Friday, May 16, 2014

Relief Society, Printer's Shop, and what Carthage citizen's think of the LDS church

I love Spring!
 Both of these pictures were taken outside the Bushnell house where we live.
 Last Wednesday we stayed in Nauvoo after our weekly missionary meeting and visited more sites. This is the Sarah Granger Kimball home where the first Relief Society met.
 Sarah Granger Kimball wanted to assist in building the Nauvoo Temple and her husband, though wealthy, was not a member of the LDS church in 1842. Margaret Cook was Sarah's seamstress with little money but had sewing skills. They put their heads together and decided to collaborate their efforts. With Sarah's financial backing and Margaret's skills, they began sewing shirts for men working in the temple. From their small acts of service, other women got involved and the women in Nauvoo were in the process of forming a Benevolent Women's organization when Joseph Smith heard of their efforts and suggested that the Relief Society be organized under the Priesthood.  
 These sisters are the tour guides of the Sarah Granger Kimball home. The missionaries in Nauvoo rotate around the 25 visitor sights in Nauvoo. Since Carthage is so far away, we
(Elder Johnson and I) only give tours at the jail.
 As many of you know, I love Relief Society. It is now the oldest and largest women's organizations in the world.  The Picture below shows the Nauvoo temple that could be seen from Sarah's home. It is the white building between the two trees. 
 We also visited the print shop and learned many things about a printing press. Not only were we told what a dingbat was, (check it out if you don't know) but I had reason to ponder on the marvels of modern technologies. From the written word, to modern blogs that share information all over the country in moments is quite remarkable.
 Elder Johnson is giving these poor sister tour guides a hard time. Can you imagine that?

Today we had an unusual couple visit the Carthage Jail for a tour. The wife was from Peoria Arizona (near my brother John and Diane's home) and the husband was born and raised in Carthage just around the corner from the jail. He claimed that when he was a boy, he used to drop by the museum almost every day to borrow the news paper. (He claimed to have put it back each time.) After their tour, I asked him what his impressions of the LDS people were as a child growing up in Carthage where the Mormon prophet was killed. All he would say was, "My family always told me that they were out of town the day of the shooting."

We have tourists ask us regularly what our Carthage neighbors think of the church. I don't sense a problem, and it was fascinating to me that his response was more of an apology than anything else.

One time a seven year old tourist wanted me to know that she was angry that men would kill the prophet. I sympathized with her and then added that Jesus Christ loves the members of the mob too and that hopefully they are repenting of what they did.

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