Thursday, December 08, 2016 – Cold, Visitor’s Center’s Leaves, Sarah Granger Kimball’s home, Pres. Hall’s Flowerbeds
It is cold! Last night when I went to bed it as 24 degrees outside, at 6:00am it was down at 16 degrees. I went out early to start the car. Our little Ford Focus took 15 minutes to warm up this morning. Normally it only takes three minutes for the temperature needle to bounce up to its normal range.
By the time we got to work the temperature was all the way up to 18 degrees. But there was a 15 to 20 mph wind so my smart phone said it felt like 4 degrees outside! Finally, it feels like the mid-west weather I’ve been expecting. And, the forecast is for two new cold fronts to move through Illinois. The first cold front is expected next Tuesday. Yahoo!
Sis. Johnson and I along with four others were out blowing the sidewalks at the visitor’s center by 7:30AM in spite of the very cold temperature and high winds. It is a real adventure to blow leaves and have a sudden change of wind direction. Sometimes what you’ve blown comes right back in your face!
Our next cleaning assignment was at the historic home of Sarah Granger Kimball. This home is significant for a number of reasons. First it is probably the oldest original structure in Nauvoo. That is extraordinary because wooden buildings usually don’t stand the test of time. The home was already occupied and the residence of Oliver Kimball in the community of Commerce Illinois before the Mormons arrived in 1839. Only a handful of wooden buildings have survived to today. This is one and the oldest of them.
The second reason the Sarah Granger Kimball home and Sarah Granger Kimball herself are significant is that this is where the idea of the Women’s Relief Society was started. Sarah and other neighboring women wanted to help in the construction of the Temple by sewing shirts and other clothing for the workman. Sarah suggested that they organize a ladies’ Society, write a constitution and choose a president.
Sarah wrote, “The neighboring sisters met in my parlor [March 4, 1842] and decided to organize.” After a constitution was written for the Ladies’ Society, Joseph Smith said, “Tell the sisters their offering is accepted of the Lord, and He has something better for them than a written constitution,” He said, “I will organize the women under the priesthood after the pattern of the priesthood.”
On March 17, 1842, twenty women, including Sarah, met in the upper room of Joseph Smith’s red brick store. On that day, Joseph organized the “Female Relief Society of Nauvoo. Joseph said, “The Church was never perfectly organized until the women were thus organized
The Relief Society has approximately six million members in over 170 countries and territories. The Relief Society is often referred to as "one of the oldest and largest women's organizations in the world."
We finished our work day cleaning the flowerbeds at President Hall’s home. It was a big job and took us over an hour. Fortunately I had some help. All morning one of the service missionaries, Elder Dalton Richards, helped me with all of our cleaning projects. Elder Richards lives in Mindon, ILL only 45 minutes east of Nauvoo. His six month mission ends next week and he will be leaving on Dec. 15th. He was a great help to me all day and he’s worked and helped other senior missionaries over the past six months. They’ve all said he is a good worker and a big help in whatever job he was asked to do. Good man.