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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Onward ever onward...

So on the Sunday that we were here in Missouri we found a church that started fairly early so we could go see some church history sites. We were at church by 9:30 and warmly welcomed by everyone. Getting to know these people for just a short time I found them to truly be so generous and kind. Going to church in an area where it's not prominent is a very humbling experience.

After church we went to see the different sites that were in the area. First there was the grave site of Oliver Cowdery. I have a lot of respect for this man along with Martin Harris, and David Whitmer. Oliver Cowdery was the "first person baptized", and "died firm in the faith."

Now at this point I need to tell you about a new friend that Steve picked up. She's a New Zealander and we like to call her tomtom. She was the navigator that day. After we saw the grave site we went out to Farr West to see the corner stones that were laid for the temple. Following our trusty navigator we soon found ourselves off the paved road, and on a dirt one! Oh, I'ld say for about 8 miles, we found the temple ground (and the paved road right in front of it.)
One of the many dirt roads that we traveled that day.

Here is a story about the this temple site in Farr West, a farmer owned this land for many years before the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints bought it. And this farmer, every year broke his plow blades on the corner stones, and every year he made the comment that he needed to "pull up those rocks" but he never did. It was really neat standing there and seeing these huge rocks placed perfectly in the ground, and perfectly spaced. And knowing that they had to bring these stones a long way to get them to Farr West. (I didn't see any other rocks any where)
The boys and I at Farr West.

After Farr West we went on to Adam-Ondi-Ahman. We decided to follow the sign, but there was only one so we look toward our good friend tomtom and before we knew it we were back on the dirt roads. (what better way to see the back woods of Missouri?)

We made it to Adam-Ondi-Ahman and had a chance to just take it all in. It is really beautiful! And very amazing! HERE is a link to know more about Adam-Ondi-Ahmen. I took some pictures here that turned out really good! For me it's so humbling to stand in a place that Joesph Smith stood in, and to see what he saw. There is some fields that are being used but for the most part is untouched and amazing!

Tim in the trees

Tommy was just sitting and I asked him what he was doing. He said, "Oh, just looking at the lizard" I couldn't see one so I said oh ok... Well sure enough there was a lizard in the tree.

Look at this picture that I got of James and Steve.... PRICELESS!!

In the words of Tommy... "Families are Forever, huh mom?!"

We decided to call it a day after that, and went looking for the highway, but take a guess at what we found??? Yup, more dirt roads! Now my take on this is that our wonderful new friend got tired of having to "re-calculate" after decided to go another way, I think she was purposely taking us out of the way and onto the dirt roads. But now I can say that I really experienced (west) Missouri. Another funny thing... you always know when you get to a church site because everything is granite and black iron and all the signs are the same. I guess it's some comfort to know where you are when you see this familiar sight.

On Thursday I took the boys to see Liberty Jail. What another humbling place! Joseph Smith spent just about 5 months here in the winter time. An interesting thing about Liberty Jail is that after it was no longer a jail it was turned into an ice house! That's how cold it was in this basement jail! Joseph was imprisoned with 5 other men (one of which was Hyrum Smith) He received many revelations here and we have those in the Doctrine and Covenants. This is one of my favorite parts.

"My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes" (D&C 121:7-8)

What a sweet answer from the Lord to the prayer that Joseph gave. The boys weren't as enthusiastic as I was to see the Liberty Jail, but I really enjoyed it. The spirit was there and it made me think about my "trials." I think they are so hard, but they are nothing compared to what Joseph and his family endured. Even though these wonderful men are no longer living, my heart hurt for them and the pain and heartache they went through. These sacrifices were made so I could have the truth. What a precious gift they gave to me!! Original Key to the Liberty Jail.

This is mostly a replica of the original. So the only thing that is truly the original is the floor. But it feels real.

After seeing Steve seeing all the Church History was my favorite part. I can't even explain what I feel. More than anything just thankful. Thankful to the prophet and all that he endured so I can have the knowledge that I do. Thankful to the saints for not giving up. Thankful to my dad for being the "pioneer" in our family. Just Thankful!!


Alicia said...

We had the chance to go back east and see some church history sites a few years ago. We read Joseph Smith's Testimony when we were in our hotel in New York. The Spirit really struck me with the overwhelming truth of it all when I read:

"I had actually seen a light, and in the midst of that light I saw two Personages, and they did in reality speak to me; and though I was hated and persecuted for saying that I had seen a vision, yet it was true; and while they were persecuting me, reviling me, and speaking all manner of evil against me falsely for so saying, I was led to say in my heart: Why persecute me for telling the truth? I have actually seen a vision; and who am I that I can withstand God, or why does the world think to make me deny what I have actually seen? For I had seen a vision; I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it, neither dared I do it; at least I knew that by so doing I would offend God, and come under condemnation." - Joseph Smith

I am so grateful for those in my family who introduced me to the Gospel too. My mom is a convert from Wisconsin and my dad's mom is a convert from North Carolina. I tell people that I've had it easy because I never had to "search" for the true church, I was born with it all around me.

Thanks for sharing your stories Leah

camie said...

Wow- how much fun! I was able to visit all of those sites when I was in Seminary. Seeing all those pictures brings back lots of memories. That's so great that you were able to do all of that site seeing with your kids. What a great opportunity for them.

Emily said...

Your trip looks amazing! I love the pictures-just beautiful I love the history and stories behind these places.

The Scott Family said...

This brings back so many memories for me. It is so neat that you are taking your kids all of these important places and talking about them. Wow! That family picture of you guys is beautiful.

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