August 6: It stands to reason, in my opinion anyway, that the Garden of Eden in its present earthly condition would be fertile land. Full of growth. A land to be cultivated and farmed. That’s the conclusion I came up with after hours of driving on back Missouri country roads.
“The beautiful site of Adam-ondi-Ahman lies at a bend in the Grand River in northern Missouri, about 70 miles north of Kansas City. On the highest elevation of Spring Hill, 124 feet above Grand River, a temple block was dedicated. No cornerstones were laid or temple constructed, however, as just days later, the Saints were ordered to leave the settlement. The Church has since acquired the site and much of the surrounding area, which is leased to local farmers.
The Adam-ondi-Ahman Temple was the third temple planned but never constructed by the early Saints in Missouri.
On June 11, 1838, Joseph Smith gave Spring Hill the name of Adam-ondi-Ahman.
Some evidence suggests that a public square—not a temple block—was dedicated in October 1838 at Adam-ondi-Ahman.
Adam-ondi-Ahman is the site of a future grand council where Jesus Christ will meet with His stewards of all dispensations and receive back the keys of the kingdom in preparation for His Second Coming. Only those called to the meeting will know of its occurrence.”
I felt a different feeling than what I experienced yesterday. Not only is it a peaceful place but also hopeful. Hopeful of a future without disaccord or strife.
First I went to the overlook. I was the only person there. Another small group stopped but left shortly after. I savored the moment a bit.
Then I went to Tower Hill at the end of the valley. A Nephite prophet had built an altar there that was discovered by Joseph Smith. The exact location of the remnants of the altar are unknown.
It was about this time I thought of my mission. To be specific, I remembered how hot and sweaty I felt all the time in Texas. Sweat dripped down my face. “Well, that sets a lovely tone for today.”
According to the map the next stop would be Haun’s Mill. This historical spot was purchased by the church just over a year ago. There are no missionaries or visitors’ center at this spot. Yet. It is past the blacktop and found by driving on several gravel roads. Especially if one takes a few wrong turns. There is a farm house in the midst of all the roads and I found it from every direction.
Haun’s Mill video
After a morning and early afternoon of determined perseverance, I found the site. I think. I found a site with a marker and I called it good. Whether there is another site somewhere else – well, I don’t want to know.
Lo and behold, I found a Deseret Book store right next to the site. I bought my first souvenir.
The actual site is another temple plot.
Far West video
I continued south toward Liberty. Along the way I stopped at Richmond. Actually, I stopped at the Pioneer Cemetery to see the final resting place of Oliver Cowdery and other early saints. Then I stopped at the Richmond Cemetery to see David Whitmer’s tombstone. Two of the three witnesses of the Book of Mormon. They lost their faith (Oliver returned and died firm in the faith) but never denied their testimony of the validity of the Book of Mormon.
After driving down a very long (but pleasant) country road I arrived at the Liberty Jail. A highlight of today. After being betrayed by a trusted confidant, Joseph Smith and others were imprisoned in the dismal jail December 1838 – April 1839. At the time of their confinement, the saints were driven out of Missouri in bleak conditions.
I joined a very friendly family for the tour. The grandparents were from California. The daughter from Omaha. They welcomed me into their little group and let me sit with them and asked me about my trip.
Perhaps that played a part in helping this become a highlight for the day. After enjoying so much alone time it was nice to be part of a group.
“O God, where art thou? And where is the pavilion that covereth thy hiding place?” Doctrine and Covenants 121:1.
“My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment;” Doctrine and Covenants 121:7.
Liberty Jail video
This would have concluded my day. But, due to poor planning, I discovered the Kansas City Temple – my planned activity for tomorrow – is closed for cleaning. Ever see the scene where Clark Griswold shows up to Wally World and finds out it is closed? I would link the scene to this but most of it is inappropriate. There is a two second shot of his face though when it registers on his face. That is how I feel.
Kansas City Temple video
I returned to the motel and ate dinner. Then I went for a swim in the unheated pool and it felt so good.
But, what am I going to do tomorrow?