Sunday we packed up the bus and drove to Independence, Missouri where the Lord had revealed that Zion was to be built. We gathered on the grass field where a stone marks the corner where the temple is to be built and had a short program in which Rachel and Eldon read parts. From there it is only a couple of blocks to the LDS chapel where we joined a sacrament meeting with the Kansas City Blue Hills Ward.
After the service we had lunch on the lawn and then walked to the LDS Visitor Center. A lot of the material was review of sites we had already seen, but the Sister Missionaries did sing "I know that my Redeemer Lives" for us in front of the status of Christ which was very touching.
Just across the street is the Community of Christ Temple. It is a magnificent building that spirals into the air and has a Japanese garden in its center. The Community of Christ was formed after the death of the Prophet and has about a quarter-million members world-wide. The presidency followed the lineage of Joseph Smith up until the current leader, and they have ordained two women as apostles. The fact that we have a common source of belief, but have drifted so far apart in doctrine, illustrates why there are so many religions and diverse views in the world.
In Richmond, Missouri, we visited a monument to Colonel Alexander Doniphan,
a prominent citizen who was a commander of Missouri Mounted Volunteers in the War with Mexico. He saved the life of Joseph and Hyrum by defying a direct oder to execute them. He never joined the church, but was received as hero on a later visit to Salt Lake City.
Richmond is also the location of the graves of Oliver Cowdery and David Whitmer, two of the three witnesses of the Book of Mormon. All three left the church, but none recounted their testimony of seeing an angel and handling the gold plates.
At Liberty, they have built a recreation of the jail in which Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, Hyrum Smith, and three other church leaders were held during the bitter winter of 1838 - 1839. The missionaries gave a great presentation, and the tour leader read from D&C Section 102, revelations received during these dark times.
We had the opportunity to stop and see the Kansas City Temple which is still under construction just as the sun was setting, providing a beautiful backdrop.
We had another late buffet dinner in Kansas City and made it to the motel in time for Robin to get some swimming in with Noah, the other youth on the trip, and for me to get a load of laundry done while working on getting the blog up to date.