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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Mike and Stephanie visit Far West Temple Site

When we went to pick up Donald, he wasn't home so Michael and I headed up to see the Far West Temple Site. We had been here year's before and it had been a memory cemeted in our mind of a sacred spot where we had felt the Spirit of God while our children skipped and ran around on a beautiful warm, winter day. We loved going again. We talked with the church missionaries who were there on assignment to care for the gardens. What beautiful people who had given up time from their lives to move to this area to care for a sacred space. What a surprise when we arrived that a couple who we had sat across from at the breakfast table at our Inn, were there as well. We talked with them and learned of the church history sites they had been visting. We learned that they had visited the Community of Christ (originally called the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) temple which was directly across from the bed and breakfast where we both had been staying. They told us that there they had met Joseph Smith's grandson. It was kind of funny bumping into them there at Far West but even funnier when we went to a book store down the road and bumped into them again.
Visiting these early church history sites are in and of themselves, truly wonderful. You can feel the Spirit of God as you stand in these holy spaces. We were even more interested this trip as we had recently learned more of our own family history's and their part in building up these areas. To stand where you ancestors have stood is truly a bonding feeling with those that have gone on before. To stand in those spaces still committed to the truth they gave their lives for, increases my testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ and my dedication to continue what was begun in the places we visited.
from to visit
Visit the town site of Far West, Missouri, about 30 miles north of Liberty. Here you can see the cornerstones of a temple planned by the Church. You can also enjoy the picnic area situated near the temple site.
Settled by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1836, Far West became the commercial and ecclesiastical center of the Church, as well as the county seat. As members of the Church continued to gather in Far West and surrounding towns, local Missourians began to fear the growing population and its influence. Differences in religion and political views and many other factors led to discord between the two groups. Local mobs began harassing outlying Latter-day Saint settlements, forcing the Saints to consolidate into Far West.
In October 1838 a Missouri army surrounded Far West. At the end of three days, the Prophet Joseph Smith and other Church leaders agreed to meet with militia leaders outside the city. However, instead of conducting talks, the militia leaders arrested and sentenced Joseph and the others to death by a firing squad. Brigadier General Alexander Doniphan refused the order, stating that it was illegal. Although their lives were saved at this time, Joseph and the other leaders were unjustly incarcerated for five months, suffering horrible conditions.
While the Church leaders were in jail, mobs continued to harass the Saints, eventually driving them out of the state despite an early winter. Church leaders Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, and John Taylor led 5,000 suffering Saints across Missouri into Illinois.
There were good times at Far West as well. While there, Joseph Smith received divine communications, recorded in Doctrine and Covenants section 115, that revealed that the Church's name should be The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Also revealed was the system for tithing Church members and the instruction that a temple should be built at Far West.

Address:Highway D.Far West, Missouri
Phone number(s):Call 1-816-781-3188 for more information.
Cost:Admission is free.

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