As we travel around the Liberty Missouri Stake we have been privileged to visit many of the sites that we read about in Church History. Again, this is a very lovely place.
Yesterday Greg and I drove to Gallatin, Missouri to visit with the Bishop of the ward. Gallatin is the city were the early Saints in the area tried to vote in the elections exercising their rights as citizens of the United States and citizens of the State of Missouri. When the members were not allowed to vote a fight broke out. A few fists were thrown but nothing too serious happened.
Later, reports were sent to Governor Boggs that the Mormons were in rebellion and that several Missourians were killed in Gallatin. Governor Boggs, just days later, issued the Extermination Order and two days later the tragedy of Haun’s Mill occurred where 17 people were killed.
Time heals all wounds. Here in the city of Gallatin, where the Saints were so persecuted, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has a thriving ward and from this ward there are FOURTEEN MISSIONARIES out in the world spreading the true gospel of Jesus Christ.
We were so struck by the amazing turn of events. “By their fruits ye shall know them”.
Truth and Righteousness will overcome all evil.
To prove that very point the Kansas City Temple is literally just a few miles from the Liberty Jail. We were so excited to be able to go to the Kansas City Temple last Thursday and go through a Temple session. The inside of the Temple is as beautiful as the outside. There are three chandeliers in the Celestial room and a beautiful tall window with the light of the sun shining through. The Temple sits on a hill and looks over the sweeping valleys and hills of the Liberty area.
Also, it is the 50th Anniversary of the dedication of the Visitor Center for the Liberty Jail. As many of you know the Liberty Jail is where the Prophet Joseph Smith was incarcerated for 5 months. There he received many revelations and experienced blessing not expected in such a dark dungeon. We were so blessed to be able to attend several lectures and a wonderful fireside by Professor Alex Baugh. Dr. Baugh teaches at BYU and he works with our son J.B. We enjoyed his wealth of knowledge and his good humor. It will be a day we will not forget.
Our work with the Young Single Adults and with all of the historical events happening we are very busy. We are so thankful for this amazing experience.
As Debi said, we went to the Kansas City Temple this week. It is a very lovely temple. We were struck by the motif of this temple. It has the “Olive Branch” or “Olive leaf” as a theme. At first we wondered what that was depicting. Are there olive trees here? Then I thought of the olive leaf from Noah’s arch. Soon I came to the idea that it must be like “extending the olive branch” which is a token of peace. Debi asked JB about it and he told us that Brother Baugh suggested this theme as it applies to Section 88 of the Doctrine and Covenants.
The introduction to that section reads:
“Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet at Kirtland, Ohio, December 27, 1832. It was designated by the Prophet as the “olive leaf...plucked from the Tree of Paradise, the Lord’s message of peace to us.” There had been some tension between the two groups, those in Kirtland and those in Missouri, and this revelation was sent from Kirtland to W. W. Phelps in Zion (Missouri) to print and publish in order to heal the tensions. Thus, the olive leaf motif of the temple.
During that big storm that happened last week, apparently the Temple was hit by lightning. It is not unexpected as it sits on top of a tall hill and it is even tall on the hill. I am sure there is a lightning rod system in place, but this time it blew out the mother board of the elevators, so we all had to us the stairs, which was not a problem for us, even though the sister at the top of the stairs offered us a chair to sit in and rest.
One of the personal challenges we face as we drive around is that we have a need to use the bathroom. Now this should not even be brought up after our experience in Africa, but still it is an issue. We have come to “feel the pain” of bus drivers, UPS drivers and other delivery personnel. Well, we sometimes have been lucky to find a park with the restroom open and clean. But lately we have discovered CVS and Walgreens. Now, these two companies must be brothers, because they are identical inside and always seem to be on a corner lot. They have very nice restrooms! I feel an obligation to buy something, so I have been eating a few Snickers candy bars. This is going to work out better than asking some stranger if we can use their house. Can you imagine, “Hello, we are missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Before you yell at us and tell us to never set foot on your property again, could we use your bathroom?”