Waiting for the Visitors

Wednesday, December 11

Nauvoo Mansion House

Nauvoo Mansion House

By Evelyn Richardson of Nauvoo, Illinois, USA

Do not be defined by the things that separate you but by the things that unite you in Jesus Christ.

—Doctrine and Covenants 162:5a

It was the day of the Christmas Walk in old Nauvoo. At the Joseph Smith Historic Site, we were ready and waiting. The Christmas tree lit up the foyer and Christmas carols played softly in the background. My husband and I waited for our first visitors.

Who would they be—a family on vacation, travelers wanting directions, or those with little children needing a restroom break? Maybe they would be folks passing through the area who had seen our sign and wanted more information.

Some would be well-versed in Restoration history, while others might ask searching questions such as, “Who was Joseph Smith? Why did the Mormons settle in this area? What happened here? What are your basic beliefs?” Sometimes the questions might catch us off guard—like the gentleman who asked me to briefly tell him the differences between Community of Christ and other denominations.

My mind quickly went to Section 162:5a of the Doctrine and Covenants where it says, “Do not be defined by the things that separate you but by the things that unite you in Jesus Christ.” I quickly responded that it was a matter of interpretation on many things, but Christian faith communities believe in Jesus Christ; he is our foundation, our corner stone. We discussed several other doctrinal topics, but Jesus Christ is the factor we have in common. In our faith, we proclaim his message—a message of joy, hope, love, and peace.

Yes, many come “seeking.” Some knock on the door, some call on the phone or send a card or letter. What will be our response? What will we tell them matters most to us?

Oh, a blue car just drove into the Visitors Center parking lot. Who will it be? Let all be ready, Lord. It’s a lone gentleman. He immediately asks for a tour. Our day begins…

Prayer for Peace
Living Presence, give us faith in our identity, so we may fulfill Christ’s mission—our mission. May we know the peace of Christ so we may share with others.

Spiritual Practice for Advent: Hope
Close your mind to troubling thoughts from the past by placing them in God’s generous hands and letting them go. Let God speak to your fearful heart. Think of your hope for the future—open windows in your mind through which you can see compassionate actions. Reflect on the approaching hope of the Christ child. What is your part in the reason for that hope? Rejoice in the Hope of the world.

Peace Covenant
Today, God, I will be ready for the next visitor who comes seeking.

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  1. Vera Entwistle

     /  11 December 2013

    We were part of the October 2013 Historic Church Site Tour and thoroughly enjoyed our ten days with Barbara Walden, who did a marvelous job of organizing our accommodation and our training sessions. We had a great experience and learned a new appreciation for the history of our church. We recommend the tour to anyone!

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