It’s been a while since I posted last, but it hasn’t been for a lack of scripture study. I’ve read Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers and a whole lot of cross references. My scripture markers are down to nubs and it’s time to open a new package.
But . . . this last week I had the opportunity of a lifetime. Even though I lived in Indianapolis for 10 years, while I was there I never had the time to travel the 7 hours to western Missouri. This last Friday I was in the area. And this is what I got to see . . .
With a protective rotunda built over the re-constructed jail, the Liberty Jail Visitor Center is a special place of reflection and spiritual influence. I came away from my visit there with an intense feeling of gratitude for the Prophet Joseph Smith: for his faithfulness, his strength, and his example of how to deal with adversity. He truly was an amazing man.
The quote about the blessings of the Constitution upon the wall of the rotunda struck me deeply. Here was a man that had been denied the protections of that sacred document, who still felt that the Constitution had been inspired by God, and could protect mankind, if men would simply adhere to the principles of liberty. Here is the photo (sorry for the reflections).
And here is the rest of the quote from page 304 (History of the Church, VOL III):
“Here is a principle also, which we are bound to be exercised with, that is, in common with all men, such as governments, and laws, and regulations in the civil concerns of life. This principle guarantees to all parties, sects, and denominations, and classes of religion, equal, coherent, and indefeasible rights; they are things that pertain to this life; therefore all are alike interested; they make our responsibilities one towards another in matters of corruptible things, while the former principles do not destroy the latter, but bind us stronger, and make our responsibilities not only one to another, but unto God also. Hence we say, that the Constitution of the United States is a glorious standard; it is founded in the wisdom of God. It is a heavenly banner; it is to all those who are privileged with the sweets of its liberty, like the cooling shades and refreshing waters of a great rock in a thirsty and weary land. It is like a great tree under whose branches men from every clime can be shielded from the burning rays of the sun.
“We, brethren, are deprived of the protection of its glorious principles, by the cruelty of the cruel, by those who only look for the time being, for pasturage like the beasts of the field, only to fill themselves; and forget that the “Mormons,” as well as the Presbyterians, and those of every other class and description, have equal rights to partake of the fruits of the great tree of our national liberty. But notwithstanding we see what we see, and feel what we feel, and know what we know, yet that fruit is no less precious and delicious to our taste; we cannot be weaned from the milk, neither can we be driven from the breast; neither will we deny our religion because of the hand of oppression; but we will hold on until death.
“We say that God is true; that the Constitution of the United States is true; that the Bible is true; that the Book of Mormon is true; that the Book of Covenants is true; that Christ is true; that the ministering angels sent forth from God are true, and that we know that we have an house not made with hands eternal in the heavens, whose builder and maker is God; a consolation which our oppressors cannot feel, when fortune, or fate, shall lay its iron hand on them as it has on us. Now, we ask, what is man? Remember, brethren, that time and chance happen to all men.” (HC VOL 3 page 304)
I’ll let the other pictures speak for themselves.
Coming from Liberty Jail, the reverent feelings (and even sadness) impressed upon me, never left. I was amazed to see how remote both Far West and Adam-ondi-Ahman were. Completely surrounded by farmland. Miles from any notable civilization. The Saints had established settlements at both of these sites. Yet very little remained.
I look forward to when the time when the Far West temple will be built. Like the re-built temple in Nauvoo, Far West will also be a testament to the principle of Restoration. All good things will be restored to the saints. Every one!
Video Tour: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eP-EG96MuPk
I walked where the Prophet Joseph Smith walked. I stood where Nephites stood. And from the hill where sacrifices were offered up to the Great Jehovah, I gazed upon the valley where Adam blessed his posterity in the grand meeting of the patriarchs, three years before his death. The same valley where Jesus Christ will appear prior to the Second Coming and receive back priesthood keys from the prophets of every dispensation.
This holy site is absolutely beautiful. I pray earnestly that the day of His coming will be hastened.
And then, a video tour from the East Overlook so you can see how long the Valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman really is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chqE28yMMBk
I hope you enjoyed this simple tour of the three sites. Let me know if you enjoyed the pictures!