Google navigation is mostly, predominately, largely, usually, almost entirely reliable,
unfortunately this was one of the times it did't work. Even though I put in the coordinates to Adam Ondi Ahman, Google took us on a very odd route.
Just by way of information, there are two distinct sections of this site: the main overlook and Spring Hill. We stopped first at Spring Hill.
It is a peaceful spot, out in the middle of nowhere.
Which was exactly what the doctor ordered.
When we arrived, there was one other group, but our noisy numbers have a tendency to "encourage" others to wrap it up and head out.
After gathering together to learn about the history of the place, we scattered. I gave specific instructions that no one could be within talking distance of anyone else. Also, no one was allowed back to the car for at least one hour.
Just some quiet time to ponder what we've learned, write in journals, lean against a tree, listen to the birds, zone out, meditate, whatever.
I still had my buddies, of course, but it was a perfectly lovely way to spend a sunny October morning.
We took our time walking back (mostly because Camilla lost a locket she had just gotten in Nauvoo--sadly, it was never found) and it was obvious that the children were revived by the serenity.
This guy kept us laughing!
We drove around to the second site, Adam Ondi Ahman, where they are doing some construction.
It is all very nicely kept and peaceful.
Back in the car, then off to Far West.
Here, in the endless fields of rural Missouri, are the dedicated footings of a temple of God.
There is a small building with bathrooms and maybe an office or something, but it is mostly the temple site.
I gathered my chicks around me and taught them the significance of the place,
of the people who lived and died.
The hope and hard work of the people being rewarded by their eventual expulsion with an order to be driven from the state or exterminated. I explained how the Mormon's didn't always make good choices, but those mildly disobedient actions certainly didn't justify the ghastly ravishing of the women, murdering of even children, burning homes in the dead of night and in the middle of winter, and the total loss of property that the Missourians inflicted upon the Saints.
I taught about the bravery of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles who traveled back through the hostile territory so they could leave on their missions to England from our currant location, as directed by revelation.
I explained that even though the enemy knew the exact date and location, the brethren didn't say a token prayer and skedaddle; no, they prayed, sang several hymns, set a few people apart to Priesthood offices, and declared hallelujahs, despite the threat and sufferings.
I taught how those brethren who followed that revelation and fulfilled their callings never fell away from the church, unlike so many had before them.
Then we learned about the symbolism of each of the four cornerstones,
the whole while, wrangling the child who was too young to understand that the glass cases were not jungle gyms!
The places we visited that day were out of the way, not quick stops off the freeway.
But, we feel that being in a place while you learn the history, especially sacred sites like these, help us to internalize the stories. It is easier to imagine the young farmer, the busy mother, the slowing elder, when you make a sacrifice to see their environment.
time to do some laundry!