From the culmination back to the very beginning


The Preston England Temple, dedicated in 1998
(Click to enlarge.)


We began the day with an 8 AM session at the Preston England Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and then, after briefly returning to our nearby motel in order to change clothes, we drove to Liverpool.


There, after lunch, we walked around the old dock area a bit.  More than nine million people are thought to have emigrated through Liverpool to the New World during the nineteenth century.  Moreover, it was the place where the apostolic missions to England of 1837 and 1840-1841 commenced, the port from which most English and European Mormon converts headed first to Nauvoo, Illinois, and then, later, when the Saints were forced to abandon Nauvoo, to Utah and the Great Basin; and, until into the twentieth century, the headquarters of British Mormonism.


A little more than a decade ago, the Church erected a statue of an emigrant family right on the quay, among the major museums here, to commemorate Liverpool’s role as point of departure for so many families:


While the parents and a small daughter look westward, the family’s little boy plays with a large crab; he has little idea what’s coming.


After strolling through the area, our group split up.  Since Debbie and I did the (excellent) maritime museum, with its exhibits on emigration, last year, we spent most of our time during this visit in the Beatles museum, awash in nostalgia, and in an exhibit on the shipping disasters of the Titanic, the Empress of Ireland, and the Lusitania.  We also dipped briefly into the Tate Gallery’s Liverpool museum.


Then, following a drive through historic districts of Liverpool, we headed back to Chorley.


I found myself thinking today how pleased the early apostles would have been to see the Preston Temple, so near to the place where Heber C. Kimball labored on his first mission, having come ashore in 1837 knowing nobody — but so impatient to get started that he jumped from his small auxiliary boat into the surf and waded the rest of the way.


Posted from Chorley, England