Riverside Service Honors ‘Miracle of the Quails’

The Camp of the Poor Travel back with me 176 years. The year was 1846. The October morning was cold and biting. Imagine over 600 people camped out right here on this riverbank. They were sick and shivering. They didn’t even have blankets. Food was scarce. They were starving. This group of Saints included the…

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Battles with Grief: Then and Now

Memorial Service This summer my family and I participated in a memorial service at Smith Family Cemetery in Historic Nauvoo for the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum Smith (June 27, 1844).1 The service included prayer, music, scriptures, and quotes all crafted into a dramatic retelling of that fateful June-day when…

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The Truth About Joseph’s Smith First Vision

I’ve experienced some defining moments in my life—discovering my testimony of the Book of Mormon, meeting my husband for the first time, experiencing the deaths of my beloved mother and grandmother—the list goes on. Joseph Smith also had many defining moments, but it all began with what has come to be known as his “first…

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Marvelous Light

Last weekend my family participated in what’s called the Nauvoo Exodus Commemoration. Hundreds of people met on this freezing Saturday morning to remember something remarkable—beginning in February 1846 thousands of Latter-day Saints began their journey west in search of religious freedom. At the event we all wore name tags honoring our ancestors whose footsteps led…

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Choices of the Heart

Emma’s parents were “bitterly opposed” to her marriage.1 In deciding to marry Joseph she was also deciding to say goodbye to her family, her home, and everything she’d ever known and loved.2 Why would Emma do it? Why elope with Joseph? I remember the first time I met my husband. It felt like my heart…

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Beacon of Hope

Today marks the 217th birthday of the Prophet Joseph Smith. My family and I visited the historic Carthage Jail and took our kids on the tour for the first time. I enjoyed watching their inquisitive faces as they explored the rooms and listened to the captivating stories. This year has been a whirlwind of change:…

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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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