I have to admit that I didn't know that much about Nauvoo and what happened to the Saints until I read the "150 Years Ago Today" series that began on Zion. It grew into what we now know as Gems.
My ancestors were there alone with my wife's. (Please don't think that I'm announcing that I'm a great Latter-day Saint just because my family was at Nauvoo - I still have a LONG way to go just to get myself where I need to be). As I read the narrative, I gained a testimony of a couple of things.
First, the Saints needed a decision point. Would they, one last time, submit themselves to hardship by remaining loyal to the Gospel. Many didn't, not a huge group, but some certainly didn't decide to move west - they felt that their comfort, safety, and wealth were more important than eternal life. They took the easy route and became Re-Organites, etc.
Second, and a by-product of the first, a cleansing of Zion was needed. A final (for then) culling of the heard was needed to build Zion in the mountains. The Prophet Brigham Young didn't need his attention diverted by taking care of dissention in the West while he was building the initial infrastructure for Utah, Idaho, etc. A peaceful period was needed from those who would harm or make afraid the Saints.
Third, and perhaps most iportantly, Joseph needed to seal his testimony. How much more powerful did the testimony of the first vision and the Book of Mormon become when he gave himself up like a lamb going to the slaughter. He declared himself calm as the morning as he and the patriarch submitted themselves to the authorities (gods) of this world.
I stood there in the street where the wagons were queued up to cross the Mississippi. There was a plaque there amongst the others quoting my ancestor. I wept openly as I read it. Even though I am adopted into the family and none of his blood flows through my veins, I was and am greatful to him and all he went through. I'm greatful to another ancestor who died at Winter Quarters, leaving behind two young wives who had to make the rest of the journey relying on each other and the generosity of the Saints on the trail and in Utah to raise up a righteous family.
I know that it will happen again. To tell you the truth, I look forward to it. I'm REALLY tired of those who declare themselves royal families, who know that we can buy anything in this world with money, who thnk of those of us who have sufficient for our needs are lesser members of the Church. It will be interesting to see how many of us will actually be left. But this is where my knowledge of the prophesies gets sketchy. Will this be just before another exodus, this time to Independence, MO? I hear this discussed in some quarters but I'm unclear as to when this will happen and its timing.
John W. Redelfs wrote:
> I've been reading THE STORY OF THE LATTER-DAY SAINTS by James B. Allen
> and Glen M. Leonard, and I just read the part where the saints were
> forced to leave Nauvoo in February, 1846, months before their planned
> departure in April. I was especially moved by the story of the saints
> who were too poor to make the trek, but who were forced across the
> river nevertheless. Reading this history, I just can't help feeling
> a deep resentment towards the American people who either persecuted
> the saints or looked the other way while they were persecuted.
> Over a thousand saints died on the trail that first winter, the winter
> of 1846-47. Disgusting.
> John W. Redelfs [EMAIL PROTECTED]
> "There is no place in this work for those who believe only
> in the gospel of doom and gloom. The gospel is good
> news. It is a message of triumph." --Gordon B. Hinckley
> All my opinions are tentative pending further data. --JWR
> /// ZION LIST CHARTER: Please read it at ///
> /// http://www.zionsbest.com/charter.html ///
> > > >
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