Nauvoo has historical significance in our LDS faith, which is why we made the journey out there. The Mormons were persecuted and forced to leave their Missouri homes and settled in Nauvoo for a period of time. While there, our prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were martyred by mobs, while they were imprisoned in Carthage jail. The Saints (which we often call them) were eventually driven out of Nauvoo and endured many, many hardships as they headed across the plains in miserable conditions, losing many along the way, until finally settling in the Salt Lake City Valley.
Our group, as I mentioned in my previous post, were all divided into various families to allow everyone to participate in every activity. Rob and I were the “Ma and Pa” of the “Knight” family. Gabe was with the “Whitney” family, Zandra was with the “Rigdon” family and Zach was with the “Partridge” family. Some activities had limited space, so each family had a different schedule they were running on. We did some full group activities, some on our own with our family, and some with a couple of other families.
The first day we all participated in a three mile handcart trail. It was a good experience; it was also really moving to read the plaques along the way to get a taste of what really occurred as the Saints left their homes, most of their possessions, and many family members. Many died along the way as the weather and conditions of their travel were dismal.
I think the kids got a tiny taste of pioneer life, but they had a ton of fun a long the way.
Our family went along with two other families to Carthage Jail that afternoon, where Joseph and Hyrum Smith were martyred. Gabe’s family was with us too. Carthage was a very, very moving and spiritual experience. The kids asked if we could sing a few hymns before seeing the actual jail; they selected the hymns: A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief, If you Could Hie to Kolob, and Praise to the Man. I rarely see Rob get emotional, but this got him. We then had a short tour and I think every heart was profoundly touched.
That night we went to see a funny little musical put on by all the senior missionaries there.
We then walked back to the hotel passing by the temple with a beautiful sunset. That walk was one of my favourites of the whole trip! A thin moment for sure….
While we were at the jail, Zach’s family went to the temple and Zandra’s family had some free time. We saw Zach on our way home from the walk.
The kids were a bit unruly that night and everyone was trying to get them all in their rooms to get a good night’s sleep….
For another action packed day tomorrow….