Kirtland- Day 3Sunday, August 04, 2013
*Warning: now my camera and back up battery were fully charged so get ready for the picture overload that day three was.*
Back at the Red Maple Inn David and I woke up having slept like rocks and headed out for a run. We didn't get too far because of the instant sticky feeling from being outside and because we wanted to be back in time to go to the gym they had in the basement and then get ready for breakfast.
Breakfast was great and after that we felt ready to take on all the Kirtland sites and history. We planned on doing all this in one day like Palmyra. The first site we went to see was actually not in Kirtland itself. It was the John Johnson Farm which is in Hiram, Ohio. Driving there we saw more amish houses with the Monday morning wash hanging outside (I loved it and nerded out about how cute it was! Real people do this, in America! Awesome!)
Once we got there we spotted a tour bus and were a little apprehensive about overcrowding but it turned out to be fine. Here's David looking around the carriage house we waited in to start the tour.
Sister Johnson was awesome. I don't know how she did it all but she fed a million people, especially when the Prophet Joseph stayed with them because people came to see him all the time.
And she had a very interesting taste in decorating. The walls were very bright colors in the different rooms throughout the house. This room is where the Johnsons (parents and one son I think) read the Book of Mormon straight through one night. Then they decided they had to meet the Prophet Joseph because they believed the Book of Mormon.
Sister Johnson had an arm problem, she couldn't lift it barely at all. When they met Joseph she asked for a healing blessing and he healed her arm immediately and she didn't have a problem the rest of her life.
After that the Johnsons invited Joseph to stay with them and told him they would help in any way they could. And they did. They saved for this gorgeous house for over 10 years from what I remember but when Joseph later asked them to sell it and donate the funds to the church a few years later they did, no questions asked. After this day I loved the faithful Kirtland saints for what they gave.
This room is next to the front door of the house. It may have been the room Joseph and Emma were staying in when the mob came and tarred and feathered Joseph. This was also after Joseph and Emma had adopted the Murdock twins after their twins died. Both twins were sick the night the mob dragged Joseph out. The little boy later died from exposure. I asked the sister missionary why he died from the cold- why didn't they just shut the front door? She said the door may have been broken down which made sense to me.
Side note- isn't that floor insane? A little too Alice in Wonderland for me, but go Sister Johnson for rocking it.
David and I are in the room that was Joseph's office. He received revelation and did bunch of translating with Sidney here. Also Sidney was living in a cabin across from the Johnson farmhouse that the Johnson family built for him. Yeah the Johnsons were saints, no pun intended.
Joseph passed out after the mob beat, tarred and feathered him but he eventually made it back to the house. Emma and probably Sister Johnson spent the night peeling the tar off his skin and cleaning him up. The next morning he preached on those steps we are standing on. Members of the previous night's mob came and heard him preach. It was pretty powerful because a few people from the congregation were baptized because of that sermon.
Sidney was also dragged from his cabin and tied to a horse and dragged on the rough ground hitting his head. He had a concussion and from the written records was never the same after that (personality-wise and testimony-wise). Joseph actually saw Sidney laying on the ground and thought he was dead when Joseph was being dragged away. This is really sad but it goes to show how deep the prophet's testimony was that he could go through that experience and go on knowing that something like this could happen to him again.
I was so excited to see this site. The Kirtland temple. Even though it's owned by the Community of Christ church I still couldn't wait to be in such an amazing place. I fell in love with the Kirtland temple from reading the Work and the Glory series. I really got a taste of what this temple meant to the saints and the countless manifestations of Heavenly Father's power that happened because of this building. This building is one of the most amazing pieces of history of the restoration in my opinion.
I never imagined what the grounds would look like but they were nice, as was the visitor's center (or whatever the CoC people called it).
Since it's not owned by the church it is in need of a few repairs, but overall it was in good condition. The pulpits were amazing and so was the ingenuity of the saints. I didn't realize they built the box pews so you could close the door of the pew and trap the heat in during the winter.
The one unfortunate part of the tour is that it focused on the historical facts and didn't really invite the spirit, but we still felt it anyway. How can you not when you sit in Joseph's office on the top floor or remember what happened at the dedication? You can just feel what this building meant to those people and the future they thought they were building in Kirtland.
The temple had a sense of finality and sadness about it as well. Kirtland wasn't Nauvoo in the scale of those who left it but it still had sacrifice engrained in everything. And the fact that it was presented as a historical artifact instead of a sacred site seemed a little sad to me in light of what took place there. Another member with his smart phone read us Doctrine & Covenants 110 which really put into perspective how sacred this building was.
After the temple tour we headed down the hill to the Kirtland visitor center site. There we had a tour of the Whitney store first, which you see in every church movie about Kirtland.
This tour was pretty crowded but still great. Joseph and Emma also lived in the Whitney store for a while too. The Whitneys were another outstanding family which made this leg of the trip so fun to learn about. The Whitneys were converts that made it all the way to Salt Lake. Newel K. Whitney was the first Bishop and continued to be a Bishop until he died in Salt Lake.
Here's a corn checker board in the store.
This was the back of the store which the Whitney's outfitted to be a kitchen for Joseph and Emma. I thought about how mortifying it must have been for Emma to live on another's generosity, but how gracious she was to accept it. To cook in a kitchen at the back of someone else's store sounds hard to me. But that's Emma for you- always accepting kindness showed to the the prophet's family.
More of the kitchen. Upstairs was the school of the prophets where Joseph received revelations and taught. He received the famous section 89, the Word of Wisdom, after Emma asked about the smoking and spittoons.
Across the street from the store was the Whitney's house and this was a shot of their kitchen. It wasn't huge considering Newel K. Whitney owned a lot of property and land. Basically everything we saw at the Kirtland church site was on Bishop Whitney's land which he gave to the church. (He was good at consecration apparently).
Here's a shot of the Kirtand ashery (straight ahead) and the sawmill (off to the right).
The sawmill was powered by this water wheel that only needs about three inches of water to operate. They rebuilt the sawmill and it's technically fully functional.
The only time the blade of the restored sawmill has actually been used to cut wood was when President Hinckley came to dedicate it. He said "I want to see this thing cut some wood!" in cute President Hinckley style. So they fired it up and cut a log. It hasn't been used since.
Then we walked next door to the ashery. Honestly I didn't know what an ashery was until this tour so now you get to find out as well.
The saints collected and then sold ashes to the ashery which were then strained, and cooked them to be made into things like glass and fine china.
She's explaining the process. The ashrey was a cash cow for the saints that got something like $100 a barrel for the cooked ash. (check out Colleen's blog for more accurate details on the process).
Here's David touching ashery artifiacts... haha.
We hadn't eaten since breakfast (it was at least 5:00 by this point) and Nathan had looked up a triple D restaurant called "Melt Bar and Grilled" nearby so we headed there for dinner.
We all ordered grilled cheese sandwiches of epic proportions. Look at Davids- there's a whole chicken breast right there!
Did I mention I gained 5lbs on this trip? Look at that sandwich and you'll know why. Luckily we exercise consistently or I would have been stuck with that trip weight haha.
After that we went over to our hotel for the night, swam for a bit (David may have dunked Colleen twice) and then we tried to disc golf at a park next to Lake Erie. It ended with Colleen and I in the car after running from swarms of bugs and rain while David and Nathan searched for a stray disc while it was lightning.
Colleen's day 3 post