For Day 5, Part 2 of our trip to Nauvoo, we attended the temple. First my four oldest kids attended while my husband and I and Grammi took the littles on the ox cart ride. Then the kids all went swimming at the family inn while the adults, including my 21 year old son, attended.
This was a dream come true, in more ways than one! When I was a kid, this temple did not exist. I heard stories in church of how the Saints had to abandon the temple when they left to go west, and then that it was destroyed by arson. I was always sad to hear about that. I thrilled to hear the announcement by Pres. Hinckley, when I was a young mom of 2 or 3 kids that the temple would be rebuilt in the original design on the same piece of property. This temple was completed and dedicated when my fifth child was a year old. I still remember attending a satellite broadcast of the temple dedication. I was a harried mom who found respite and peace at the temple dedication. My third-great-grandfather sacrificed to build the temple. I am sure he was smiling down from heaven as we attended.
My firstborn, my mother-in-law, me, and my husband.
God provided a tender mercy for me and allowed me to run into a married missionary couple, inside the temple, who are family friends of my parents while I was growing up. We were in the same ward, and the husband was one of my religion professors at BYU. So that was a fun reunion. Then when we came out of the temple to take pictures, we asked a passer-by to take the pictures and he turned out to be a professional photographer. Sometimes we get these little blessings to remind us that God is watching and cares about us in little ways. I am so grateful for temples and the peace I feel when I look at them and go inside them. It was amazing to see the artifacts inside the temple halls. I am going back next summer, and every summer hopefully!
Later when I got home from our Nauvoo trip I learned the story of how the land for the temple to be rebuilt was acquired for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. A man named Wilford C. Wood had a passion for LDS Church history. God gave him a vision to have these old properties where church history took place to be rebuilt so later generations could come and learn and strengthen their testimonies. Here is the story. I hope you read it and feel the Spirit. Here is a pdf photoessay about his pursuit of many Church historic sites. I also found out that Brother Wood’s family has created a museum in his honor, about 20 miles from my home. I definitely plan on visiting! It just goes to show how important vision is!