/10/2022 at 10:43 AM, Jedi_Nephite said:

No, but I’ve driven through there if that counts.

One of my best friends from college also chose the Nauvoo Temple for their sealing.  I thought it was around the time you mentioned. He was sealed in 2011.  Less than a year after you.

You often say things that sound somewhat like him. So, I was wondering if that was you.  But alas... no.

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