Pathway to Peace

This past week marked the 200th birthday of my great granduncle Robert. Reading his autobiography changed my life and inspired me to start this blog! To commemorate his birthday we traveled to the small town where he lived after immigrating from Scotland. The town was then known as “Ramus” or “Macedonia” and it is now…

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Battles of the Heart

Fifteen-year-old Eliza stood at the well near her home in Nauvoo. As she drew water, a canon ball struck her chimney.1 She was living in a battlefield. The Battle of Nauvoo lasted less than a week. Helplessly outnumbered, the remaining Saints, including Eliza and her family, fled to the banks of the Mississippi. Circumstances were…

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Grateful Remembrance

Even though it’s been 177 years since the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum, the place where it happened still stands. You would think Carthage Jail would be depressing to visit, but the place is eerily triumphant. I write “eerily” because there is a palpable spirit there. It’s almost unlike anywhere…

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First Home in Nauvoo

This week I learned about an early Latter-day Saint named Theodore Turley. It turns out we are distantly related! In his autobiography he wrote, “I came to Nauvoo with Joseph Smith the Prophet and built the first house that was built by a Mormon in Nauvoo.”1 I was intrigued by the phrase “first house” because…

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Beautiful & Bright

The other day I had a peculiar experience. I saw a caterpillar climbing a single strand of silk high up into the trees. Because the silk strand was nearly invisible, at first it looked as if he was floating, frozen in mid-air. Upon closer examination I could see how the little guy was using his…

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Hearts Entwined

Joseph wrote to Emma: “My heart is entwined around yours forever and ever.” I can imagine what he meant when he wrote that. We give our heart away when we love someone. It’s terrifying. We give our heart away and hope the person we love will give us their heart in return. Thus, two hearts…

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Fearless Faith

After a windy and rainy Mother’s Day morning, the sun finally came out in time for us to be able to visit the historic sites of the famous and beloved mother of the prophet, Lucy Mack Smith. As we visited Lucy’s grave and one of her homes, I thought about my memories of my mom…

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Sun-Kissed Lonely Tears

On a foggy morning, I gazed at Nauvoo House from the banks of the Mississippi. I stared at the beautiful structure and pondered the image of Emma in her old age: sitting in her rocking chair each night and looking out the windows at the sunset with tears streaming down her face. Ever since I…

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Making More out of Life

As I stood on the banks of the Mississippi I was humbled and inspired by the thought of the early Saints. In just seven years they transformed Nauvoo from an empty swamp into a developed and populated city, even rivaling Chicago.1 Then, in a mass exodus, they made their way westward, carving the “Mormon trail”…

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Discovering Truth

I had hit a crossroads. I knew I had to make a decision. I was 17 years old and I wanted to know: Should I continue to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or should I take a different path? Growing up, sometimes we would go to church, and…

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