Sunday, July 20, 2014

Wow! What a ride!

As predicted, we have hundreds of guests every day. On Sunday, we are only open from 12:30 to 5 PM. Our top number in Carthage for Sunday so far is 976, though Elder Johnson and I had the day off that day. We worked today however, (Sunday July 20th) and had 692 guests. I can't imagine 300 more. In fact the question is, "How did they do it?"

None the less, we work hard to make every tour worthwhile. Most of the guests have traveled for days to get here so we try to keep that in mind and not give them less than a stellar experience.

 One day as we were about to take one last tour through the jail, I had a feeling to let Elder Johnson take the tour even though it was my turn. I was glad I hadn't taken it when Elder Johnson told his experience of having one guest throw a fit at the end of the tour. As the man in his twenty's walked out, he exclaimed, "How can you honor a man who practiced polygamy and broke the law?" 

It would have been pointless, but I would have been tempted to declare, "Polygamy wasn't against the law in the United States. It was made illegal in about 1880 with the Edmund's Act and more specificly a few years later with the Edmund Tucker's Act, but it was purely targeted at the Utah saints who lived in American Territory. It was never meant for the states because there were numerous citizens who came to America from other countries who had more than one wife. I also could have explained that there is a big difference between polygamy and plural wives which members of the church practiced between sometime in the 1840's and 1889. In 1889 the church came out with the Manifesto at which time plural marriage was suspended for all members of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in good standing. 

Elder Johnson did the right thing. He just let the man leave and continued on with his tour for the other guests. I wonder sometimes why protesters like this man want to make a scene. Remember, he came to us.  I guess some people just like contention and go out of their way to find it (which is truly strange in my mind).

 The Nauvoo Brass band comes to Carthage every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon for a 20 minute performance. They are really just warming up for Sunset By the Mississippi but we love that they share their talents with us. It sure gets the neighbor's attention. As far as I can tell, they like it as well.
Below is a family entering the film room with Sister Ross and Elder Phillippi posing. We show an 18 minute film entitled, "Impressions of a Prophet". The film isn't shown anywhere else in the world and is a good way to gather guests as well as space the tours apart. Most guests choose to watch it before entering the jail.
 Elder Johnson below just put a group in the film room and the visitor's center is finally open.
 Some of my cousins and their children came to Carthage and then to Nauvoo to experience the Pageant. We joined them and loved the pageant.
 There are thousands of guests at the pageants each night. They run Tuesday through Saturday and there are two different pageants this year. One is about the saints building the city of Nauvoo including the temple. The other one is about saints in Britain and their story of coming to Nauvoo.

 The young sisters gave us this heart attack one evening while we were at Rendezvous. It was after a particularly hard day and it made us laugh for several days. (Most of the comments are only funny to us--sorry.)
 On our preparation day last week, we went to a reenactment of the King Follet address. King Follet was living in Nauvoo when he died in an accident while helping to dig a well. (He wasn't royalty, but simply given the first name of King.) Joseph Smith talked at King Follet's funeral a few months before Joseph was martyred. He spoke for 2 1/2 hours addressing all who had lost loved ones and is quoted often for his insight. The young performer below spoke for about 20 minutes recapping some of what Joseph said. It was fabulous.
 Bagpipes played at the King Follet address.
 Below are a few pictures of guests waiting to take a tour. It gives you a taste of what we experience some days.

Marjorie Hinckley, wife of President Gordon B. Hinckley (President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints between 1995 and 2008) said, "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, “Wow what a ride!”

Elder Johnson and I are taking this thought to heart each day as we fall into bed exhausted. 

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