Friday, August 23, 2013

Rough Stone Rolling...

In a week, I will be embarking on a LDS Church History tour. I am super excited to see many places where early members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints were taught the gospel and joined the church, to then move to gather with the Saints in various places throughout the early part of the 1830s. Our tour starts in Niagara Falls, which has nothing to do with the history of the church, but sounds like a good enough place to start right? Then we move through Mendon NY, where the Young and Kimball families lived before joining the church; Palmyra NY Joseph Smith and his family lived; down to Susquehanna PA where Joseph and Emma lived for a time with her family; then onto Ohio and the towns of Kirtland, Fairport Harbor and Hiram, where the early Saints started to gather. I have always loved reading about the early Saints of our church, their desires to gain testimonies of this new religion, their struggles with their neighbors and their seeking out a place to worship. I am a beneficiary of their sacrifices and hard work. I am grateful for my ancestors who participated in these historic moments and am so glad to I get to go see their hard work in moving westward across the country and their building of temples and other cities that helped expand their religion, as well as America.

As part of our tour, we are asked to memorize vignettes of early church members. I am to memorize a synopsis of Louisa Young, a sister of Brigham Young. His entire family, he and his 9 siblings, all joined the church, and never left it. Pretty stalwart. There's something about walking where they walked, immersing yourself into their lives, trying to see the world from their point of view, to see if you could do the same. Would I have been strong enough to uproot my life, to struggle for years as the church tried to find a foothold somewhere and to eventually leave all of it behind either to death or by crossing the plains to a desolate valley. I'd like to think I would, but who knows. My friends and I who are going have been reading the book "Rough Stone Rolling," a biography of sorts of Joseph Smith. We have just finished reading the sections that take us to Kirtland and the development of Joseph's leadership styles and abilities. How rough he was to start, trying to learn the way God spoke to him and how, as unlearned in the ways of the world that he was, to move people, to turn them towards God. I'm excited to see where his mission took him.


Shelley said...

can't wait to hear about the trip!