Homeschool Conference!!!

Look at all those beautiful little feet two people can create!

Look at all those beautiful little feet two people can create!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Liberty Jail Thoughts

Thoughts and discussions Chad and I had as we drove away from Liberty Jail...

It was a powerful place to be...to be in the actual location...to look through the tiny little windows the prophet was able to see through, to feel just a little of what those men may have felt. (Liberty Jail was actually re-made, but stands in the exact original location inside a beautiful Visitors Center) The tour was outstanding and very moving.

It seems to us such a dispicaple act of cruelty of mankind trying to be as hurtful and humiliating as they could possibly be. To put a person(s) down in a jail cell such as this, even if they had been hardened criminals, which of course they were not, is completely unjust, and then to leave them there month on end in such conditions. Were they doing this for nothing more than to break them personally, to break the Mormons as a whole? They were left to languish. It would be one thing to be there over the summer, but over the winter…unjust. Any heat would have had to come from upstairs down. Ice was kept in the basement after the jail was no longer in use (that tells you how very cold it was). The conditions were horrid. The smallest windows –with the width of 4 foot walls. It would have been so dark in there all of the time. "Food, course and dirty", what does that mean? Sanitary conditions…unbelievably sad. What deplorable conditions these wonderful men had to endure. So many of us would just give up, feeling as though God had forsaken us, but a blessing came from this trying experience ~
While in these conditions, Joseph Smith received revelations for sections 121 – 123 of the Doctrine and Covenants. (my dear hubby just shipped my glasses to me, so you can probably guess what I can't wait to spend my time doing)

I believe this was "refining time" for the Prophet, testing his resolve. Hard to imagine yourself in such a situation. Would you personally be able to live through this? Makes me wonder, would I have been able to make it, not just physically, but spiritually. If the prophet of God is in there questioning, Lord, did you forget about us, he wasn’t always feeling the Spirit. Day after day after day, not knowing if you’d ever make it out. I wonder if he ever questioned if they would leave alive. And then to know the Saints were being persecuted added a whole new dimension of grief for him and there was nothing he could do to help them. Just hard to imagine putting yourself in any one of their shoes. I guess in the prophets shoes, I would have had to think: I am the prophet of God, I do believe, but where is He?


I can't help but wonder, did Joseph Smith have to go through the Refiners Fire not only for himself, but also for those who needed to “see him” endure, to never waver, to always have faith, to never give up, never give in... In addition to the early Saints, I think it was also for us in this day to look to his example and to muster up that last little bit of us at the crucial times that we are ready to just give up, the moment when all hope feels lost...

Another thought that came to me, and quite possibly this is because of how I feel personally...
Maybe Heavenly Father needed him to go to a "QUIET PLACE" so that he could receive the revelations that he needed to hear...maybe he was so busy going about doing those things that needed to be done, day in and day out, that he couldn't be quiet and still for a long enough period to "hear" Heavenly Father...
I've wondered to myself WHY AM I GOING TO NAUVOO FOR SUCH A LONG TIME??? I may have found my answer in Liberty Jail...I needed a quiet place...a peaceful place...a simple place...a spiritual place...a place to be able to have these moments I am having...to think and ponder and not be so caught up in my busy day to day life.