Sunday, August 26, 2012


Sunday, July 15:
Kirtland, Ohio
After leaving the state of New York late on Saturday night, we rolled into a little town called Mentor, Ohio, around 2am and got a few hours of sleep in a WalMart parking lot. Thankfully, it was our last night to sleep in the fifth-wheel without electricity and, therefore, without air conditioning. From here on out, we found RV-friendly campgrounds to stay at.
We got up early on Sunday morning and drove the short distance from Mentor to the nearby town of Kirtland, Ohio. There, we attended church at the Kirtland Ward and met several friendly locals who gave us their input on which sights to see, since we were only staying in Kirtland for about 10 hours or so.
The Kirtland Temple
Kirtland is another important place in LDS (Mormon) history.  For a time, early members of the Church gathered here to build a city, as well as the first temple ever build by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (in 1836).
A creek flows over the old temple stone quarry.

After church, we drove to Chapin Forest Reservation, a park in Kirtland, and ate lunch in a picnic area near the old quarry where stone for the Kirtland Temple was cut out of the ground and hauled to the temple a few miles away.

A creek flows over the old temple stone quarry.
After lunch we took a short hike around a portion of the quarry, maybe less than a quarter of a mile.  There was also a large green pond filled with frogs and turtles.
From the quarry, we went to see the Kirtland Temple itself, which is owned by the Community of Christ (which until a few years ago was known as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). We saw a film in the Visitors' Center, walked through the small museum, and then took a tour of the temple itself. No photos were allowed inside any buildings on the grounds, so the only pictures I have are of the outside of the temple.
Two huge, green doors open into the temple.
Through the arched windows you can see the spiral staircases on either side. 
The inside of this temple is unlike the interiors of any temples built since the Kirtland Temple's completion.  It was utilized for worship on the first floor, education on the second, and the School of the Prophets on the top floor. Members received a partial endowment (temple ordinances) in this temple, but did not receive a full endowment until the Nauvoo Temple was built in Illinois several years later.
I was so interested to see the Kirtland Temple and get a feel for its history.  It's a remarkable testament to the hard work and faith of the early saints.  Yet it was strange to see a temple, which we believe is a holy house of the Lord, being treated as nothing more than a curiosity any paying tourist can traipse through. 
It was also disappointing to see the stucco on the temple walls cracking and crumbling.  Of course, the original stucco is long gone, but when the Kirtland temple was initially erected, the women of the Church donated their long hair to strengthen the mortar and they added ground-up glass and china to make the walls glitter in the sunlight.  Much sacrifice went into building this temple.
A creek meanders through the restored historical portion of Kirtland.
Finally, we went to the Visitors' Center owned by the LDS Church and toured the historical part of Kirtland that's been restored.  Our guide took us through a sawmill and an ashery, as well as a couple of early homes and the Newel K. Whitney store.  It was easy to imagine what life was like for the saints here in the 1830s.
Newel K. Whitney's store.

Newel K. Whitney was a bishop of the Church while in Kirtland, and his store became the setting for the first Bishop's Storehouse, in which were kept the supplies paid as tithes by members of the Church.  These stores were then given out to the members according to their needs, as well as those who were truly in need.  Since many new converts gave up everything they owned to join the Church, they often arrived in Kirtland penniless and starting over.

The actual, original front doors of the Whitney Store,
which were opened by the hands of such men as Joseph Smith and Brigham Young.
Dylan stands by the wood stove in the center of the Newel K. Whitney store.

Newel K. Whitney's restored store

Newel K. Whitney's restored store
The kitchen in the back of the store used by Joseph and Emma.
Rooms in the back of the store and on the upper floor were also used by the Prophet Joseph Smith and his wife Emma during these years in Kirtland.  Newel and his wife Elizabeth had their own house not far from the store.
The home owned by Newel and Elizabeth Whitney
Kirtland wasn't quite what I'd expected, but the restored area of historic Kirtland is beautiful and provides a glimpse into the lives of those who once dwelt there and struggled to live their faith and lead their lives.
Newel and Elizabeth's living room
We completed our tour around 6pm and then left Kirtland for our next destination: Nauvoo, Illinois.


Anonymous said...

That is very attention-grabbing, You are an excessively professional blogger.
I've joined your rss feed and look ahead to seeking more of your wonderful post. Additionally, I have shared your website in my social networks

Feel free to visit my webpage ... view

Anonymous said...

magnificent issues altogether, you simply won
a new reader. What may you recommend about your publish that you just made some days in the past?

Any positive?

Here is my web page; move next

Anonymous said...

each time i used to read smaller content that as well clear their motive,
and that is also happening with this piece of writing which
I am reading here.

Feel free to surf to my homepage: know more

Anonymous said...

Unquestionably imagine that that you stated. Your favorite justification appeared to be at the web the easiest factor to keep in
mind of. I say to you, I certainly get annoyed even as other
people consider issues that they plainly don't recognise about. You controlled to hit the nail upon the highest as smartly as outlined out the whole thing with no need side effect , other folks could take a signal. Will probably be again to get more. Thanks

Feel free to surf to my web site know more

Anonymous said...

Incredible! This blog looks exactly like my old one! It's on a entirely different subject but it has pretty much the same layout and design. Wonderful choice of colors!

Feel free to visit my webpage; view

Anonymous said...

Have you ever thought about including a little bit more than just your
articles? I mean, what you say is fundamental and
all. However just imagine if you added some great photos or video
clips to give your posts more, "pop"! Your content is
excellent but with images and video clips, this blog could definitely be one of the
greatest in its niche. Good blog!

Anonymous said...

We absolutely love your blog and find many of your post's to be exactly I'm looking for.
can you offer guest writers to write content for yourself?
I wouldn't mind producing a post or elaborating on many of the subjects you write with regards to here. Again, awesome site!

Here is my blog: view next

Anonymous said...

It's genuinely very complex in this busy life to listen news on TV, therefore I just use web for that purpose, and take the newest news.

Also visit my weblog view next

Anonymous said...

I for all time emailed this webpage post page to all my friends, since if
like to read it after that my friends will too.

Stop by my weblog: work at home moms money

Anonymous said...

I am regular reader, how are you everybody? This post posted at this website
is genuinely good.

Look at my blog post virtapay to lr