Sending Forth

Our 2018 Historic Caravan journey came to a close yesterday afternoon. We packed up and left Graceland early in the morning and heard to the Independence Temple. The campers watched a video about the Temple and took a tour of the worshiper’s path. ground breaking for the Temple started in 1990 and was completed in 1994. The shape of the building depicts a seashell and represents our call to spiral outward to share Christ’s story and mission.

After lunch, the youth led the daily Prayer for Peace and toured the auditorium.

After leaving Independence, we headed to Mission Road, where our journey began over a week ago. The youth led a closing worship service for the Mission Center and shared stories of their journey.

Thank you all for your love, prayers, and support over the last several months and the last 10 days. We had a great caravan experience and journey and it wouldn’t have been possible without your support!


Coming to a close

We left Nauvoo yesterday morning and headed to Lamoni, Iowa. Joseph Smith III moved the church headquarters to Lamoni in 1881. Joseph and his family lived at Liberty Hall, which we toured today.

After Liberty Hall, we went and saw the land that inspired the hymn “Old, Old Path”. The campers had a chance to stretch their legs and play some games.

Next, we ate dinner at the Pizza Shack and visited with a few Graceland representatives.

After dinner, Graceland hosted a campus-wide scavenger hunt and campfire. The youth shared their take always from the week while watching the sun set over Big G.

Today we head to Independence and then back to Mission Road for our closing service.

Another Day in Nauvoo

We spent another day in Nauvoo yesterday. We walked around the town and saw several homes and businesses in a recreation of the town. Favorite places included the Brickyard (where everyone received a small brick made from Nauvoo clay), the Blacksmith (where we all received a “prairie diamond” ring made from a horse shoe nail), and of course the fudge store.

Also, we walked by the Nauvoo temple (which is now an LDS temple- it was rebuilt after a fire in 1848) and went through the Visitor Center, which has artifacts from Nauvoo. Outside of the Temple Visitor’s Center, there is a Women’s Memorial Garden full of statues dedicated to the various stages of a woman’s life. It’s a favorite of mine!

Lach taught another class- focused on the Enduring Principles and how they were lived out by our church in Nauvoo. A camper asked a question about the structure of our church (the First Presidency, Apostles, etc.). According to Lach, our faith movement was “primitivist”, trying to model the Church after the book of Acts in the Bible. This is why we, as a Christian faith, have 2 temples (Kirtland and Nauvoo).

After lunch, we went to Carthage to visit the jail where Joseph and Hyrum were killed. The bullet holes can still be seen in the door (second photo below).

We wrapped up the evening with a campfire on the Mississippi River and spent the night at the Nauvoo House (a former inn and boarding house that was built as a public works project in Nauvoo).

We are headed to Lamoni this morning.

A Beautiful Place

We headed to Nauvoo yesterday (Nauvoo means “a beautiful place”) and explored the Community of Christ Historic Sites. Apostle Lachlan MacKay have our tour. We went in to the homestead and Mansion House, toured the Cemetery (including Joseph, Hyrum, and Emma’s graves).

We also went to the red brick store,where Lach taught a class and led a Q&A session.

We wrapped up the evening with a campfire filled with lots of singing and fun! The campers shared their commitments and promises for after the caravan.

The Beginning

Good morning! We just left Plano, IL and are headed to Nauvoo. Due to the geography of these cities, we deviated a bit from the chronological order of church events. The first Community of Christ Church (or RLDS, as it was known then) was established in Plano by Joseph Smith III, after several years of disorganization in Nauvoo (after the Mormons left for Utah following Joseph Smith Jr.’s death, several groups stayed behind and didn’t follow Brigham Young. Joseph Smith III was a young boy at this time. His mother Emma, and a few key people, held the remnants together believing that Joseph Smith III would one day lead the church his father established.)

The Plano building was built in 1868. This building also served as the headquarters for the church during that time.

The Plano congregation served us dinner and then gave us a tour and orientation to the building.

We closed out the evening with a wonderful candlelight service, focusing on Love- God’s love for us, our love for ourselves, and the love we have for one another. Several of our campers played instruments and led us in our theme song.

We finished the evening with a quick swim and headed to bed. We’re off to Nauvoo this morning!


We had another fun-filled, educational, and busy day! We started the day in Palmyra, NY and ended in Kirtland, OH. Terry and Clint taught our classes on the bus today: Discovering God’s Will and Our church history around the time of the Kirtland settlement.

Once we arrived in Kirtland, the campers had a chance to play in the gym at the congregation and stretch their legs after being on the bus for several hours. After that, we toured the Kirtland Temple. Joseph Smith Jr. and the members of the church built this beautiful building for three purposes (each with its own floor): worship, education, and to House the administration offices of the rapidly growing faith movement. The building is beautiful and quite impressive. The building was completed in 1836, after 3 years of work. The walls are two and a half feet thick- made from rock from a nearby quarry.

The building is beautiful, both in the inside and the outside. No inside photographs are allowed, but there is very intricate detail on every aspect of the building. The people of Kirtland were very poor when building this temple. But, they felt so sure that God was calling them to build this temple that they sacrificed their most valued possessions. Fine china was broken and mixed in with the mortar to finish the exterior of the building.

After our tour, the campers had a service in the garden and then a communion service inside the temple. It was a very spiritual service, filled with song, scripture, and encouraging words.

Another great day in the books! Today marked the halfway point of our journey. Thank you all for the continued prayers!

A great day

Hi again! We had such a great day today. The youth are doing so well on this trip. They are learning a lot and asking great questions!

We started our day with a meditative service and the Sacred Grove. The campers then had time to walk around the grove for a while. We then went on a tour of the Joseph Smith farmstead. We had a picnic lunch at Hill Cumorah and then went to the Book of Mormon Print Shop. We learned some interesting facts- the first publication took almost 2 years to print 5,000 copies. Also, they sold the first copies for $1.25, which was two day’s earnings for the average worker of time.

After that, we went to Hill Cumorah and hiked up to the top. It was quite the hike, but worth it!

We finished the day with another picnic at Pal-Mac Aqueduct Park. The Eerie Canal is also at this park. After some free time at the park, we wrapped up the day with a campfire.