This is outside the Winter Quarters Visitors Center.
The Winter Quarters cemetery is just across the street.
There are not very many of the original pioneer headstones left, and the ones that are are protected by fences.
"Hey Lily! Look at mommy!"
"Lily! Look at mommy!" Clearly this girl has come into her headstrong two-ness!!
What a neat place for a temple. It is right next to the cemetery and it is beautiful.
This is one of the original headstones I took a picture of through the fence...
The kids all had so much fun finding acorns on the temple grounds. I am still finding them in the washing machine and in the most random of places around the house!
You can't really see, but the stained glass windows were very pretty.
Unfortunately the temple was closed when we were there.
We drove a few miles away and took a walk on the Bob Kerrey pedestrian bridge. It was a neat looking structure.
When we first drove by it, it looked scary to walk on because it didn't look very wide and it crosses the big Missouri river....I'm kind of a wanny in my old age!! Ha Ha. But I had some starburst in my bag and I handed them out to the kids calling them "bravery starburst." Nothing like a little bit of sugar to give you an extra bit of nerve!
Once we got up to the bridge it wasn't scary at all...of course until you see your children climbing on the fence barricade things on the side of the bridge, and your mind races to the worst case scenario of them suddenly breaking through the barrier and falling tons of feet down into the Missouri River..... I think that is one of my talents that I've developed as a mom. I'm constantly able to visualize the worst case scenario.
It's fun to see these random architectural things around....
Just kind of fun.
There were the prettiest churches in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
This one was my fave. Beautiful.
This is where we were headed. The Kanesville Tabernacle. Unfortunately it was closed when we got there. This is where Brigham Young was sustained as the second president of the Church and the 1st presidency was reorganized. The Mormon Batallion also left from here, and my 3rd (or 4th?) great grandpa, Mathew Caldwell, was involved in that.
Front side view of the Tabernacle...plus an extra bonus of my reflection. Looks like I planned that. :)
Trees. As far as the eyes could see. Gorgeous!
Trees. Miles and miles of them!!
Gotta love sunsets. We traveled to Liberty Missouri that night.
We went to Liberty Jail the next day. The crazy thing about our stops thus far in the trip, were that these sites were smack dab in the middle of bustling cities. Not like other church history sites we've been to like Palmyra or Nauvoo where the cities are quaint and quiet and sites have been restored to the look and feel of the olden days. These sites were visitors centers in the middle of city life. It was interesting, it did make it a little harder to imagine what things would have been like then.
Liberty jail is actually rebuilt inside a visitors center. It is only partially rebuilt so you can see what it would have been like on all levels, but it is on the exact location it was originally and they used some of the original materials to rebuild it. When we walked in the room to see the replica I just immediately felt the spirit. Sometimes it is referred to the "Temple Prison" because of the revelations which Joseph Smith received while in these completely undesirable conditions. I could feel that it was indeed a special place.
This was the entrance to the jail. When Joseph Smith was brought here, lots of people had gathered around to see him imprisoned. Even amidst all of these people who were happy to see him brought to jail, he politely greeted them with "Good evening gentleman."
This jail was hardly tall enough for these men to stand in, dark, cold with winter air coming in through tiny windows, and the cold ground for them to sleep on.
Family picture at Liberty Jail.
It was conference Saturday when we were there, so it was here that we heard the historic announcement of the lowering of ages for new missionaries. How memorable!