Wednesday, April 9, 2008


Chad's springbreak finally arrived! It seemed like it was never going to get here. Realizing that we only have a little over a year left on the East coast we better start seeing the places we've been wanting to see before it is too late. So we as a family decided to visit Kirtland, Ohio, and check out some of the historical church sites. We headed out on a Saturday morning and arrived in Independance (a little town just outside of Cleveland) that night. I swear, if I received a dollar for everytime I heard "When are we going to get to the hotel?" I'd be filthy rich! Ethan really doesn't care where we go as long as there is a hotel with a swimming pool involved and it has to be close. He has no patience for a long drive. Or so he has told us. So here are some pics of our first night letting the kids wear themselves out so we would get a good night's sleep. And, it worked!

Got up the next morning and dressed for church and headed out to Kirtland. Oh, it was so nice to be back in a regular church building. Well to be honest, it was really weird for us. I can't remember the last time we sat on a church pew and had a young man pass the sacrament to us. One thing we did appreciate and missed was how friendly our ward in Jersey City is. Not one person approached us and said hi or reached out a hand to welcome us. It really didn't bother us but it was something we did take note of and made us all the more appreciate our home ward. I'm sure Kirtland gets more than it's fair share of visitors so who can blame them. After church we headed over to "Historic Kirtland" and went on a wonderful tour by Elder and Sister Cluff. Our family immediately fell in love with them. They were so loving and so full of information and their testimonies of the gospel and Joseph Smith really touched our hearts. I think the Newel K. Whitney store and the school of prophets (a room in the store) was my favorite. We didn't quite finish the tour as they wanted us to catch the last Kirtland temple tour before they closed. So we left and hurried up the hill to see that. The RLDS (now known as "The Community of Christ") own the Kirtland Temple. Our guide was full of so much information I was bursting at the seams. Sorry we have no pictures of the inside, we were asked not to take any. I was very impressed with the size of the temple and that it was still standing. I can't even imagine the hard work that must have gone into it by the early Saints. We even got to walk into the quarry where the stone was taken from. Very cool! After our tour we headed back to "Historic Kirtland" to finish our tour with the Cluffs then off to the hotel. Here's some pictures of our visit in Kirtland on Sunday.

Monday we headed out once again to the surrounding area of Kirtland to the Morley Farm and the Johnson Farm. The 80 acre Morely farm was offered as a settling place for Saints migrating to Kirtland from New York. Joseph lived here for about 7 months and this is where their twins Thaddeus and Louisa were born and only lived a short 3 hours. The Morley farm didn't have too much to see except for a little hike up the hill and a plaque telling us where the log school house was approximately located. This is where the 4th general conference of the church, the 1st conference in Kirtland, was held.

After that we headed over to a few Amish towns but was surprised not to see very many Amish people out in their horse and buggies. We maybe saw three at the most. Definately not like Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where you saw them everywhere. We ate at Mary Yoder's Amish Kitchen and it was so YUMMMY! When we were heading out we ran into this sign! We got a good kick out of that one.

We then decided to try and get the Johnson Farm in before we headed out. So glad we did. That was an amazing stop. The home is original with restorations here and there but it was so cool to see the place where Joseph and Emma lived for a year after they left the Morley Farm. We got to walk into the bedroom where the mob broke in and grabbed Joseph taking him away from his family and sick children only to tar and feather him and even tried to poison him. We got to sit in the upper room where Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ visited Joseph. While living in the Johson home, Joseph received at least 16 revelations found in the Doctrine and Covenants. One of them being the marvelous vision of the three degrees of glory. We got to stand on the front porch where Joseph preached to the congregation the day after he was tarred and feathered. It was so surreal.

I think the John Johnson Farm was one of our favorite stops this whole trip. So much history in Kirtland and I came to realize just how little I know about the early Saints. I sure did gain a greater appreciation for them and their sacrifices and my testimony of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ was increased. This is definately a trip I will never forget.


Becca said...

Such a cool trip! We loved Kirtland too - I love going in the winter time because you get a private tour! We went at Thanksgiving time and wish we would have had more time - I loved your recap of everything. I also LOVE the maple syrup buckets - it reminds me of my grandparents!

mistieleigh said...

What an amazing trip!! I love learning new things and being right there where it all definately gives you a better appreciation. Oh, and the picture at the bottom slideshow of Ethan and Edyn-- Edyn seriously looks like a model-she is so beautiful!

mistieleigh said...

Also, i love your shots of the kirtland temple. you need to frame one of them.