Each year the Illinois Nauvoo Mission re-enacts the exodus of the early Saints from Nauvoo. Many in the community and surrounding areas participate. Each participant was able to "walk" for an honored pioneer. This means that they wore a badge showing the name of the person who left Nauvoo from Feb through October 1846. The badge also told three bits of information about them plus their birth date and place and how old they were at the time of the exodus. This was such an honor. The missionaries had submitted their own ancestor's names and could represent 3 on the walk. Others, like shown in this picture, came and selected an honored pioneer when they arrived. There were 677 tags in all. I know because it was my privilege to type them all up. As I did so, I was able to learn more about these faithful people.
We started out in the Family Living Center with a muffins, hot chocolate, hard boiled eggs and fruit. Last year 500 people came but I'm not sure of this year's tally. What I do know is that's alot of muffins!
|This is Sis. Sullivan, Sis. Reimann and I. We helped people find their tags.|
Some visitors had small children with them and so they pulled their kids in
the handcarts. These are the handcarts.
Can anyone tell which flag Bryce is holding up? Go, Canada!
Bryce was in the group that represented the Nauvoo Legion.
He loved the experience and felt it an honor.
This is the start of "the walk". The Nauvoo Legion was at the beginning followed by people
carrying the flags representing the native countries of those early Saints. A few years
ago it was 16 below but this year it was in the 40's. (farenheit not celcius)
Doesn't this look fun? Our new mission President and his wife, President and
Sister Hall, are the passengers in this carriage.
There were horse drawn wagons that followed the walkers. The route was down Main Street...
...and then turn right down Parley Street. This street is often refered to as the "Trail of Hope". Those who walked down it that cold February day in 1846 were full of faith and hope in finding a place where they could worship God in peace.
There is a plaque on the "Trail of Hope" of an personal experience of how they saw the Temple one last time before they left Nauvoo in 1846. The original Nauvoo Temple was burned by arsons in 1848. The Nauvoo Temple of today, built in 2002, stands as a testament of the sacrifices of the Saints. As Bryce and I walked for our ancestors of Nauvoo, it wasn't hard to think of their courage. We are so grateful for the legacy of faith they have left for us to follow.
The oxen also made the walk. They would have been very handy to have on the trek west.
On Feb. 4th 1846, the first group left Nauvoo. Many groups followed thru February until October. It was cold that particular February and although the first wagons had to be ferried across the Mississippi, by Feb. 24th, the river froze and the wagons drove across on the ice.
At the river's edge, there is a statue of Joseph Smith showing Brigham Young the
way - west to the Rocky Mountains.
We all gathered by the Mississippi where the flag was raised,
and where we heard some touching remarks made by President Hall.
Even our friend Stuart Deathrage came for the Exodus Re-enactment.
This is a picture of Bryce and I and the Hansons and H
elen Campbell - a fellow Canadian and my distant cousin.
You can see our ancestor's we represented by the tags we are wearing. I walked for my
only ancestor that was here in Nauvoo, Enoch and Elizabeth Burns. Bryce walked for
a Legion member, Truman O. Angell, and two Walton ancestors and a
Lyons (another ancestor). Bryce has several ancestors who were here.
I like this picture of President and Sister Hall getting out of the carriage by the Mississippi.
After "the walk" was over, Bryce and I took our time and walked back up Parley Street. We read the plaques and loved looking at the Temple. We love being here in Nauvoo!