Saturday, March 26, 2011

Nauvoo Visitor's Center

This sunstone from the original Nauvoo Temple is "on loan" to the Church and displayed outside the visitor's center. It is huge. Every time I think of the work that went in to building that temple without all the modern equipment we have, I am amazed!!! This is only one of two that were left entirely in tact, the other is in the Smithsonian in Washington D. C.
This view of the Relief Society garden, taken from upstairs in the Nauvoo Visitor's Center shows the role of women through-out the world beginning with Joseph and Emma as he pledged, "With this five dollar gold piece, I pledge all that I have to give to the poor, I shall give to this society."

This mural covers one full wall on the west side of the visitor's center. This picture tells of the miracle of the quails that were sent to help those poor Saints who were driven from their homes in September of 1846, after the Battle of Nauvoo. Just as the ancient Israelites were fed miraculously by a tender and loving Father in Heaven, so the Saints of early Nauvoo in their exodus were taken care of by their Father.

This picture covers much of the wall directly across from the mission secretary's office. It reminds all of us that Jesus issued an invitation, not only to his ancient apostles but to all of us to "become fishers of men". I personally love the account as Peter, James and John straightway left their nets and followed Him. The other account I think of is after the resurrection of the Lord, when He stood at the banks and asked the fishermen if they had any meat. When he told them to cast their nets on the other side, Peter knew immediately it was the Lord. He didn't wait for the boat to reach shore, he jumped out and ran to him.

How appropriate that the "frontier prophet" should be depicted with a copy of the Book of Mormon in his hands. At the very end of his life, just prior to the martyrdom, he spoke with some of his jailers and testified that it was translated by the gift and power of God. In fact, two of the jailers, who were part of the conspiracy were convinced that he was telling the truth and they left the jail just prior to the mobs coming.

This is probably a little too far back to see, but it depicts the martyrdom of the prophet and the patriarch, but more importantly, it depicts how the work went on after the death of the prophet, Joseph Smith. They could not stop the kingdom of God from rolling forth because the keys were invested in the quorum of the twelve and God called Brigham Young to serve as the next prophet. In the pageant there is a line that says, "and they taught their children and their children's children and the work rolls on to fill the entire earth."

A person coming in to the visitor's center will see this bust of the prophet, Joseph Smith. It might be misinterpreted that we worship him, but he, himself said, "I am only a man who serves Jesus Christ." John Taylor described it best when he said, "Joseph Smith has done more for mankind save Jesus only". He was the instrument through whom the Book of Mormon was translated by the gift and power of God, a witness thereof that Jesus is the Christ, that His Church has been restored to the earth and that the Priesthood authority to act in His name has been restored and is carried on through the living prophet of today.

This replica of the Christus staute originating in Denmark is so remarkable. Notice how the hands of the Savior are outstretched inviting all of us to come unto Him. When we take people through the visitor's center, we play a minute tape of scriptures wherein the Savior testified of Himself. The beginning is: "Behold, I am Jesus Christ whom the prophets testified should come unto the world..." He is our Savior, and our Redeemer. I know that He lives and because He lives, so will we.

This statue depicts one of the most significant events in all of history, the appearance of the Father and the Son in answer to the prayer of young Joseph Smith. This momentous occasion marked the beginning of the restoration of not only the gospel of Jesus Christ, but the Church of Jesus Christ to the earth. Important lessons from this event include: that the Father does love His children and hears and answers their prayers, that the Father and the Son are two separate beings, that they are of flesh and bone. I know Joseph saw what he said he saw.


The Fendleys said...

Such a wonderful place to be. I know that you are probably excited to be coming home, but I am sure that it is also hard to be leaving such a wonderful place. Thanks for sharing.

Mr C said...

Great memories! We've been listening to some tapes about the work of Joseph Smith. I didn't realize how little time he actually had with the published Book of Mormon. He truly had to see much of the fruits of his labors from the other side of the veil. Thanks for these great reminders that you see so often.

Anonymous said...

I've so enjoyed reading your blog! I am bringing my 12 yr old daughter to the temple next month to do family file baptisms to commemorate her entrance into Young Women's this year. Each child in our family gets a road trip alone with one parent during their twelfth year, and she wanted Nauvoo.
Your blog has helped me to know other things we can do while in Nauvoo. Thank you!

AE Hinckley's Boy said...

We're sending back Sister Cordoba to you soon. Her last area is in our ward in Henderson before she goes back to Nauvoo for the last six months.

-Ron and Vicki Welch