We've been planning this little weekend trip for a while so I was really looking forward to it. Nauvoo, IL is a four and a half hour drive from Chicago. Not a bad drive at all. Especially when it's with five of your greatest friends!
A little background on Nauvoo: It is a small historical town that the early members of my church established back in 1839. It was just a swamp land right on the Mississippi river when they arrived. Joseph Smith, our first prophet, led the Mormons to Nauvoo and turned the city into a thriving community with over 12,000 citizens. After about seven years, the Mormons were forced to leave Nauvoo and traveled west to Salt Lake City, UT. They left their homes, all their belongings, and their comfortable lives in a town they had grown to love. All they could take was what could fit in their wagons or handcarts.
We spent all Saturday touring the town, the historical buildings, and visiting the LDS Nauvoo Temple. All of it was simply beautiful. There is nothing I love more than history and our church, so it was a wonderful weekend.
On our drive home, we detoured passed the city of Carthage, IL to visit the Carthage Jail. Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were killed by an agry mob while in the jail. Our church now owns the jail and gives tours through it.
I wish I could greatly express how much love and appreciation I have for Joseph Smith and all he did for our church. Being able to visit these sites brought me closer to the early members of our church and their sacrifices.
The six of us had such a blast. We stayed up late playing intense rounds of Phase 10, ate more chocolate Joe Joe's than we would like to admit, and laughed over inside jokes. Love our friends so much!!