Sunday, April 23, 2017

Sunday, April 23, 2017 – Choir, Elder & Sis. Nielson, Cultural Hall Tours, New Videos for Mission Socialable

For the past month the “Emma Hale Cast” that Sis. Johnson and I perform with has been practicing a choir number. This morning was our Sunday to perform a piece arranged by Aubrey Taylor titled, “Tell me the Things Jesus Taught.” It was a Children’s Hymn medley of “Tell me the Stories of Jesus” and “I’m trying to Be Like Jesus.” I think we sang it beautifully. Our musical number added to an already wonderful sacrament meeting.
After church Sis. Johnson and I happened to meet Elder & Sis. Nielsen who are from Farmington UT. they just arrived in the mission on Friday. The Nielsen’s have been assigned to be the grounds keepers in Carthage this summer. This is the assignment Sis. Johnson and I had last summer. The Nielsen’s expressed their excitement and enthusiasm for the calling.
Elder & Sis. Nielsen feel exactly the way Sis. Johnson and I felt last year when the Mission President asked us to live on the grounds and take care of the lawns and flowerbeds of that sacred and hallowed place. It was such a privilege to live in the cottage next to the Carthage jail, to be able to look out our kitchen window and have a view of that most holy place. The Nielsen’s will be great grounds keepers there.

This afternoon Sis. Johnson and I were assigned to give tours at the historic site, “The Cultural Hall.” Back in the 1840s the Cultural Hall was the community center of Nauvoo. The three story building had at least 15 different uses.

Plays and concerts were held on the first floor. Under the direction of the nationally acclaimed actor Thomas Lyne, the local dramatic society put on “Pizzaro” just nineteen days after the hall was dedicated. Brigham Young was one of the actors. The first and second floors of the hall were used for Church and business meetings, funerals, court sessions, schools and various functions of the Nauvoo Legion and the local police. On the third floor the Masonic Lodge held meetings. Dances and banquets were also held on the third floor as the Nauvoo Brass Band performed from the balcony.
 My Great-great grandfather, Orville Sutherland Cox played the fife in the Nauvoo Brass Band, I imagined him being right there and walking across the same floor I was walking across. It was a special moment as I realized these were the very same floorboards my ancestors walked on 174 years ago.

In the winter of 1845 – 1846 the hall was used as a place to construct wagons for the Mormon exodus west. It is amazing to me that after the Latter-day Saints left Nauvoo in 1846 the building was sold at a sheriffs’ auction in 1851 for only $4.47!

This evening we attended a “Socialable” (That’s what they call a fireside in this mission) in the theater of the Visitor’s Center. We watched two new videos the Church has just released and this is the first time anyone has seen them. The first video was titled “A Day in Harmony” and the second; “A Day for the Eternity” Both covered the events of the restoration of the gospel. They were very good.

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