A trip to Nauvoo || Logan UT Photographer

 

For Thanksgiving break I took a trip with 3 friends to Nauvoo, IL, (my good friend Julie is from there). We drove for what seemed like forever! Especially crossing across Wyoming where it was a blizzard the whole time! After trekking through the west and Midwest we finally arrived the day before Thanksgiving. I couldn't help but think on the drive though, if I were to tell one of the LDS Pioneers back in 1800 that I could get from the Salt Lake valley to Nauvoo in 22 hours they would have started crying since they endured the trek on foot for days, through the elements for almost 1200 miles losing many loved ones. 

In case you couldn't tell this is an emotional blog post today. Nauvoo is truly a special place, rich with LDS history. We started off the vacation going to Carthage. Which, if you know LDS history, is where the martyrdom of Joseph Smith happened. We were greeted by the LDS missionaries who gave us a tour of the Carthage jail.  

 The beautiful state of Iowa... not much to see on the long drive to Nauvoo :)

The beautiful state of Iowa... not much to see on the long drive to Nauvoo :)

 

The next day we headed to the LDS visitors center in town. On of the best displays was the Christ statue with the words posted underneath,

"For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

The visitors center also featured a Sunstone from the original Nauvoo temple, and one of my favorite statues "Courtship for Eternity". We decided it would be best to take pictures gazing into the eyes of the man :)  There were also other historical artifacts along with a sketch of the Nauvoo temple after it was burned and torn down by the elements. It was very eye opening to realize that after the saint's put so much work into the Nauvoo temple they just had to leave. But guided by God they made their way to the Salt Lake valley were they found peace.

After the visitors center we went on a guided carriage ride with my favorite horses Jim & Jon. They were so sweet! Our tour guides were 2 senior missionaries that knew all about the countryside near the town of Nauvoo. It was such a fun experience! After the ride we headed over to the different LDS sites including the blacksmith shop where the guide showed us how they made horseshoes and other iron products.

In the evening we went into town to hit some of the shops. Nauvoo is so charming! I loved being there. I especially loved the sign that said "Now showing Lord Of The Onion Rings". Gotta love small towns! Next down the road was the Nauvoo Temple. It was such a beautiful day, I couldn't resist taking a bunch of photos of the temple, as well as the Joseph and Hyrum Smith statue in front of the temple.

The next day we say more of the shops as well as followed the "Trail of Hope" down to the Mississippi river and ended the night back at the Nauvoo temple. The Trail of Hope is a documentation of the last thoughts the saints had as they were fleeing Nauvoo from the mobs. I can't imagine the heartache they had as they were forced to leave their homes after losing their beloved prophet Joseph Smith. Saying "Farewell Nauvoo" as they crossed the Mississippi river heading west to the Salt Lake valley.

After the Trail of Hope we stopped and skipped rocks in the Mississippi river just as the sun was going down. I couldn't have asked for a better setting for photos of the river. The sunset was amazing!

Overall, I have to say this trip to Nauvoo, IL, was in my top 3 favorite vacations ever! I had such a great time catching up on the history of the LDS saints. The scenery was amazing! I definitely recommend going there if you like history - dive right in and soak it up! I sure did, and I loved it!


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