Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Stopover in Kirtland

On the way back to Florida we took the scenic route through Kirtland, a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. We hadn't been here since our honeymoon 43 years ago. When the orientation film at the beginning of the temple tour ends, the screen retracts into the ceiling and the curtains open up to this spectacular view of the temple. Sorry about the flash reflection on the window.

The tour was great.

Here's a less spectacular view of the temple from the street.

Of course you have to stop to smell the flowers. We don't have peonies in Florida. They were my mother's favorite.

The first and the fourth places Joseph and Emma Smith lived when they came to Kirtland from New York was the Newell K. Whitney store. He was a prosperous merchant who had joined the church. In an upstairs back room was the first "School of the Prophets" that was started so the members could be educated so as not to be defrauded by their enemies. Here is where the Word of Wisdom was given when Emma complained that men of God shouldn't be spitting tobacco on the floor and the room was often so smokey that Joseph couldn't see who was sitting on the second row. The plans for the Kirtland Temple were drawn up here.

Here is Caroly dressed in one of her new missionary outfits knocking on the door of the Johnson Farm in Hiram, about an 8 hour horse ride away, to have a chat with Emma Smith. The Johnsons were prosperous farmers who housed the Smiths for a year.

Does it look like I am getting ready to record a revelation in the revelation room? Here is where Joseph and Sidney Rigdon had the vision of the three degrees of glory that is recorded in the 76th section of the Doctrine and Covenants. Here Joseph studied the bible for the Inspired Translation with Sidney as his scribe. Sixteen sections of the Doctrine and Covenants were recorded here, including sections 1 and 133, which served as the introduction and conclusion.

The windows in the lower left lighten the bedroom where Joseph and Emma were sleeping when a mob dragged Joseph out of bed, dragged him across the yard, stripped him nude, beat him up, tarred and feathered him and tried to kill him by pouring acid down his throat. The tar they used was made of warm pine pitch. The pine pitch had solidified on his face so the acid they tried to pour down his throat just ran off. After they left him for dead, he struggled home where they heated him up by the fire to soften the pine tar so they could peal it off.

The next morning he stood on the same front steps where you saw Caroly and preached to a large congregation that included many who had tried to kill him the night before. Several hundred people in the area were members of the church and were accustomed to coming to the home to hear the prophet speak on Sunday mornings. He didn't want to disappoint them. Emma and her young children then moved to Kirtland for their safety. The windows in the upper right lead to the revelation room you saw earlier.

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