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Page 3

Sam visits Seminary classes
near church history sites

(Note: You may click on pictures to enlarge them.)


Nauvoo, Illinois

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 Beautiful."

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.

Brigham 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 planned.

The 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 Nauvoo.

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 lifetime.

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.

The Prophet 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 members.

The walls of the original Nauvoo Temple were not quite this high when the Prophet Joseph Smith was martyred in Carthage Jail.

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 Washington, D.C.)

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.



Carthage, Illinois

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.

When 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.

After 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.

Joseph fell 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 Joseph Smith.

John 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:

Joseph 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



Earlville, Illinois

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. 



Ottawa, Illinois

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 prophesied:

Judge, 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

...the 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 interesting information:

Norway [Illinois]. 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.



Seminary Sam's journeys are continued on page 4.


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Copyright 2003, by Kenneth L. Alford. All rights reserved.