‘His Joy Was Full’: 192 Years of the Restored Church

192 years ago the Church was organized with six members. Now, Church membership soars above 16 million across the globe.1 I love the description of this momentous day found in “Saints.” The day began with the meeting formally organizing the Church, which included the administration of the sacrament and the Prophet Joseph Smith receiving a…

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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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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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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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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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