Reunion Trip: Day Eight


Day Eight: Pella, IA to Ashland, NE (Driving for 3.5 hours)


Why the stop here? I wasn’t even sure what we’d learn at this stop, but it was a church site and we had planned our trip to be able to go to as many church history sites as possible! We learned this tabernacle’s history and it is pretty awesome.  I grabbed some info from this site so that I could include it here!

“After the first group of Saints had managed to make it to the Salt Lake Valley on July 24, 1847, Brigham Young returned to the Kanesville area with most of the other members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on October 31, 1847. After much discussion, the members of the Quorum were inspired to reorganize the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve. Brigham Young was set apart as the new president and prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Since the Martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum, three years earlier, the Church had been successfully led by the Quorum of the Twelve Apostleswith no prophet at the head. They were able to accomplish a great deal by continuing to work together. They had completed the Nauvoo Temple before leaving Illinois, which meant that many Saints were able to receive their temple blessings before heading West. They had also led the evacuation of Nauvoo and had directed the building of the settlements in Iowa and Nebraska before finally settling in the Salt Lake Valley. Missionary work had successfully continued in Great Britain. However, the time had come for a prophet to again lead the Church, and when the Lord directed that the time was right, a new First Presidency was sustained with Brigham Young as the prophet and he called Heber C. Kimball and Willard Richards as his two counselors. More men were called to fill the vacancies left in the Quorum of the Twelve.

An official Church gathering was planned to have the members of the Church sustain their new leaders on December 27, 1847. A tabernacle was built in less than three weeks in Kanesville for this purpose. Henry W. Miller directed 200 men in the construction of the 60′ x 40′ building. It was built to accommodate about 1,000 people and was later used for many public functions. However, the sustaining of the new prophet was the most important event to take place there and was an extremely significant one in the history of the Mormon Church.

The original Kanesville Tabernacle stood for only two years. It was made of Green Cottonwood, which shrinks when it dries. The shrinking caused the roof to actually separate from the walls of the building by about fourteen inches. In addition, when the tabernacle was built, the ground was frozen. However, when spring came and the ground thawed, it was discovered that the tabernacle had been built on top of a spring. The building rapidly deteriorated and was eventually dismantled. A replica was built in 1996 very close to the original site (though not on top of the spring). Those in charge of the replication wanted the building to be as accurate as possible, so they even built it out of Green Cottonwood. Accounting for the shrinkage of the wood, they put in a jack system to lower the roof onto the walls after the wood had dried. The Kanesville Tabernacle stands as a reminder of the importance of recognizing the prophet and leader of the Lord’s church on the earth today.”

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I loved this statue!

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It’s hard to read, but the sign says, “This monument is erected to the honor and memory of those great souls, our pioneer fathers and others…… The sculpture focuses on the Mother as the central and pivotal influence of love and service, not only within the family unit, but also within the spiritually strong society that grew from these pioneers…..”  

I could call this trip the “DON’T FORGET YOUR VALUE” trip!

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Here’s a statue of the new First Presidency: Willard Richards, President Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball.

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The huge fireplace took up almost the length of the wall. It is lined with sod!DSC_1061 small

Cayden, trying to figure out this puzzle!


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What? We’re all in the same picture? DSC_0004 small

I loved this small bronze work…DSC_0011 small

Ashlyn and Megan, trying to figure out a strategy to load all of the supplies.DSC_0023 small

Jack learned that some pioneers had to come by ship first…. DSC_0026 small

Not too cool to dress up!DSC_0027 small

Alison could totally be a little pioneer girl! She embraced the bonnet and everything!DSC_0029 small

We learned about bison, wheels, home-made odometers, butter churning, cow pies, bitter winter, painful partings, faith and hope.

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I loved watching Cayden and Ashlyn listen to the missionary guide, read from pioneer journals and get an understading of why these experiences mean something. Ashlyn taught a lesson on Faith and said that she felt the Spirit visiting these places.

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This was the stop where I really felt that I saw the big picture… the journey from Nauvoo to Salt Lake.


The highlight of this night was playing “boules” as a family! DSC_0031 small


One response »

  1. your family may not remember much of what you saw, but this record and the description will be treasured for the rest of their lives. LOVE what you have done. I am forwarding these to Mike since he has a really quick snazyy computer ($159. at Amazon, dream come true for him even though he didn’t see any reason for it. I was just wondering if you could also add his address to when you send them to me/ I added his address to yours. Thanks, M

    *******************************************Everything tastes good with chocolate except broccoli—Maria Lund

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