Wednesday, April 27, 2016 – Pres. Hyte, Wood from Carthage Jail, Rain Gage
Last week we heard that Pres. Richard Hyte, (1st Counselor in the Nauvoo Mission Presidency) had been hospitalized. We were asked to pray for him. We didn’t know why but we were told his condition was serious. This morning at our 7:30 mission-wide training meeting Pres. Hyte was present on the stand and gave us a report on his health. He said during a routine procedure the doctors discovered he had advanced prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in men after lung cancer. Pres. Hyte said he has had surgery and is receiving treatment. He was very positive and upbeat. He really looked great. He emphasized that his first duty and concern is to be well and continue his mission in the Illinois Nauvoo Mission. He said his mission isn’t over; he has a lot of work left to do. Sis. Johnson and I, as well as the whole mission, continue to pray for Pres. Hyte.
After the training meeting we went to the mission offices to make a request of Sis. Wheeler. She is one of the mission schedulers. Sis Wheeler and Sis. Stroud are responsible for all of the assignment schedules for all of the senior couples in the whole mission. Arranging and coordinating each week’s schedule is a huge job that takes several days for the two sisters to complete.
While we were in the scheduling office Elder Stroud showed us a picture of the Carthage Jail hanging on the wall. The photograph is believed to have been taken around the turn of the twentieth century and is the oldest known photograph of the Carthage Jail. However it is the frame around the photograph that is significant.
Two years ago during the winter months of 2014-15 the original roof of the Carthage Jail, built in 1839, was completely removed and rebuilt. The old planking over the roof trusses were all solid oak but were rotted and weak in some places which meant the whole roof had to be replaced. The demolition crew only thought to through away the old oak planks. The Elders & Sisters working in the Carthage Visitor’s Center acted quickly and saved all of the old wood that wasn’t rotted.
The old oak planks were sent to the FM (Facilities Management) wood shop in Nauvoo. There, Elder Couch during his free time, used the wood to make small picture frames with a print of the old jail photograph for every senior couple in the mission! Larger picture frames like the one hanging in the mission offices were kept by the mission for decoration of the offices, etc.
The oak planks from the roof of the Carthage Jail were “Just pieces of old wood” but they are far more than that. They were the original wood planks used in the constructions of the Jail. They were there and “Witness” to the events of June 27, 1844. They were on the roof when the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were martyred. It would have been a tragedy if they had just been thrown away like so much trash. Thank goodness the wood was saved to bless the lives of so many senior missionaries and generations to come.
Back at work, we were at the FM offices in Nauvoo to pick up supplies for the rest of the week. Back at Carthage we weren’t able to do much work on the grounds of the Visitor’s Center because it rained all day.