Sunday, March 20, 2016

Happy Birthday!

On March 17, 2016, the sister missionaries serving in Nauvoo gathered for the Relief Society Birthday Party to celebrate it's founding 174 years ago! That's 174 years of charitable service for those in need!  In addition, the Relief Society strengthens families and helps them and others' faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement to develp and grow.  

We rode by wagon from the Nauvoo Visitor's Center to Joseph Smith's Red Brick Store where the first meeting of the Relief Society was held March 17, 1842.

We were a pretty happy group, too. 

Two wagons waited for everyone to get on. These wagons didn't transport all the sister missionaries participating that day. The organizers of the event and those in the Reader's Theatre were already at the Red Brick Store.

I took pictures of all those on the wagons. We all know each other and are way more than fellow missionaries - we're friends.  

Each wagon heard a narration about the history of the Red Brick Store.  Did you know that there was a mercantile on the main floor? That the upstairs served as the headquarters of the church for much of the time the Saints were in Nauvoo? That the Saints would go to the Red Brick Store to pay their tithing and offerings?

Everyone was excited - as you can tell from the following pictures.

The wagons drove past the beautiful Nauvoo Temple. The 20 sisters that were at that first Relief Society meeting in 1842 wouldn't have had such a spectacular view as we all did since the original Nauvoo Temple was started in 1841 and completed in 1846. 

At the end of this road is our destination. 

And there it is. The building of today is a replica of the original which, over the years, had fallen into disrepair. As a result,  and in the late 1800's its bricks were used to build other buildings in the area.

This is the Mansion House a half a block from the Red Brick Store. 

After a group picture was taken outside, we all headed inside for the Reader's Theatre. I had time for a quick picture beside Elder Horlacher (portraying John Taylor) and Elder Blair (portraying the Prophet Joseph Smith) 

Once upstairs, we all sat and watched the Reader's Theatre which followed the minutes of the original meeting. This included how the organization was named and Emma Smith becoming its first president.  

This is Sister and Elder Blair portraying Emma and Jospeh Smith. The Relief Society started out with 20 women and grew to hundreds in the Nauvoo time period. Today, there are approximately 6 million women in 170 countries around the world. 

When the Reader's Theatre was over, there were some remarks made by Pres. Hall and we heard a special musical number by Kimberly Jo Smith - a direct descendant of Joseph and Emma Smith. I attended a fireside she gave about a year ago where she told how she joined the LDS church. (see for more details)

The event ended with everyone receiving a flower and a commorative hankie.

What a special memento of this historic day! 

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