Thursday, February 01, 2007

Meg's Book - Chapter XXVI-A - Birthdays

Trivia - Elvira and Jonathan really did receive the endowment in the Nauvoo temple on Dec 23, 1845 - Joseph Smith's birthday. And Widow Bell really did receive her endowment on Dec 25, 1845. I don't know that Elvira knew Widow Bell, though. That's the fun of fiction.

6 comments:

Pat said...

Very nice surprise to open my e-mail late in the evening and find this chapter. Well done and even if you don't know if Elivira and the widow Bell knew each other, Nauvoo was not such a large community that it would be entirely unlikely.

daughterofheaven said...

As you know, little Mary Bell was taken in by the Heywood family. Emma Smith had asked Brother Heywood to take over Joseph's Red Brick Store after the martyrdom (what might Emma's history have been had he not refused?). And after the Battle of Nauvoo, Brother Heywood was one of the three men allowed to remain in Nauvoo to settle the financial affairs of the Mormons. It strains credulity to even suggest that Mary Bell and the children of Joseph Smith (who also remained in post-evacuation Nauvoo) weren't close acquaintances.

I know this doesn't necessarily prove Elvira knew Widow Bell, but it is suggestive (Widow Bell knew Heywood enough to ask him to care for her only remaining daughter, Heywood was sufficiently trusted that Emma asked him to take over Joseph's financial affairs, Emma had asked Elvira to care for her children from 1840 through 1844).

ktb said...

This is another great chapter - well written with depth. The only thing I had trouble with was keeping ordinances, sealing, and joining for time juggled in my mind while reading. Three concepts for the non-Saint that just require more familiarity through further reading.

daughterofheaven said...

You've sent me searching through past conference reports to see what has been said in the open about the temple ordinances. I will modify this chapter to have Elvira explain these things to Widow Bell, who is concerned that Elizabeth has died without the temple covenants.

I think of the saving ordinances as those which are done on behalf of the dead in the temples (c.f. 2 Cor 1:21-22). These are:

- baptism and bestowing the gift of the Holy Ghost
- priesthood ordination (for men)
- washing and anointing
- being endowed with God's power
- being sealed together as spouses by the holy spirit of promise to become kings and queens in in God's kingdom, if we are faithful to the end
- sealing parents to children, linking the generations of the family of mankind together.

Of all these ordinances, only marriage has a non-religious parallel. As Shakespeare had Benedick declare in Much Ado About Nothing, "The world must be peopled." All the other ordinances can be done by proxy by later generations, but you can't have kids years after the fact by proxy.

Anyway, this discussion may not have been helpful, but hopefully the way I modify this chapter will make things clearer...

Pat said...

Hmm, as a matter of fact I have witnessed people coming to the temple with fairly well grown children whom they have adopted and now wish to have sealed to them. In a sense that is 'having kids by proxy since the person who had the children gave them up.
I have an interesting story about a friend of mine who is recently deceased. She had been adopted as a baby and after she joined the church as a woman she approached her aging adoptive mother and asked her if she objected to having ordinances performed for her after she died. The adoptive mother was fine with baptism, marriage and other ordinances but she told my friend that she didn't want to be 'sealed' to her as a mother. My friend assumed her real mother was dead but she wanted to be 'sealed' to someone so she started searching. To her surprise, when she finally talked to her biological mother after a search that involved some very strange coincidences, she greeted her with the words, "I am your daughter'.
"I have no daughter," the woman replied. Turns out that as a young, unmarried girl she had taken her sick baby girl to a hospital for treatment. The nuns who ran the hospital told her to go away and not return for a week. When she returned she was told that her baby had died and the nuns had given her a funeral and buried her. In time she married and she and her husband joined the LDS church, but they were never able to have children. My friend was able to be sealed in life to her own mother and the husband she was sealed to and in her eighties the woman gained an extended family who visited with her now and then until she died.
I'm not sure why I told this story except that it had something to do with sealing and children ;<).

daughterofheaven said...

I remember you telling me that story once - I'm glad to have it written down now -

Love you!

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