Day 32-Independence, Missouri
Jul 26, 2011
|Today we visited a number of interesting places in the Independence area. The first one was the Temple lot which is owned by the Church of Christ, Temple Lot (they say that "local" is more appropriate for the name of their Independence group.
After walking the temple lot area (visually, it is just a very large, grassy area (about 2-1/2 acres. There are a couple of the corner stones on display that were found during excavation for the Community of Christ Temple (previously Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The Church of Christ, Temple Lot, is another of the splinter groups that developed about the time the Saints were driven out of Nauvoo. A group of the members that chose not to follow Brigham Young to the Salt Lake Valley later came back and purchased a portion of the land that had been bought for the establishment of Zion in Independence (Jackson County). believe that the Second Coming of the Savior will take place at that location after a new temple is built there at the direction of the Lord. They have a visitor's center adjacent to the temple lot, (which is owned by them...the temple lot, that is). We took a guided tour of their visitor's center and it is very interesting. They also told how their religion developed, which was very interesting. Much of their organization is very similar to ours (Prophet, First Presidency, Quorum of the Twelve, Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthood). One major difference is that they ordain women, as well. One of the counselors in the First Presidency is a woman and either two or three of the Apostles are women.
We went from there to the Community of Christ Temple which is just across the street (also just across the street from the LDS Visitor's Center. All of these buildings are on portions of the property 63 acres) that was originally purchased for the establishment of Zion.
The Community of Christ Temple is a beautiful and unique building. It is a steeple that twists or corkscrews upward toward heaven. It was inspired by the similar formations in nature, such as the sea shell that we are all familiar with and often see being used as a signal "horn".
The primary focus of their religion is the searching for and developing peace in the world. They feel that was the primary purpose of the Savior's life and that it is appropriate as their primary purpose, as well. They have about a quarter of a million members worldwide and it consists of a number of "congregations" in areas such as the Philippines, Africa, etc.
We went to the Harry S. Truman visitor's center in Independence Square, Independence. WE watched an introductory film there and got tickets for a tour of the Truman's home that they lived in from the time of Harry's marriage to Bess (it was her family home, previously).
We then went from there to the Truman home and took the tour. It is a very interesting tour. The rangers are very protective of the home. No photography of any kind is allowed either inside or on the grounds and you can only walk on special areas of carpet to avoid wearing out the original carpet. Also, they only tour the ground floor. Originally, when the Truman's transferred ownership it was with the proviso that no tours of the upstairs would be allowed while Margaret Truman was still alive. Now, after her death, that proviso is still honored in order to avoid putting too much stress on the stairs, floors etc. Everything is as it originally existed. They have taken that mission of authenticity to the point that when some walls in one room had to be replace/re-plastered, they had an expert painstakingly remove and map every piece of the original wallpaper. After the new plaster was cured, the wallpaper restoration expert put every piece of wallpaper back in its original location and blended in all the seams. Where gaps still occurred, they had an artist paint in the missing pattern so that you can't tell anything was ever done.
All of the furnishings, down to the smallest detail, are the ones that existed in the house when they occupied it...even the original carpet. President's last car that he bought after moving back in after his presidency is still in the garage. It is on blocks now with all of the fluids drained but only has approximately 19,000 miles on it.
Portions of the house, specifically the kitchen, remind us of just how simple and common a person he was. Many comment that the kitchen does not look like one that belonged to an ex-President of the United States. Other parts of the house are very formal, as they were before Harry and Margaret married and when it was owned by her parents and grandparents.
When it was used as the summer White House, he went to great pains to maintain the family privacy. Even when heads of state and other renowned visitors were there, they only opened the formal parlor with the sitting room across the hall draped off for family use only and not seen by the visitors, regardless of their stature or fame.
The final thing that we did was of utmost importance. We went to Clinton's Original Soda Fountain (I believe this is where Harry Truman had his first employment in Independence before being called back to help on the family farm). In the interest of pursuing historical significance, Suzi had what she called a delicious ice cream soda. In deference to by diabetic condition, I decided not to have one. After seeing the size of it, that was probably a wise decision.
We then went home and I had left-over Lasagna since Suzi said that her appetite had been taken care of by the ice cream soda.
Tomorrow, we will be breaking camp and heading northwest to the Omaha, Nebraska area where we will visit Winter Quarters and Council Bluffs.
See you tomorrow.