Okay, here I am at last with the final photos from our New York trip back in July. When I last posted about it, we had visited Carthage Jail in Illinois, and Adam-ondi-Ahman and Far West in Missouri on Thursday, July 19...
Friday, July 20:
The Liberty Jail
We weren't in a huge hurry to leave the Basswood Campground/RV Resort in Platte City, just north of Kansas City, Missouri. They had a nice laundry facility and really great showers that were part of bathrooms just like the ones at home, so we spent a leisurely morning doing laundry and showering and putting on makeup. Okay, that last one was just me.
A cutaway view of the reconstructed Liberty Jail,
where Joseph Smith and his companions were kept below ground.
It was just a bit after noon when we left and headed to Liberty, Missouri, to see another jail where the Prophet Joseph Smith spent some time, from 1 Dec 1838 to 6 April 1839. It was here that he received several revelations which are recorded as LDS scripture in Sections 121, 122, and 123 in the Doctrine and Covenants. (Section 121 is one of my particular favorites.)
Mannequins portray the men held in the "dungeon" jail cell.
On 27 Oct 1838, Missouri Governor Lilburn Boggs had signed the infamous "Mormon Extermination Order," saying, "The Mormons must be treated as enemies, and must be exterminated or driven from the State if necessary for the public peace." Then General Samuel Lucas, leading a militia of 2,500 men, warned the saints in Far West that they would "massacre every man, woman, and child" if Joseph Smith did not give himself up.
Joseph Smith, Parley Pratt, Sidney Rigdon, Lyman Wight, and George Robinson surrendered themselves on Nov. 1st. General Lucas immediately held a secret (and illegal) court martial, after which he issued an order to General Alexander Doniphan to "take Joseph Smith and the other prisoners into the public square at Far West, and shoot them at 9 o'clock tomorrow morning."
General Doniphan's response: "It is cold-blooded murder. I will not obey your order. My brigade shall march for Liberty [township] tomorrow morning at 8 o'clock; and if you execute these men, I will hold you responsible before an earthly tribunal, so help me God."
This heavy, double-thick jail door was built to be impenetrable!
Ultimately, the Mormons in Missouri were stripped of their homes and property and forced to leave the state under threat of death. Joseph and his friends were allowed to escape and join the saints in Illinois, with the help of one of their guards.
Still Friday, July 20:
20 July 2012: Dylan (age 15) with a display of the Nauvoo Temple
in the Visitors Center.
From the Liberty Jail, we headed to Independence, Missouri, another site where land was dedicated for a future temple. There is a Visitors Center there, which we toured briefly because we wanted to get to the Kansas City Temple in time for their final session of the day.
It was here that we suddenly realized it was Caryl's 77th birthday! We had all lost track of the date by then, until I saw it on a calendar in the Visitors Center!
The Community of Christ temple in Independence,
where their church headquarters are located.
Right across the street from the LDS Visitors Center is the temple of the Community of Christ church, formerly the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (RLDS). It's beautiful in its unusual sort of way.
And still Friday, July 20:
Kansas City, Missouri
The beautiful new temple in Kansas City, Missouri,
which had only been in operation for 2 months!
By the time we finally reached the Kansas City Temple, it was about 6pm. We parked at the far end of the parking lot and made ourselves a snack before dressing up in our Sunday-go-to-meetin' clothes. Ed, Caryl, and I attended the very last session of the day, at 7:40, while Dylan participated in baptisms in another part of the temple.
It was dark by the time we came out of the temple sometime after 9:30.
It was fun to attend a temple that was still so new. There was such a sense of excitement among the patrons and the temple workers, who were still a bit nervous about performing the temple ordinances properly. The interior of the temple was gorgeous and, as always, serenely peaceful.
After we left the temple, we took Caryl out to a late dinner to celebrate her birthday. We toyed briefly with the idea of finding a place to spend the night, but by now we were quite anxious to reach our next destination--Caryl's house in Colorado--and enjoy a few days of rest before the final leg of the journey. Ed decided he was up for a full night of driving, so we turned away from Kansas City and headed north to Nebraska.