July 21, 3013
Dear Family and Friends,
It was another great week! Today, unbeknown to us until we got there, we had a visiting authority, Elder Craig C. Christensen, of the Presidency of the Seventy, and his wife. They spoke to us. Sister Christensen spoke about the atoning sacrifice of our Savior. In Hebrews 12:2 we learn that he is the “Author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross…” She told us that the joy that was set before him was us, because he made it possible for us to receive that same joy when we receive the fullness of the atonement.
Elder Christensen talked about Joseph Smith, who is the seer in the last day, as written of in 2 Nephi 3:6-15. He said that Joseph was one of the noble and great ones, raised up by the hand of God. He knew he’d get an answer when he went to pray in the grove. He just didn’t know how powerful that answer would be. He was a man who lived on both sides of the veil, he told us. Joseph had 57 or more visitors from the spirit world who gave him instruction and training concerning the restoration of the gospel.
On Friday we attended what is known as the “King Follet Discourse.” It was a speech given by Joseph Smith in a grove near the temple site, one of his last speeches. It was given shortly after the funeral of King Follet, who died while digging a well in Nauvoo. In that speech Joseph presented a lot of insight as to the nature of God, and of man in the next life. The man portraying Joseph Smith in the Pageant gave a small portion of the discourse. It was presented in the grove just west of our house, and it was as if we were there in the grove with Joseph.
Just prior to the discourse the bagpipe band played some hymns. There were about 12 bag pipers, and it was wonderful to feel of their spirit. To me they represented the Scottish immigrants of the early days of the church, and then I realized that they really do represent the descendants of those Scottish immigrants. Their music was beautiful.
On Thursday while I was serving in the Seventies Hall a contingency from the Pageant came in and presented a vignette about the preaching of the gospel in all the world. It was so wonderful that I called Elder Campbell to come down to see it, as they were going to do it a second time. The characters portrayed Wilford Woodruff, John Taylor, Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, and Parley P. Pratt and told us about their missionary experiences in England and other places. Some of their wives were there and told us of their feelings. All of the experiences were from journal entries or other records.
Then yesterday we attended a play, “High Hopes and Riverboats,” which is an historical fiction story taken from journal entries, presented by the Young Performing Missionaries. It was outstanding. I am glad we took the time to go see if before they all leave Nauvoo and go home. Last Sunday night we also went on the Trail of Hope, which the Young Performing Missionaries also do. They act out various situations from quotes by various pioneers, both by people well known and by ordinary people who are not generally known, people like our ancestors.
So we have had an amazing week of feasting on the spirit of those early saints. We also did our normal weekly routines of serving in the sites for me, repairing electrical equipment and working in carpentry for Elder Campbell, and of doing our shows in the evenings.
Last night after “Sunset on the Mississippi” we drove to the end of Parley Street and took pictures of the sunset. It was gorgeous! Then we came home and finished our pizza.
You all have a wonderful week!
Elder and Sister Campbell
P.S.: I forgot to mention that this Friday Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles will be here to teach a training meeting. We are all excited and in anticipation.
P.P.S.: Elder Campbell wants me to say that at the Country Fair before the Pageant we were able to check to see if we are related to any of the characters in the Pageant. We found that we are both related to Brigham Young, but through a different line. Brigham Young is Elder Campbell’s 4th cousin 4 times removed and I am his 4th cousin 5 times removed. We are also related distantly to several of the others, including Joseph Smith. You can check for yourself at NauvooPageantCousins.org.
-Sister Campbell with other missionaries working in the garden in Carthage
-A house Elder Campbell is working on to put on new siding
-Lily pads on the Mississippi
-Wagon on the trail of Hope
-Grove where we listened to Joseph’s discourse
-Bag pipers in the grove
-Bagpipe drum majors
-Joseph at the podium
-Sunset on the Mississippi