Thoughts at Nauvoo: There is a play that the senior missionaries put on named “Rendevouz.” In that play, there is a song named, “Willingly, because we hafta,” in which the men hold prop rifles and sing about how they won’t fight, but they’ll pack up and go to the Rocky Mountains “willingly, because we hafta.”
The thought struck me that this is a great description of just about anything in the church. Will you serve in the Nursery? Yes, willingly, because I hafta, or else I wouldn’t be faithful. Will you pay your tithing? Willingly, because I hafta, or I can’t see my kid get married in the temple. Will you remain chaste? Willingly, because I hafta, or else I’ll be one of the vilest of sinners.
I think it would look good on a T-shirt. Of course, the song shifts at the end to “Willingly, because we want to,” the ideal change for mormons where they don’t just do it out of duty, but out of love and a desire to align their wills to God’s.
Brigham: Another thing I noticed was that Brigham was mentioned everywhere. He was mentioned as knowing what to do, as being a confident leader, and being the Prophet’s truest friend. Sidney was only mentioned in connection to stirring up mobs that would kill them, and John C. Bennett, the man the Prophet referred to as his closest friend, was not mentioned.
Emma: Everywhere they had the opportunity, “Emma and Joseph” were mentioned together, basically ignoring and whitewashing polygamy. The Re-org church denied polygamy until they were forced to accept it and reduced Joseph to “a man with a spiritual experience.” Is mainstream mormonism on the same path?
Forced Testimonies: At each of the historical cites, they gave some cool information as to what it was like to be a candle maker or a wheelwright in that day and age. However, along with the historical information, it was clear that the card had a “work your testimony in here” line, as each person would try to force a line about how candle making or adding spokes to a wheel related to the gospel. Correlation at its worst.
Tattletales: At the Liberty Jail in Missouri, one of my children asked the guide why Joseph was put in prison. The guide replied “Tattletales.” On my way out my wide-eyed daughters were aghast that tattletales could cause that. I explained that there were two men who signed a document stating that the church had burned down a store, driven people from their homes, and taken the people’s stuff.
The two men were apostles. They were concerned that people were getting out of control. They were more than “tattletales,” they were concerned citizens.
Anyway, those are some of my initial thoughts.