Last week I had the AMAZING opportunity to go to Nauvoo with my family. Nauvoo is a city where the Latter-day Saint pioneers began gathering in the 1840's. They were forced to leave in the winter of 1846, but the LDS church later reacquired much of the original property of the church and private members of that time and restored them to be historically accurate. Senior and sister missionaries, many of whom dress in 1840's costume, lead tours, put on shows, and are there to answer questions for visitors. There is a special group of those missionaries who are there specifically as actors, dancers, singers, and band members, who share the gospel through their talents, and only stay for 3-4 months. I'm auditioning for next summer. I'm really excited.
The story about the saints in Nauvoo is truly amazing. Their faith and courage is so inspiring, and helps me to realize how blessed I am to live in a time where the only "persecution" I receive for being LDS is mild teasing. I didn't have to walk across the frozen Mississippi in February, or cross the great plains on foot to reach safety. I have not lost any loved ones, nor have I had to leave my home, friends, or family. I am so grateful for the sacrifices those early pioneers made so that I can live my religion in peace today.
I hope and pray that I can live worthy of the love and sacrifices of those saints. I know that the true gospel of Christ is worth doing all of those incredibly hard things for, and hope that I would have the faith to do what they did if necessary. I love my Father in Heaven and am so grateful for all that he has given me.