Thursday, November 20, 2008


I recently returned from a wonderful trip to Nauvoo, IL. It was with my mom and 6 of my 8 sisters. We flew into St. Louis and got to see the famous arch. It was pretty amazing. We drove to Nauvoo, accidentally getting lost in Quincy, IL. But, that was fine by me. I've always wanted to go to Quincy, IL, not just because they were so nice to the Saints, but because I've always loved the name Quincy. If Dave hadn't vetoed the name, Eden or Teya would probably be named Quincy. (Big aside.... In fact, at BYU, at dances, occasionally some random guys would ask me to dance and want to know my name. Since a name was all you needed to get a phone number at BYU, if I didn't particulary like the guy, I would tell them my name was Quincy. I had this whole story about how we were descendants of John Quincy Adams.... But, back to the blog at hand...) We also stumbled upon some fabulous frozen custard, so our quick visit to Quincy was not in vain.

I just loved Nauvoo. It was my first time there, and I loved to see the senior missionary couples just having a great time, whether it were singing and dancing at the "Rendevous at Old Nauvoo" or giving us the tours of the various ancestral homes or shops, they just were happy and it was contagious. I think some of my favorites were the blacksmith shop and the shoe/cobbler place. Of course, it was a dream come true to also go to Joseph and Emma's homes, and to see their gravesite. I have always had a fascination with Church History, that was in no part diminished by two semesters of Church History with Susan Easton Black at BYU. I gained a testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith before I gained a testimony of pretty much any other aspect of the gospel, so I have always had a special spot for all the he did for the church. It was amazing to see where he lived, and to visualize his Nauvoo. Oh, and it was FREEZING the whole time -- biting cold wind!
This is me in front of the Red Brick Store
This is the mansion home where they lived and housed boarders for the last year of his life.

We walked the trail of hope, the trail the Saints took to the river as they were leaving their homes. I looked back often to see the Temple standing on the hill. Here is a picture I took -- pretty much the same view that the early Saints had (minus the water tower) -- since the temple was in the same spot and built much to the same specs. It was inspiring.

Speaking of the temple, it was incredible. There was a unique spirit there that just added to the wonderful spirit of temples in general. We took a peak afterwards at Joseph Smith's sword, and the assembly hall that looks just like the one in the Kirkland temple. It was all just beautiful. We had someone take a picture of all 8 of us in front of the temple and she asked if we were a group of sister missionaries. One of my older sisters said later, "That was flattering if she thought we were all sister missionaries." Until, my younger sister said, "Unless she thought we were senior sister missionaries!" Ha!

Carthage Jail was also just amazing. The B&B we were staying at was actually Willard Richards' home -- the fourth man in the jail during the martyrdom. So, that added a touch of personality to our stay and to our visit. I'm SO deeply grateful to the Prophet Joseph Smith for the courage and strength it took to do all he did in his short life -- amidst persecution from foes and friends alike. My testimony was strengthened by our trip.

But, despite the wonderful experiences of Nauvoo and Carthage, the best part of the whole trip was just spending time with my sisters and mom. We had so much fun just visiting each night, playing games, having political discussions, spiritual discussions, reminiscing about our past, etc. We laughed so much and I just felt like I got to know everyone as good friends... I've never seen my mom laugh so much and just look so content to sit back and listen to her daughters all talk about so many things... but remember fellow trip-takers...

What happens in Nauvoo... stays in Nauvoo!


VikiViki said...

It was a blast. I can't wait until the next one!

Liz said...

I looove Nauvoo! It's been too long and am dying to go back. There really is such a special spirit there that strengthens your testimony.
I love the name Quincy too. Todd vetoed it too when Eliza was born. But the story of you using it as your name is hilarious!

Mandy Stewart said...

So glad to hear about your trip.... I love it there. Next, plan a trip to Palmyra! It is just as special!

Brent and Julia said...

Gorgeous pictures. They make me want to plan a trip. I have been to Nauvoo. I was a child, and it had not had all of the restoring done. Still, I remember how amazing I thought my horseshoe nail ring was. Did you get one?

Steph said...

Hi Jennie!
I just found your blog from Mindy's blog (which I also didn't know about). :)
I've only read a few entries but it is fun catching up with your family!
I especially loved the Ash post. That is one thing I think of when I think of Dave him telling me he had ash. Fun memories.
I wanted to say hello and I will now be keeping up with your blog. Fun!
Steph Y.

Marilyn said...

Thanks for being my traveling buddy. The trip was awesome. I am already looking forward to the next Groberg Girls getaway!

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