We awoke in Springfield still thinking on and honoring the devotion “Father Abraham” had to unifying this covenant land. What a different world we would live in if Lincoln hadn’t been willing to fulfill his mission regardless of how unpopular and how misrepresented he often was. Thinking on this we turned to our next destination- Carthage- where another courageous young man with a mission gave his last full measure of devotion to help bring Gods will about. As we walked onto the grounds of the Carthage jail we all immediately felt like it was hallowed and sacred ground. In Liberty we had felt that oxymoron of sacred prison but this was even different. The spirit was so palpable. There were no crowds, no rush and no noise (aside from Lily) which helped us to focus on the sacrifice of Joseph and Hyrum here. We also talked about our ancestor John Taylor who stood by their side to the end ready to die for his faith and devotion. I love his testimony of the event that the kids and I are memorizing- “He lives great and he died great……..”.
The hallowed feeling followed us to Nauvoo and our little house we rented in the shadow of the temple. We did our Come Follow Me scripture study with the temple looming over us. Powerful. Interesting that our studies today took us to another martyr- Stephen. We loved the description of Stephen and wanted to be honest and wise and full of the spirit as he was. I wanted my heart to be right with the Lord. What more is there?
As we played before the pageant and visited with wonderful friends that are in the pageant it felt like we were supposed to be here —as if this was the purpose of our trip- the zenith of sorts. We were here to partake of the spiritual feast and to be reminded of the singular import of Gods temples- they are where HIS work takes place. I felt my noble heritage and their sacrifice as I watched the pageant and my heart was full.