Seminary Sam had a wonderful visit with Sister
Combs' Early Morning Seminary class in Nauvoo.
One of the newest additions to Nauvoo is the Joseph Smith Academy. Students
live here during a
university semester experience in Nauvoo.
Nauvoo had a very humble beginning. Much of it was
swamp land when the Saints first arrived. It grew to become
"The City of Joseph" and was known as "The City
This is a picture of the Joseph Smith homestead in
Nauvoo. The original log home was expanded after the Prophet's family
moved from Missouri to Nauvoo. It is only a few dozen yards from the edge of
the Mississippi River.
The first homes in Nauvoo probably looked quite
similar to the humble log home shown above. (Brother Combs and
Seminary Sam are standing on the front porch.)
This is a picture of the Mansion House where Joseph
and Emma Smith lived during the last years of the Prophet's life.
The Mansion House, begun in 1842, was expanded to its current size
in 1843. Joseph left from here when he departed for his final journey to Carthage.
Seminary Sam is posing in front of a statue of Emma
and Joseph Smith that is in the Monument to Women Garden at
the Nauvoo Visitors Center. The garden -- dedicated to women of the past, present and
future -- features statues celebrating the influence and virtues of women.
Young built and lived in the home shown above. It displays his superb
woodworking skills and craftsmanship. After the Prophet Joseph Smith's
death, the east wing of his home served as the headquarters of the
church. It was in this home that much of the exodus from Nauvoo was
home shown above on the left was Heber C. Kimball's home. It was
finished in 1845. J. LeRoy Kimball, a descendant of Elder Kimball's who
directed the early restoration efforts in historic Nauvoo, began his
work with this building. It was the first building to be restored in
The home above on the right belonged to Wilford Woodruff.
It remains one of the best preserved brick buildings in the area. Many of the
furnishings currently in the home actually belonged to the Woodruff family.
Many homes in Nauvoo served more than one function.
This is a picture of the Pendleton home and log school. The front
served as a home while the back room served as a school in old Nauvoo.
The Browning gun shop is another multi-purpose home.
The Browning family lived in the portion on the right, and they had
a gun shop in the portion on the left.
Nauvoo's Print Shop is pictured above on the left. The
Times and Seasons newspaper and many other important
church-related publications were printed here.
The picture on the right shows John Taylor's home and
the Nauvoo Post Office.
The Cultural Hall (the white building on the left)
was the social and cultural center of old Nauvoo. Meetings, plays, and
dances were held here. There was a Masonic Lodge upstairs.
The Seventies Hall (the red building on the right) served
many roles. It was a chapel for church meetings, instruction and lectures. The first
library in Nauvoo was also located on the top floor.
This is a picture of the Nauvoo House. It was begun
in 1841 and was envisioned as a hotel, but it was not completed during Joseph Smith's
The Red Brick Store opened in 1842 as a general store.
Joseph Smith was the owner. It also provided a second floor office for Joseph
Smith which served as church headquarters during the last years of
Joseph's life. The Relief Society was organized here.
It was also in the upper room of the Red Brick Store
that the Prophet Joseph Smith restored the ordinance of the
endowment to members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
Joseph Smith and his brother, Hyrum, are buried near the original
Smith homestead in Nauvoo overlooking the Mississippi River.
In life they were not divided, and in death they were not separated!...
The testators are now dead, and their testament is in force.
-- Doctrine & Covenants 135:3,5
The Smith Family Cemetery here also serves as the final resting place for
Emma, Joseph's parents (Lucy Mack and Joseph Smith, Sr.) as well as other family
The walls of the original Nauvoo Temple were not
quite this high when the Prophet Joseph Smith was martyred in
The picture above is an actual picture (actually it
is a daguerreotype) of the original Nauvoo Temple that was
taken by Louis Rice Chaffin in 1847 after the majority of the Saints
had left Nauvoo.
Seminary Sam is in front of one of the few Sunstones
that remain from the original Nauvoo Temple. (One of the other
Sunstones is found in the Smithsonian Museum of American History in
President Gordon B. Hinckley dedicated the rebuilt
Nauvoo Temple on June 27, 2002 -- the anniversary of the martyrdom
of the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother, Hyrum.
This shows the Trail of Hope looking down Parley
Street toward the Mississippi River. This road begins at the
Seventies Hall and ends at the water's edge.
Sister Combs and Seminary Sam are shown at the end
of Parley Street. This is where the Saints crossed the Mississippi
River to begin their trek west.
Saints began crossing the Mississippi in February
1846. The picture above shows a reconstructed river barge that was
used to ferry covered wagons across the river during the exodus.
The frozen river, ice, and snow behind Seminary Sam must look
similar to the view that greeted the Saints who crossed the frozen
Mississippi River during that cold February in 1846. It took
tremendous faith to trade the comfortable surroundings of Nauvoo for
the difficult journey ahead.
Seminary Sam next traveled to Carthage Jail in Carthage, Illinois.
The picture above shows the front
door of Carthage Jail. This is the door that the mob stormed in
prior to killing the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother, Hyrum.
Joseph went to Carthage to deliver himself up to the pretended
requirements of the law, two or three days previous to his
assassination, he said: "I am going like a lamb to the slaughter; but I
am calm as a summer's morning; I have a conscience void of offense
towards God, and towards all men. I SHALL DIE INNOCENT, AND IT SHALL
YET BE SAID OF ME -- HE WAS MURDERED IN COLD BLOOD.
-- Doctrine & Covenants 135:4
Sam is shown standing on the
table in the jailer's kitchen. The jailer invited Joseph,
Hyrum, and the brethren who were with them to eat at his table
downstairs from their cell room.
entering the jail, the mob rushed up these stairs and began firing into
Joseph and Hyrum's room which is located at the top of the stairs to
the right. (Note the unusual handrails. The rail on the right side is
lower than the rail on the left side. This was done to allow ladies to
hold a child and their skirt with one hand and the rail in the other.)
This is the room where Joseph
and Hyrum Smith were martyred.
They were shot in Carthage jail, on the 27th of June, 1844, about five o'clock p.m., by an armed
mob -- painted black -- of from 150 to 200 persons. Hyrum was shot first and fell calmly, exclaiming:
I am a dead man! Joseph leaped from the window, and was shot dead in the attempt, exclaiming:
O Lord my God! They were both shot after they were dead, in a brutal manner, and both received four balls.
-- Doctrine & Covenants 135:1
Seminary Sam is standing
(above) in the window where Joseph fell.
Sam is shown on the bed in
the room where Joseph and Hyrum were martyred.
This is a view from the
window where Joseph fell to the well below.
from the upstairs window to the ground below. Members of the mob
propped his body up against the well and shot him several additional
times to ensure that he was dead.
Sam is sitting on a chair in
the room where Elder John Taylor was moved and then hidden by Elder
Willard Richards after being severely wounded by gunshots fired by
the mob. He wrote Doctrine & Covenants section 135 based on his
personal experience at the scene of the martyrdom of the Prophet
Taylor and Willard Richards, two of the Twelve, were the only persons
in the room at the time; the former was wounded in a savage manner with
four balls, but has since recovered; the latter, through the providence
of God, escaped, without even a hole in his robe.
-- Doctrine & Covenants 135:2
The statue of Joseph and
Hyrum Smith, above, is located near Carthage Jail. Elder John Taylor
wrote this tribute to the Prophet:
Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus
only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that
ever lived in it. In the short space of twenty years, he has brought
forth the Book of Mormon, which he translated by the gift and power of
God, and has been the means of publishing it on two continents; has
sent the fulness of the everlasting gospel, which it contained, to the
four quarters of the earth; has brought forth the revelations and
commandments which compose this book of Doctrine and Covenants, and
many other wise documents and instructions for the benefit of the
children of men; gathered many thousands of the Latter-day Saints,
founded a great city, and left a fame and name that cannot be slain. He
lived great, and he died great in the eyes of God and his people; and
like most of the Lord's anointed in ancient time, has sealed his
mission and his works with his own blood; and so has his brother Hyrum.
-- Doctrine & Covenants 135:3
Seminary Sam spent a few days in the area surrounding Earlville,
Illinois (which is about 150 miles northeast of Nauvoo). Sister
Sandy Lambert's Seminary class has one student, Ellen, her
daughter. Ellen is pictured with Seminary Sam (above).
Ellen and Sister Lambert took Seminary Sam to nearby Lee County -- where the towns of Amboy, Sublet, and
Dixon are located. Many of Emma Smith's family had moved there by 1843.
Joseph, Emma, and their family visited there at least twice.
The Lee County History states that "Joseph [Smith] preached in the schoolhouse
occasionally and gradually a group of people converted to the Mormon
faith, some of whom came from the most respected families."
According to the History of the Church 5:431-460, Joseph Smith was
in Lee County, Illinois in June 1843 when he was served with a writ
for his arrest and extradition to Missouri. The Lee County Sheriff
and other arresting officers were taking Joseph to Springfield,
Illinois from the town of Dixon when they were met by approximately 175 men from Nauvoo.
Stephen Markham carried a writ of habeas corpus, and Joseph was released.
Sister Barbara Nelson's
Ottawa Illinois Ward Early Morning Seminary class is shown posing
with a statue of W.D. Boyce, the founder of the Boy Scouts of
America. (Mr. Boyce was born in Ottawa, Illinois.)
This plaque notes that the first permanent settlement of Norwegians
in the United States was at Norway, Illinois which is just 12 miles
from Ottawa (and now part of the Ottawa Illinois Ward).
The History of the Church 6:400
notes that in 1844, Elder Wilford Woodruff "held a meeting with the LaSalle Branch of 46
members" and that they were "mostly emigrants from Norway."
Ottawa is located in LaSalle
County, Illinois. Our Heritage, on page 59, notes that "the Saints in Norway, Illinois, sent 100 sheep
to Nauvoo to be used by the temple committee."
In addition to several events in church history, Ottawa was also the site of the first Lincoln-Douglas
debate (during the U.S. election of 1860). These statues of Abraham Lincoln and
Stephen A. Douglas commemorate this event.
On May 18, 1843, Judge Stephen A. Douglas dined with Joseph Smith in
Carthage, Illinois. During the course of the evening, Joseph
you will aspire to the Presidency of the United States; and if you ever
turn your hand against me or the Latter-day Saints, you will feel the
weight of the hand of the Almighty upon you; and you will live to see
and know that I have testified the truth to you; for the conversation
of this day will stick to you through life.
On June 12, 1857, then Senator Stephen A. Douglas turned against the
church in a speech delivered at Springfield, Illinois. Here is part
of what he said
knife must be applied to this pestiferous, disgusting cancer which is
gnawing into the very vitals of the body politic. It must be cut out by
the roots, and seared over by the red hot iron of stern and unflinching
law. * * Should all efforts fail to bring them [the Mormons] to a sense
of their duty, there is but one remedy left. Repeal the organic law of
the territory, on the ground that they are alien enemies and outlaws,
unfit to be citizens of a territory, much less ever to become citizens
of one of the free and independent states of this confederacy.
-- B. H. Roberts, New Witnesses for God, p. 307
As Joseph Smith had prophesied, in the election of 1860:
Mr. Lincoln carried 18 states; Mr. Breckinridge 11; Mr. Bell 3; and Mr.
Douglas but 1!" Twenty days less than one year after his nomination by
the Charleston convention, while yet in the prime of manhood --
forty-eight years of age -- Mr. Douglas died, at his home in Chicago, a
disappointed, not to say heart-broken, man.
-- B. H. Roberts, New Witnesses for God, p. 305
Seminary Sam is held in front of the Chicago
Temple (which is approximately 50 miles from Ottawa, Illinois).
The Historical Atlas of Mormonism, on page 60, contains this
In May of 1843, George P. Dykes, a missionary, found a settlement of
Norwegians living in LaSalle County, Illinois. Some of these
Scandinavians were receptive to his message. Within three weeks, Dykes
baptized many of them, including Gudmund Haugaas, a man of strong mind,
skilled in the scriptures, whom he ordained an elder. Late in October
1844, two apostles visited the branch, which was located six miles
northeast of Ottawa. They purchased 100 acres of ground, laid out a
city, selected a site for a chapel, and appointed Dykes as the stake
president. Furthermore, they set aside 10 acres for a temple. Brigham
Young designated the area as a gathering place for the Scandinavian
people and said that they would build the temple on the site selected
and would receive their endowments in their own language.
Sam's journeys are continued on page 4.
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© Copyright 2003, by Kenneth L. Alford. All rights