After so many months of preparations and miles of travel, we were finally at our last church history stop. Winter Quarters is in Omaha, Nebraska and it was the launching site of the Westward Trek, by wagon or handcart, depending on the year of your departure. It was called Winter Quarters because it was where the Saints, after being kicked out of Nauvoo and traveling (miserably) across Iowa, stopped and settled for the winter before continuing on to the Salt Lake Valley.
|Packing scale size blocks representing supplies into a covered wagon.|
This is one of my favorite visitor's centers. It isn't large, but it makes good use of its space. There are lots of hands on activities for the children, a few precious artifacts, and some very cool displays.
We arrived at dusk, so the missionaries took us out to the cemetery before it got dark.
That is a sacred place.
|Father and mother at the frozen and shallow grave of their infant. The sacrifice was great.|
Am I honoring their sacrifice?
Then, they brought us back in and began the tour.
|Log house with a sod chimney. So interesting.|
As we stood at the front of the building, the missionary started the tour by asking,
"When did you know that Joseph Smith was a prophet? When did you know the church was true?"
Our Camilla looked up and said simply,
"On this trip."
You know what? That one statement, offered humbly and with the open honesty of youth, made all of the struggles and sacrifice to go on this trip WORTH IT.
I'd do it all again, dear girl, to hear you say that.
|Yoked Oxen and a cute Lucy|
It does add time and distance to the overall trip, but I felt like it was worth adding to the itinerary. It wasn't a long stop, but I do think it really summed up our education about those early, faithful, courageous Saints. There is a temple right next to the visitor's center and cemetery with beautiful stained glass. I would have loved to attend, but it wasn't feasible for us this go 'round. Next time!