Monday, July 6, 2015

Bambi, The Fourth of July, the State of Affairs in the Mid-West, and the Cultural Hall

Bambi, is that you?
 One evening as we were headed for the car, we saw these two fawns. I caught a couple of pictures before they bounded for cover.

 Happy Fourth of July!
I love our country and pray that our grandchildren will have reason to love it as well.

When my sister, Becky, and her husband came to Nauvoo to celebrate the Fourth of July, we took one afternoon and went to, Quincy Illinois.
 The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has this monument in honor of the 1,600 Quincy, Illinois citizens who took in over 5,000 Mormons in 1839 after the Missouri Extermination Order.
Rather than erecting a big visitor's center here a few years ago, the church donated a large sum of money to the food banks and charities in Quincy as a thank you to them and then left this small monument. 
The state of affairs:
You know how I have mentioned in other posts the poverty that exists here in Nauvoo--well, actually the whole mid-west? One day when taking a morning walk, we decided to take pictures of some of the vacant buildings along Mulholland Street (the main street that runs through Nauvoo).

 All of the shops are vacant. Some of them are for sale while others are simply abandoned. We stopped taking pictures after the eight shots above. There were lots more.

Then we came upon the Nauvoo temple. What a contrast!

 It is alive and well.

 Cultural Hall
Today, we worked at the Cultural Hall. I realized that I've never given you any information about it.
Short story is that it was dedicated in April of 1844 by Hyrum Smith, brother of Joseph Smith just two months before Hyrum and Joseph were shot. It was used for 16 different purposes including plays, concerts, court sessions, doctor offices, funerals, police headquarters, and others. After the LDS left Nauvoo, it was abandoned for five years and then sold at an auction for $4.47.  It was used as a residence first and then changed into an apartment building. The third floor was removed some time in that period due to disrepair. It was added back on in 1961 when it was purchased by the Nauvoo Restoration Inc.

 The cultural hall was originally called the Masonic Hall and the Masons used the top floor. Sometimes the top floor was also used for dances and banquets. There is an old dumb waiter in the back of the building most likely used by the baker next door, Lucious Scovil.

 Today the hall has been restored to it's originall state and two live plays are performed regularly--Just Plain Anna Amanda, and Rendezvous in Old Nauvoo.
 Elder Johnson has been practicing the music to Rendezvous. He used the slow time today to practice on the piano on stage. He sounded marvelous--like a pro.

Just 19 days after it's dedication, Brigham Young was cast as the high priest in a play called Pizzaro which was a big deal in those times. The director, Thomas Lyne, said later in jest that he was sorry for casting Brigham in the roll because he'd been acting like a high priest ever since.
 During the winter of 1845-6, the Mormons cleared out all the benches here and used the hall to assemble covered wagons used for the exodus to the Great Salt Lake Basin. Remember, they weren't given much time to prepare so the families set up an assembly line. Wagon parts were made at homes and wherever else they could find. Then they were assembled in the streets until inclement weather forced them inside this Cultural Hall. 

Currently, the second floor is a show case for antique quilts.

 The quilt on the bed below was taken from here to Salt Lake in 1858 and then donated back in 2003 for display.
 We used the top floor for our Valentines party last February--remember? The floor here is the original. I have yet to show the room to guests with children and not have them dance around the room. You just can't help yourself. :)
 If you look close, you can see the Nauvoo Temple out the window below. Well, maybe you can't, but I could when I took the picture.

So I've been thinking more about our dilemma with our Nauvoo neighbors who don't really like us much which I mentioned in our last post. I'm convinced that the solution is to ignore the differences that have separated us in the past and focus on what we have in common. I think that if we had a common enemy--for example a real enemy like foreign invaders--we could suddenly be best friends. With many misunderstandings put behind us, we could all enjoy this sleepy little town that becomes a zoo only one month of the year.

Speaking of zoo, the pageants start on Tuesday of this week and we are ready for them....we think.

My invitation to you this week is to look at yourself--what can you change about you to make a better world? How can you make that change? What can you do this week? Will you do it?

Words from Elder Johnson:
We live in a world which requires us to make judgments that are often without sufficient information. We often make judgments about people which can change or redefine our relationships with them. Martha, the sister of Mary and Lazarus, has been judged as having lesser faith than Mary. In reality, Martha had depth of understanding and faith when she encountered Jesus after Lazarus death. A misjudgment of Martha may have caused us not to know the true nature of this wonderful woman. 
Good judgment is needed not only in understanding people but also in facing decisions that often lead us  away from Heavenly Father. As I look back over my own personal life, I can see many instances in which a slight change of course based on poor judgment would have led me far from where the Lord wanted me to be-decisions like having a family while obtaining an education, being active in all aspects of the gospel, paying tithes and offerings when income was severely limited, and accepting callings at difficult times, which helped me to understand more about sacrifice. Many blessings in life are missed because worldly judgment was applied to what was really a spiritual decision.
Here are four guides for developing judgment in making important decisions. 1) Put your own personal standards in alignment with the gospel of Jesus Christ. 2) Listen to the messages of the living prophet. 3) Cultivate with the Holy Spirit a relationship of listening. 4) Keep the commandments.
When we face difficult decisions and follow these guidelines, we can know how we should judge.

See Developing Good Judgment and Not Judging Others by Elder Gregory A Schwitzer

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