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Where so much began: Experience Nauvoo this year

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This story is sponsored by Beautiful Nauvoo. Learn more about Beautiful Nauvoo.

As Latter-day Saints are pondering Church history during 2017, the teachings are a great reminder that visitors are welcome to come to Nauvoo and experience the connection with the ancestral history that is alive and well. As today's lessons draw your minds back to yesterday's events and you begin to think about a trip to Nauvoo, remember that there are many ways to experience the spirit in Nauvoo.

Nauvoo welcomes those who want to feel the connection to these events that shaped the history of the LDS Church. As Gordon B. Hinckley remarked about the Nauvoo and Salt Lake temples: "They look toward one another as bookends between which there are volumes that speak of the suffering, the sorrow, the sacrifice, even the deaths of thousands who made the journey from the Mississippi River to the valley of the Great Salt Lake."

Nauvoo today offers more than the connection between temples and somber reminders of past sacrifices. The city beautiful brings alive the ingenuity of frontier settlers, highlights 19th-century craftsmanship, and draws visitors into the world of the pioneers who cleared a swamp to build Illinois' second largest city of the day. Whether touring dozens of historic sites or visiting Joseph and Emma's Mansion House or Red Brick Store, visitors will learn something new and feel the connection between their past and future. Aside from the history of the Latter-day Saints, visitors can also find even more rich history surrounding Nauvoo's past by viewing the Journey Stories exhibit that is displayed in the Nauvoo Tourism Office.

Time and again, Nauvoo provides a greater sense of context for historical events, reminding travelers that Nauvoo was not the place where things ended but where so much began. The connections are in the Women's Garden, the Red Brick Store, the Gun Shop, the Brickyard, the Print Shop and more. It's is felt in Brigham Young's home, the Cultural Hall, and the Blacksmith Shop. The connection is also found in the Groves where Joseph Smith often preached and at the river's edge where wagons crossed into an uncertain future. Truly, so much of what transpired in the settlement of the West began in Nauvoo.

To enrich your Sunday school lessons and experience the past, plan a visit to explore Beautiful Nauvoo in 2017. After you visit, you'll be able to call upon your time spent in Nauvoo and connect that to the ancestors that helped to shape the world as it is today. To learn more, visit beautifulnauvoo.com or contact the Nauvoo Tourism Office at 217-453-6648.