We made it to Independence, Missouri later on Sunday. It was a weird experience. The Church owns a lot of property around there and it is just beautiful. They have a really nice visitor's center with great exhibits about pioneer life. We also saw the Community of Christ's Temple that is there. It is an interesting building architecturally. The kids loved running around the temple lot and being just goofy generally. We also went by the Harry S. Truman home and presidential library. It's interesting that these men who went on to lead the country came from pretty humble beginnings.
We couldn't go to Independence without stopping at the old Historic Liberty Jail. It has been restored at its original site by the LDS Church. Scary, sad place. I would never want to be locked up there. The ceilings were low. The floor was stone. It was bitterly cold during the winter that Joseph Smith and his companions spent there. They were rarely fed, and when they were it was rancid and sometimes poisoned. There was even rumors that they were fed human flesh. Can you imagine sleeping on a stone floor? We learned all about his imprisonment there and how difficult it was. Our favorite little bit of trivia we heard: Porter Rockwell alledgedly tried to sneak tools to Joseph Smith to break out of prison through the tiny shafts in the walls. He was a character! Joseph received some very important and beautiful revelations while imprisoned there: D&C 121, 122, and 123. These revelations contain some of my favorite passages about enduring to the end, finding peace in the midst of conflict, and how Heavenly Father is always there for us. I felt the Spirit strongly here building my testimony of Joseph Smith and his role in the restoration of the Gospel.
Well, after the jail we found a hotel in Kansas City, only to realize that Mark had left his wallet at the Red Robin in Topeka, Kansas at lunch. So Mom and I hung out with the kids while Mark backtracked 100 miles to Topeka to retrieve his wallet. By the way, he still claims that it was my fault because I am supposed to be the babysitter of all of his personal possesions. My husband can be counted on for many things--working hard, taking care of his family, and losing his keys/wallet. Gotta love him!!