Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Seventies Hall

The term "Seventies" is found in Luke 10:1.  " . . . the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place . . ."   We often think of Christ and his apostles preaching the gospel but it's interesting to know that there were other seventy (missionaries) at that time too. 

When the early Saints joined the church, (maybe I should clarify - "Saints" is a term used to mean followers of Christ) they had strong testimonies and had usually studied the Bible extensively, searching for a church which included all the things that Christ's church originally included.  When they found it, they wanted to share it with everyone, so they were sent on missions.  The problem was that most of them had no idea how to teach, or even talk to people of other cultures.

Joseph Smith wanted them to have a place where they could learn those things before they were sent out.  So this Seventies Hall was actually the first MTC of the church (Mission Training Center).

With everything else they had to do, they began to build this building in their "spare" time.  They had the floor and the west wall almost completed when a tornado came along and blew it all down.  You can imagine how discouraged they were, and they wanted to just give up.

Brigham Young told them that it was the best omen in the world - that it meant the devil was mad and he knew the Seventies would receive many blessings from having that building.  So they doubled their efforts and finished the building.

It's a very symetrical building.  As you go in the front door, there are matching staircases to the right and the left in a kind of little foyer area.

Then you go into the main room downstairs.  Everything is the same on each side.  The benches have very straight high backs.  I think they are quite comfortable.  But no cushions.

Closer view of the front.

And on each side is an identical cute little stove.

Upstairs they used to display souvenir items that missionaries would bring back from their missions.  They called them "curiosities".   Now there is a display of artifacts that were found during the restoration of Nauvoo.

There is a library where you can find the names of the Seventies who lived in Nauvoo.

There are matching book cases on each side.

I found my ancestor, Nathan Williams Packer, in one of the books.  His brother, Jonathan Taylor Packer is there also (on a different page).  He is Boyd K. Packer's ancestor.

It's hard to see but he's first on this page

I really like serving in the Seventies Hall and it's even more fun when I get to serve there with Elder Knudsen.

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