Saturday, July 25, 2009

Family Nauvoo Trip

For anyone who lives in this area or who is interested in Latter-day Saint history, Nauvoo is a must-visit place. If you're not familiar with Nauvoo, it became the religious, governmental, and cultural center for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints between 1839 and 1846. In it's prime, the city rivaled Chicago in size. Visitors can now tour historic Nauvoo and see restored homes and businesses. You could spend days there seeing everything and all the sites owned by the LDS Church are free of charge, so it's a great family vacation.

I've been to Nauvoo a few times now with visiting family. Each time we've visited in the fall or spring and have dealt with rain and a small toddler. These have put a damper (hee, hee) on my experience and I haven't enjoyed Nauvoo as much as I'd hoped. Tim took Thursday and Friday off last week so we could see the Nauvoo Pageant and I was determined to have a great time. We rented a log cabin with our delightful friends, the Leonards, and had a wonderful time with them. Ella was in heaven playing with their 3 boys!

During July and August, the big event is the Nauvoo Pageant. Pioneer games, music, dancing, arts and crafts, puppet shows, and other activities are available outside before the show. These are all run by missionaries and volunteers.The Pageant is a tribute to the Prophet Joseph Smith and details the experiences of the early LDS pioneers in Nauvoo. The production includes about 20 professional actors and 150 volunteer and is performed outside at night, starting at 8:45.

I wasn't sure what to expect, but this wonderful peace came over me as I watched the production. I don't always have patience for pioneer stories, but I felt such a connection to this story. Some of my relatives lived in Nauvoo and left their homes in Europe to join the Latter-day Saints in the US. The joys, struggles, triumphs, and challenges of the Saints are a huge part of my heritage. As I watched the actors that night, I felt such appreciation for their experiences and sacrifices.

The Pageant ends with the Saints leaving Nauvo and their precious temple behind. The actual Nauvoo Temple (now rebuilt) stands high on the hill above where the pageant takes place. It is dark behind the stage and then suddenly the temple is lit up and becomes a beacon in the dark. This site filled me with such reverence for the temple.

I loved the opportunity to get away for an evening and spend time as a family and as a couple. I'm already looking ahead to renting a cabin in the off-season. Once Ezra is weaned, this might be a perfect winter weekend get-away!

If you're interested in seeing more photos from Nauvoo, visit my facebook album at

1 comment:

Photographer: Rebecca Pierce said...

I would love to go there! What a beautiful description of a special place! Thanks for sharing.