Thursday, September 27, 2007

Nauvoo Illinois

Our next three days were spent in Nauvoo, Illinois, where Mike's brother Ray and wife Colleen are serving a mission at the Nauvoo Temple. (I get to add this temple to my temple blog of how many temples we have been to.)

We arrived late that evening and Colleen had a wonderful meal ready for us. Which happened for the remainder of the days as well. She served tilapia a type of fish that I had eaten just the night before at Denny's. Believe me Denny's didn't compare with Colleen's! I wouldn't order Denny's again, but Colleen's was delicious.

Mike made arrangements for us to stay at the "White House", an old white two-story home that was converted into three apartments. We stayed on the main floor the first night, the top floor the second night, because the lower room was taken that night. (However, we don't think the people showed up.) We returned to the lower room the third night.

The difficult part of the trip was stairs! We walked stairs to see the homes in Hannibal. We walked lots of stairs at the Harry S. Truman Library. As an aside: I read many years ago that the S doesn't stand for anything. It's just there. Truman was the president from 1945 to 1953 when I was a child. FDR was president when I was born in 1940.

The White House is a quaint, unique building right in the middle of town, and only a few blocks from the temple. The temple is spectacular! It is pattered after the original temple that the saints built while Joseph Smith was alive. The temple today has elevators that weren't in existence at the time of the original temple. The original temple was burned to the ground after the prophet was murdered, and the saints were driven from Nauvoo. Nauvoo sits on the edge of the Mississippi river and was just a small farming community before the Mormon's arrived. They turned it into one of the largest and most prosperous cities in Illinois. Nauvoo means "Beautiful City".

By 1846, the community was the 10th largest in the United States. It flourished until the governor and people in neighboring towns turned against them. Soon after a drunken mob killed the religion's founder, Joseph Smith, 14,000 Mormons abandoned Nauvoo in "the largest forced migration in American history." They had previously been forced to leave New York, and had made a wonderful life in Illinois, until they were forced to leave again.