It's not really obvious by our expressions, but we were so excited to be going to the Nauvoo Temple. The temple sits on a hill overlooking the old city of Nauvoo and can be seen miles away, even visible above the trees and across the Mississippi River to Keokuk, Iowa. When the Saints left Nauvoo, the rebels set the building on fire, and the temple was destroyed. The temple today has been reconstructed on the same site. Great efforts were taken to make it exactly like the original. Simply magnificent.
The details of the temple are exquisite. In these pictures you can see the sun stones and the circular windows which are colored glass stars. There are also stone stars next to the stain-glass stars. Moon stones are not visible here, but are near the lower part of the building. I love design and texture and colors, so you can imagine what a feast it was being in the temple. The inside was amazing with all the fine handwork. Did I mention the circular stairways to the top floor? Two hand- carved banister rails, one on each side of the entrance. This was just the beginning. This day was simply "out of this world amazing" and the highlight of our trip.
Severall commercial buildings on the hill, and near the temple were not destroyed when the city was burned. This beautiful brick building is now a general store., and is on the same block as the original Hotel Nauvoo. (below) Until this past year there was not a grocery store in Nauvoo, and now a small store has been built a block from the Hotel. We aren't talking Safeway or Albertsons, but it beats driving to Keokuk, Iowa for milk.
Hotel Nauvoo, near the temple, is one of the most elegant, original buildings in Nauvoo. The hotel has operated to the present day with a wide reputation for fine dining. We thought we would eat there, but it was not to be.
Sunday afternoon was a brass band concert in the park. It was a cool day because of rain, but it just t doesn't get any better. Reminded me of my younger days when my parents went to Payson Park concerts in the summer. So relaxing. The band was excellent. The picture on the right is also a college group, serving summer missions by performing and singing. Each group competes to come to Nauvoo for the summer and perform in different locations and performances every day.
You can't make this stuff up! I'm in the temple and this beautiful woman says "You look so familiar." I thought she looked familiar, too. I glanced at her name badge and started crying. I said "Sheron. I'm Harleen." We both started crying and hugging each other. What a sweet tender mercy, for we were roommates at BYU, 1961-62. We had not seen each other for 53 years. Tom and I were able to visit with Sheron and her husband, Jim, in the afternoon. Sweet, but please read on. You'll not believe this story.
This bronze monument stands next to Carthage Jail in Carthage, Missouri. In the background you see the jail house where both Hyrum and Joseph Smith were martyred.
The house to the right is the front view of the Carthage Jail. We toured the house and were taken up stairs to the very room where Joseph Smith was shot and killed with his brother, Hyrum. A short recording was played as we sat there in silence, emotionally visiting that terrible day when Joseph was martyred. What an amazing experience we had at Nauvoo, the beautiful city on the Mississippi.
All around the village are homes, some original and some have been rebuilt to look old. The log cabin school house was a home they moved to the Nauvoo village.
I had my radar tuned in for anything quilting, and sure enough, I found a store in an original old building. It was a disappointment. I think I should move to Nauvoo and open a quilting store. I could compete with Missouri Star Quilting in Hamilton! (That's a joke)
Joseph Smith's home looks over the Mississippi River. The original structure, seen in the foreground, is the first log cabin. The newer addition was added in 1840 and can be seen to the right. This home was the center of constant activity and the place where Joseph conducted much of his business as leader and prophet of the Church.
I was on a high after I met Sheron. The day was perfect, but wait! There was more. I went to the land office to find where my great great grandfather's land was in Nauvoo. This beautiful woman was helping me, and after a few minutes she ask me to write my name on the disc that held my information. "I thought that was you.!" She exclaimed. "Harleen, I'm Jolene." No way! Jolene and I went to school together from grades 2 thru 5 when I grew up in Payson, Utah. More tears and excitement as we were able to visit later that evening with her and her husband.