We allowed ourselves two full days in Nauvoo, IL on our trip, and I am very glad we did. Even still, we didn't see everything we had hoped to!
Nauvoo was Joseph Smith's "City Beautiful" and a gathering place for the Latter-day Saints from 1839 to 1845. The Saints relocated to Illinois after experiencing persecution, mob violence and eventually an extermination order in Missouri. Nauvoo, along the Mississippi River, started out as a swamp, but through faith, prayers, and a lot of hard work, it was transformed into a bustling community. The Saints even built a temple! More information about the history of the Church in Nauvoo can be found in the Institute manual Church History in the Fulness of Times, chapters 17 and 19.
|"Buy our pizza, we knead the dough"|
|On an ice cream/custard shop: "Sundae... closed. Mondae...(etc.)". Their vanilla custard was delish.|
If you've been counting, you know this is the third Church pageant we've seen this year. I would say it was my favorite. It also is around several weeks longer each year than the others we saw. One of my favorite things about it was how interactive the stage was! For instance, the actors "built" this temple during the play:
Another favorite part was the end, when the actual temple was illuminated, on the hill behind where the pageant is held:
Historic Nauvoo is so cool. Visiting there is like stepping back in time. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has basically rebuilt or restored a bunch of important buildings of the time - such as the blacksmith shop, the brickyard, the gun shop, and a few homes - and the public can tour the various buildings. The tour guides are missionaries (young and old), dressed in pioneer garb.
The spirit here is one of gratitude for the early Saints and of faith in God and in His plan for eternal families. I enjoyed the historical information, but even more, I enjoyed the lessons from the lives of stalwart individuals and the applications to our lives.
Most of the rest of the pictures in this post are in chronological order. We saw the pageant on Friday night, and the rest of our sightseeing was done on Saturday and Sunday.
The Family Living Center was one of our first stops. In this building, missionaries narrate and demonstrate various handicrafts of the pioneers. Some skills were common knowledge at the time, and necessary to keep a household running; other trades were learned over the course of years.
play in the Nauvoo Visitors' Center.
We drove to Carthage to visit Carthage Jail, where Joseph Smith, Jr. and his brother Hyrum were martyred on June 27, 1844 (more information here).
|Water lilies on the Mississippi River|
|The upstairs window, approximately centered in this photo, from which Joseph Smith, Jr. fell after being shot by a mob.|
|Joseph Smith, Jr., and his brother Hyrum|
|This is a hole from a bullet in the original door to the upstairs room in Carthage Jail. It was the only thing that separated the mob from the prophet and his friends (his brother Hyrum, John Taylor and Willard Richards) at the time of the martyrdom.|
After our tour, we headed back to the LDS Historic Nauvoo.
We just had to go to the blacksmith shop:
|They actually do smithing in this old-time shop!|
Our final stop before tour hours ended was this old-time apothecary/general store:
Here are a couple more pictures from this part of our trip:
|Calm as a Summer's Morn, found at the Joseph and Hyrum Smith Memorial, depicts Joseph & Hyrum heading to Carthage (and their deaths)|
One final picture before I wrap up this post. We stayed at Camp Nauvoo while visiting. Tent camping there is really inexpensive ($3/person/night), but for a little bit extra ($9/person/night) we were able to stay in their (air-conditioned and lighted) cabins for 2 of our 3 nights there. They are frequently booked during summer by large groups, but it's a pretty sweet deal if you can manage to get a cabin. It's not like a Marriott or anything by any means, but the showerhouse/restroom building has running water and the showers were hot :o)