The New York Times has a nice article about the Church’s “Historic Kirtland”. It quotes some locals, as well as people from both the LDS and CoC churches.
Tim Powell remembers when the “Utah Mormons” first came to town with their plans in the early 1990s.
The Mormon faith’s first temple has stood for 174 years in Kirtland, Ohio, the site of the church’s headquarters in the 1830s.
They wanted to recreate a historic village that would explain the role this city played as the Mormon Church’s headquarters in the 1830s and celebrate the fact that the faith’s first temple is here…
Mr. Powell, who has lived in Kirtland all his life and been on the City Council for 14 years, and some others did not like the idea. He had read how Mormons had swept into two other towns that played significant roles in the church’s founding — Palmyra, N.Y., and Nauvoo, Ill. — resulting in conflicts with non-Mormons.
“In other places you could see the Mormons were taking over those towns,” said Mr. Powell, 55.
Mr. Powell fought the church’s project every step of the way, worried, he said, about allowing such a relatively large tourist development in the middle of town.
But now, eight years after it was completed, Mr. Powell concedes that he was wrong. “I was a skeptic,” he said. “But now that the dust has settled, I think people are pretty happy with it.”
I’ve never been to Nauvoo, but if I had to choose between Palmyra and Kirtland, I’d choose Kirtland in a second. I love going through the temple, and walking around the “Historic Kirtland” area. I also love the quarry. I know what you see isn’t from the same time frame, but you can still get a pretty good idea of what they had to do to get stone for the temple.
Posted in Mormon Church History
Tagged coc, historic kirtland, kirtland ohio, lds, nauvoo ill, new york times, ohio roots, palmyra, palmyra ny, quarry, tim powell
I am located near the Ontario/New York border, and am 2 hours away from Palmyra and 4 hours away from Kirtland. Since we are so close, I’ve been to both places many times. I love visiting them. The Church does an incredible job in restoring the sites, and making them quality destinations. I’ve always been a fan of Church history (the “wacky” stuff doesn’t bother me at all), and there is something special about visiting these early Church locations. The early saints had such faith in Brother Joseph. They walked with him and talked with him. He must have been quite the charismatic leader.
Today (March 27) marks the anniversary of the dedication of the Kirtland Temple. The Kirtland Temple itself is a great example of what they would do for their leader. An announcement of a temple today is almost boring. It seems like every General Conference has a couple of them announced. But back then, hearing that they were going to build a temple must have been exciting and terrifying at the same time. They built it at great cost, and were only able to enjoy it for a brief period of time. One of my favourite things is going to the quarry up the street. You can see marks in the rocks where previous people were working. These are NOT marks from the early saints, but it gives you an idea of what they had to do to get the stone out. You can imagine Brother Joseph working shoulder to shoulder with the others to make the vision become a reality.
The prayer offered at the dedication of the temple is contained in D&C 109. The prayer is beautiful, but I particularly appreciate verse 22:
And we ask thee, Holy Father, that thy servants may go forth from this house armed with thy power, and that thy name may be upon them, and thy glory be round about them, and thine angels have charge over them;
I do enjoy my time at the temple, and do feel more “powerful” after attending. Those words seem applicable to all temples.
You can see some pictures of one of trips to Historic Kirtland (taken several years ago) here and here, pictures of the Kirtland Temple here, pictures of the Newel K. Whitney store here, and the John Johnson farm here.