Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Missouri-Day 1

I've decided the best way to blog about my trip for the benefit of my family is to blog each day in order of the way we took the trip. I wrote an email each night to my family describing the day's events. I think I will just post those with some pictures and a few addenda.
The first thing we did was stop by the 
Kansas City Temple in Missouri.
It was a FABULOUS weather day!
Yes, this is true.
Next we went to Independence, Missouri.
I was standing on the site that a temple will be 
built on that the Lord will come to one day.
(We believe Joseph Smith was the founder of
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
not the Church of Christ as stated on this plaque.)
Our tour guide talked to us throughout the trip using a portable 
sound system teaching us all kinds of things about 
the people and places we visited.
Independence has been named the center place of Zion.

One of the questions that stood out out to me from that mini-devotional was:

 "Are your lamps trimmed and burning in preparation
 for the Lord's second coming?" 

That is in reference to the scripture about the ten virgins. D&C 45:56-59 and Matthew 25:1-13. We sang Hymn # 59 "Come O Thou King of Kings." It is a song about the Second Coming of the Savior. I was very touched by the verse: 

     Hosannas now shall sound
           From all the ransomed throng,
And glory echo round
A new triumphal song;
             The wide expanse of heaven fill
                    With anthems sweet from Zion's hill.

We sang it right there on the hill referred to as "Zion's hill" where the temple will be built someday. I will always remember that when I sing that hymn from now on.

We attended Sacrament meeting at the Independence ward where a bishopric was released and a new one put in place. It was a very tender meeting and Jim cried a lot. I was particularly touched by the former 2nd councilor who was called to be the new 1st councilor. He said he thought his time of intense service was over but a few days before he was called, the Lord told him he was not finished yet. He humbly testified that he was willing to serve another six years if that was the will of the Lord. It was a wonderful meeting. We also attended the Visitor's Center there after Sacrament meeting. Wonderful.
We visited Liberty Jail after that.
They have a wonderful Visitor's Center there.
They were celebrating the 50th anniversary of the site.
I was quite overwhelmed
by the strong Spirit
testifying to all the Prophet Joseph and the other men 
suffered during their horrid captivity there.
Elder Ballard was due right after our group to speak there,
hence the podium.
Lessons from Liberty Jail 

We were asked to think about our own trials and contemplate on how the Lord ministers to us and helps us get through them. One quote that stood out to me was:

 "What could have been a time of despair became a season of faith." 
This was on the wall behind the re-creation of the dungeon prison.
It has significant meaning for me that is deeply, deeply personal.
It was read to me by a caring Bishop in his office
while both of us were on our knees right before we prayed together
 during a particularly challenging and difficult time in my life.
D&C 121: 1-8 
Next we visited an out of the way place
on a small lane the tour bus hardly fit on. 
It was a grassy area enclosed by a fence with a monument on it
regarding Zion's Camp and 
the testimony of the eight witnesses to the Book of Mormon.
The Spirit of the Lord was very strong in that place.
We visited the courthouse close to the actual place 
where Joseph Smith rebuked the guards
who tormented he and his fellow prisoners
in Richmond.
 I was deeply moved again by the importance of that place.
We visited a small pioneer cemetery 
where Oliver Cowdery is buried in Richmond, Missouri.
This monument recorded the 
I know the Book of Mormon 
is the word of God.
I love to read it.
It means the world to me.
Count me as another witness of its truthfulness.
 The spectacular weather day came to a close at a
city cemetery in Richmond.
David Whitmer was one of the three witnesses.

This is what I wrote at the end of the day as well as describing the sites:
"Our bus is fine. Missouri is pretty. The weather has been spectacular. We are overfed. I am very happy we chose to take a "tour group" vacation. We are getting a lot of information as we go along. The Spirit is strong. We sing hymns. Everyone is friendly. Many of these places are way out of the way and finding them on our own would be very difficult. For instance, one monument to the eight witnesses of the Book of Mormon was off a tiny lane. The tour bus took up the whole lane. It was a fenced off grassy area with a monument on it. As with all the dedicated sites, when you enter the areas designated, there is a discernible and beautiful spirit.

They have trip participants do readings that are very enlightening. Everybody gets an assignment of one kind or another. Tomorrow at Farr West near Haun's Mill, I will do a reading about the account of the boy whose hip was shot away by the mobs and whose mother made a poultice under the inspiration of the Lord and he grew a new hip. It's a fitting read for me. :) I'm tired and off to sleep. Love you all."

These blog posts are going to take me forever to do....whew!

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