Homeschool Conference!!!

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

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

Saturday, September 18, 2010

What an amazing day!

So, I was planning to blog about all the things we had done up to this point to keep it all "in order" of when we actually did what (kinda like my journaling for myself) BUT after a day like today, I absolutely have no choice but to write about our day. So here goes:

First thing this morning we decided to go on the Carriage Ride, we had already done the Wagon Ride and the Oxen Ride and they were wonderful, but the Carriage Ride was by far my favorite! The Spirit was just very special on this ride...we went through the most beautiful areas and the Missionary Guides were so wonderful, full of the Spirit and so happy to share it with each of us. Along the path we were blessed to hear so many inspiring stories, the history of Nauvoo is unbelievable to me. I can't imagine not having weeks to spend here, you would never be able to get the full feeling of what the Saints had experienced if you weren't here for more than a few days. one point, they stopped the horses and showed us a special little area called Dan Jones Hollow and since we had so many children along with us, they asked if we would all join them in singing I am a Child of God. I couldn't even sing, the Spirit resonated through each child singing in such a beautiful way... which has been the case with just about every experience we've had so far. At the end of the Carriage Ride, the Missionary Gentleman who told of all the stories and history came up to me and with a look more sincere than I've seen too many times in my life, he said to me, "Sister, I just want you to know you have such a beautiful spirit". Needless to say, I felt a bit speechless, but was again so grateful for the blessing of being here in this wonderful place.

The story behind this old well would best be served by reading what is referred to as one of Joseph Smith's best sermons ever...The King Follet Discourses. He was a close friend of the Prophet Joseph and was killed in an accident while building a well...This monument was erected in his name (King Follet).

This location is known as Inspiration Point...

Joseph Smith spent many hours here where he could have a little "quiet time".
Such a beautiful that I would love enjoy a quiet moment of my own.

After the Carriage Ride, we took all the kiddos to a great playground, had a fun lunch (LUNCHABLES) :) and then headed over to the area that is owned by The Community of Christ Church (formerly RLDS). Bryce had a hard time going here, didn't really want to be there and wanted me to take him back to the house, but I assured him that it would be very well worth our time and that there were things very valuable for us to see. This was very much the case. One big difference here was that we were not allowed to photograph anything inside the homes or buildings (with the exception of the Red Brick Store). We were able to photograph the outside
and most importantly for us, we were also able to visit the burial site of Joseph, Emma and Hyrum Smith. This felt special for us.

This photo was inside the Red Brick House, the place where The RELIEF SOCIETY of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was originally established...We had all us girls stand together, seemed only fitting for a place such as this!

The kids and I outside the Red Brick Store.

This was home to Joseph and Emma Smith.

The Mansion House...home to Joseph and Emma for 10 months prior to his murder. And then home to Emma and their children after her return.

Well after leaving The Community of Christ Church Visitors Center and Sites,
we decided to end on what we hoped would be a very spiritual note.
We visited the Temple Information Site and viewed a 14 minute film on temples. After seeing it, the Missionary couple asked for everyone in the room who was not married to raise their hand. Well, there were 14 of 'em! Then he asked of those 14, how many plan to marry in the temple...those hands went a flying in the air ~ every single one.
Then our little Natalie, blurts out in her adorable little voice, and I'm getting married in the NAUVOO TEMPLE! Following the film, they asked us to come into another little room and we visited for a bit, we shared some about our families and then decided we'd head next door to The Temple Arrival Center. The sweet Missionary gentleman from the Information Center felt very prompted that we needed to see the Temple President and worked to make this happen.
He came back to us and said the Temple President would like to see all of you in the temple...WHAT, did he just say in the temple??? The next thing we knew, 14 children and 2 momma's were inside the temple doors in our normal street clothes being treated as though we were royalty. By the way, I truly do believe each of my children are Royalty and it was such a blessing to have others see them in that same light. We met and were instructed and counseled by the Temple President, Wayne S. Peterson and his beautiful wife, Sister Joan Peterson. He gave each of the children a little pamphlet on the Nauvoo temple along with the 2010 schedule. Inside the schedule is a message that they shared from President Thomas S. Monson:

"As we love the temple, touch the temple, and attend the temple, our lives will reflect our faith. As we come to these holy houses of God, as we remember the covenants we made within, we shall be able to bear every trial and overcome each temptation. The temple provides purpose for our lives."

After sharing their message with us, they shook each of the kids hands and spoke to each of them. This was such an amazing end to our day. Bryce was especially touched because he wanted so badly to be in the temple (but he's not quite 12) so he was quite disappointed that we hadn't waited to be here until after he had turned 12...what a blessing this was for him. He was glowing. I am going to share what he wrote in his journal after leaving...(making sure to show you just exactly as he wrote it)

NAUVOO TEMPLE!!! I got to go inside The NAUVOO TEMPLE! I could feel the Spirit going around everywhere and all around. I could never explain what it felt like, it was the best experience I have ever had! I got to go into the Temple at age 11!!! The guy that let us in the Temple was the President of the Temple, his name was President Wayne S. Peterson. He was one of the BEST MEN I will EVER MEET! The elder that told him about us was from the Temple Information Center, he was really nice. President Peterson was a General Authority, I WENT IN THE TEMPLE!!!

Our other children wrote beautiful things as well that they have included in their books of Nauvoo, but I felt this one really summed it all up!

So as you can see, this was not a day that could wait for me to journal about...I wanted to remember the feelings that I had and relish in the beauty of what my children were able to feel this day. This will go down as one of the highlights of my life! I only wish my Dear Husband and our Shealyn with her family could have been have had them all in this wonderful place together would have been the only thing that could have made this special day any more special!