|I love this picture of these two sisters. So much family time wasn't all bad!|
Our next stop, and that of the early Saints, was Kirtland, Ohio.
|The last time I visited, there was a very busy street that ran right where we are standing. Good change!|
This is the Newel K. Whitney store in the revived area with several restored homes. Once again, the church has gone out of their way to make the visit to these places worthwhile. Very careful restoration has taken place to make a pedestrian campus of sorts, with no roads cutting up the area. There are historic homes and businesses, but there are also fully functional unique places like a waterwheel sawmill and an ashery.
The industry and ingenuity of the saints was inspiring. This ashery, for instance, took the ashes and, through a series of steps, turned them into pearlash.
Which was shipped to England for use in glass making--or something like that. I was in and out with small people during this tour!
After spending most of the morning at the LDS sites, we headed over to the Kirtland Temple, owned by the Community of Christ (formerly the Reorganized LDS Church). They started the tour with a nice video which had a much different feel than the LDS videos. It had a Rick Steves travel video feel.
After the video, they opened the thick velvet curtains to reveal the Kirtland Temple, which is impressive to this day.
Our tour guide did a good job, making sure to emphasize the spiritual aspects of the building--which is different from the tours I'd had before. She had the group sing The Spirit of God and talked about some of the miracles that occurred during the Pentecostal dedication. Unfortunately, many of the most profound and important truths have either been changed or left out entirely. According to them, in the grove, for example, Joseph Smith had a "spiritual manifestation" instead of a visitation of the Father and the Son. Having just been to the Sacred Grove and feeling the Spirit witness so profoundly to our spirits that the First Vision did indeed happen the way Joseph described, that vital change was disheartening.
My little guy and I were out halfway through the tour. I wanted to be mad; I wanted to be sad. The whole point of this trip was to visit the sites and there I was, not visiting the sites--again!
He reached for my hand and said, "We're buddies, huh Mom."
I looked into his small face, so full of love and innocence and I heard, almost audibly,
I'm just a little boy, Mom. I don't understand.
Suddenly, my heart was softened. He needed time with just me. He couldn't sit still, though he was still feeling the spirit of the place because he had the attitude of reverence even better when he was away from the structure of the tour. What began as a frustration, turned into a most sacred time for me. I had visited these places before so that, in part, my husband and older children would not have to miss out on these experiences because of a wiggly three year old.
After that, it wasn't so hard to leave.
I got to spend time with "my buddy."
The Isaac Morley farm was the next stop and the girls enjoyed pulling on the bell.
And then it was time for dinner. After being tourists all day, we were pooped and HUNGRY. Now was a good time to use one of the gifted gift cards. It was perfect timing. Everyone loves IHOP and everyone was filled to the brim.
It was an educational day wherein we learned about faithful, courageous saints giving their all.
We also learned about great apostasy and rebellion, which saddened our hearts.
We would need to ponder over this day for a while.