Peace, Love & Gingerbread
Getting to Nauvoo
Entropy: The most important thing when moving into a new room is to know where it is. A less important concern is keeping it clean.
The Flats: Where the sites are. (Rough draft only)
Brother Neff: Local celebrity and Joseph Smith Sr. descendent, Brother Estel Neff also owns the finest bookstore in town.
The Parlor: A place to lounge, a place to love, a place to wait for the phone, a place to look at the wallpaper.
No Ducks in the House: Everyone needs a cultural footing. For us transplanted students, we found ours in the delightful missionary production, The Nauvoo Rendezvous. (Rough draft only)
Be a Big Boy: Like any tourist town, Nauvoo has its share of souvenir-sellers. One of these shops is also making windows for the temple and has a sage child dispensing valuable advice.
Scovil Bakery: This is where all that gingerbread comes from. But if you are a woman, working at the Scovil Bakery would have made it tough to get life insurance back in the 1840s.
NRI: A brief description of Nauvoo Restoration, Incorporated. Very brief. We’ll come back to them later.
First Field Trip: In our first field trip (to the areas in the immediate area of Nauvoo) we learn about just how common death was in those days and I offer a plan for the economic salvation of once-hated Warsaw, Illinois.
At the Lutheran Church: Many of the Nauvoo churches meet together monthly as the Nauvoo Ministerial Association. I attended a special meeting held at the Lutherans’ and collected evidence establishing once and for all that Lutherans are not kooky.
Theric the Famed Newspaper Columnist : For a while I was poised to write a column on the Nauvoo experience for BYU’s daily paper, but it never happened. A brief discussion on the story and the highly informative first column.
Tangentially NSA: A recounting of how us students governed ourselves and a foreshadowing of much of the rest of the book’s format.
Inspector Gadget’s True Religious Preference: A shocking tellall.
The Backmans: An essay about scholarship and nobility as represented by the founding father of the Semester in Nauvoo and his wife. (Never written)
Good Times: In an effort to pursue our right to happiness, the JSA instituted a Good Times committee. And thank goodness for that! What is humanity without good times, after all? Just a bunch of sourpusses like myself, and more like me are the last thing we need.
FHE: How we at the JSA dealt with such obligations as Family Home Evening.
Ghost Story: There are ghosts in Nauvoo. We’ll hear about more later, but this is the tale of the worst of them all—Eliza McGillicuty. (Rough draft only)
Icarians: Not long after the Saints left Nauvoo, another religious group moved to town. (Never written)
Thjanitor: Cleaning things can lead to a sense of pride, good ice cream, and an inability to remember one’s boss’s name. (Rough draft only)
The River: Nauvoo’s landscape is dominated by the majestic Mississippi River. Also ducks.
On Being Engaged: Several students at the JSA were engaged, which gives me the opportunity to discuss definitions of engagement and the evils of diamond rings.
Dark Corners: Not every student in the Academy was engaged, and saving us from sin was an exciting prospect for leadership. A boy . . . a girl . . . a dark corner. . . .
The Dahls: An essay about leadership and spirituality as represented in the JSA’s leader, Larry H. Dahl and his kindly wife. (Never written)
Wednesday, October 19, 1845: The final issue of the Nauvoo Neighbor reveals sadness and sensibility, and even a couple good jokes. (Rough draft only)
Cooties: A purely educational essay. As a public service effort, while in Nauvoo I answered pressing questions for my fellow students, the first question concerned cooties.
Dentists and Naming: An essay which desires to be about the naming processes the Academy building went through, but which constantly loses its focus to oral pathology and iron poisoning.
Miltons & Shakespeares: Ever since Orson Whitney brought it up, we’ve all been waiting. A brief exploration of the Mormon Milton’s role.
One Cultural Phenomenon: It only takes one to make you rich. Unless you’re stranded in an Illinois backwater at the time. (Rough draft only)
Mr.Nauvoo: I don’t know whose idea it was, but someone thought it would be clever to get the male students, the male faculty, and some of the Elders together for a pageant. (Rough draft only)
The Bests: What use is a mind if you don’t excel? What use is faith if you don’t think? What use is singing a song if you never want to hear it again? (Rough draft only)
Three Themes: There are lessons to be learned in this world of ours. Here are three I flirt with. (Rough draft only)
Gospel in Action: One student committee was named Gospel in Action and was designed to help us students serve the community. Also includes an exciting tale of handcarts. (Never written)
Setting Type with Elder Saunders: Ben Franklin’s only going to laugh even harder when he learns it’s for your girlfriend. (Rough draft only)
More from the Dear Theric Files: This time I tackle that all-important activity of flirting.
One Word on St Mary’s: Living in a former Catholic girls’ school has its disadvantages—especially for boys.
Taste’s Good!: Or is it? I argue yes, but I also have been known to do the Hokey Pokey incorrectly.
The Variety Show: Sometimes the greater good requires the sacrifice of one’s own self-respect. (Never written)
Fred Cote and Field Trips: Fred Cote is a member of the Nauvoo Ward and webmaster of a Nauvoo-themed site. I wrote some reports for him regarding our field trips. One of these reports featured Abraham Lincoln’s chickens. (Portions previously published online.)
Thank You: One committee was designed to be grateful. According to the scriptures, this may be the only thing that saved us from brimstone.
Postcards: Ah, the treasures to be found in Nauvoo’s premier antique store. (Rough draft only)
Fudge: The Fudge Factory is one of the premier places to stop for the Mormon pilgrim. A discussion of the spiritual meaning behind fudge and how I nearly destroyed my engagement through an ignorance of fudge’s role in human relationships. (Previously been published online.)
The Kind of Place Nauvoo Is: And it’s the kind of place we always hoped it would be, I can tell you that.
Thursday, May 19, 1955: An article about a fascinating paper published in Nauvoo back in the 1950s I picked up at the antique shop. Front page news was the return of a sunstone to Nauvoo from the Illinois capital. (Never written)
Statuary Garden: Some nice fellers in Provo have begun a statuary garden in Nauvoo, across the street from the temple. A short interview with them and their plans. (Never written)
St. Patrick’s Day: Mormons should not wear green. We of all people should know better. And for the last time, loger is not green!
St. Patrick’s Day Eve: A day of adventure in Independence, Missouri.
Later that Day at Liberty Jail : Going to Liberty Jail should be a religious experience. And if it isn’t, whose fault is it?
Monday, March 20, 2000: The Academy was front page news in The Hawk Eye of Burlington, Iowa. One of their top reporters had accompanied us on our field trip to Missouri Church History sites, and wrote us up pleasantly. A discussion of that trip, that reporter, the Jane Goodall school of journalism, and that day’s paper. (Rough draft only)
The Warners: A very dapper retired professor and his peculiar wife. Plus: details on how to get out of doing the dishes for the rest of your life (offer only good to graduate students). (Never written)
An Essay on Music: An essay on music.
Musical Fascism: An explanation of why music is much more pleasant in a free nation.
The Nauvoo Ward: A brief heralding of a ward capable of blowfishing to a dozen times its average size and keep smiling. Plus, an exciting new interpretation of scripture unavailable anywhere else.
Teaching Brother Capener: Nauvoo’s first LDS mayoral candidate in many, many years was also our Sunday School teacher and a friend of my fiancée’s family. Asking me to substitute may or may not have been wise. (Never written)
Reading the D&C at Saints Peter and Paul: Across the street from the Joseph Smith Academy is an old, Catholic cathedral. Nauvoo may now be a symbol of religious togetherness, as noted by my reading LDS scriptures in a cathedral. (Previously been published online.)
FOOD: This is why anyone does anything, says the cynical anthropologist. I say, who wouldn’t do anything for an Oreo Cookie Salad? The JSA was famed throughout the local LDS community for its outstanding food.
Birds: Nauvoo has no shortage of birds. Except for the sadly extinct Scarlet Snarling Hippo Tearer.
Good Intentions: More than one road may be paved in good intentions.
St. Louis: A city with arches, museums, mansions and a temple. And a place historically kind to the Latter-day Saints. (Rough draft only)
The Toones: Surrogate mother and surrogate father provided by school for students! Experiment goes over surprisingly well! All the details here! (Never written)
Thomas Sharp, Underdog: Mormonism’s greatest mortal villain returns to life in two incarnations: a local historian and a friendly (albeit stinky) striped mammal.
Baaaaaad: No one’s perfect. Not even me, apparently. Don’t tell my mom.
The Sports Committee: Like we had to be forced to play basketball!
More on Flirting: A continuation of my groundbreaking work on flirting.
Nuns: The JSA was once run by nuns, but before they left for good, we were able to have numerous interactions with them. And so were some General Authorities. (Rough draft only)
Scandalrama: Every utopia has its ugly side.
Theric’s Big Adventure: Surrounding Nauvoo is some great land with living stories. As well as a cranky bull and overanxious watchdogs. My experiences with such.
Cranberries and Horse Urine: It would be easiest, I suppose, to call this an essay about my wardrobe, but as the title suggests, it is much more complicated that just that.
101 Nauvoo Related Riddles: What do you get when you cross New Zealand with the Nauvoo Temple architect? What’s the difference between Joseph Smith and Benjamin Disraeli?
Wednesday, April 29, 1998: An essay regarding a short newspaper published to commemorate the sesquicentennial of Nauvoo’s cathedral. (Never written)
Zealots of Zion: The opinions of the Church and its members range from the evil-minded to the overly kind. Zealots of Zion falls somewhere inbetween. (Never written)
Friday, June 7, 1844: An essay on the Nauvoo Expositor, briefly examining its lies and the rather unexpected short story on the front page. (Never written)
When the Temple Burnt Down: As misguided as people thought the Mormons were, there was no doubt they had built a beautiful building. When it burnt down, an anger and sadness spread about the countryside. But now that it is returning? Oh, calloo, callay! they chortle in their joy. (Rough draft only)
Mud: Something there is no shortage of in Nauvoo.
Hollie Journey & the Trashfish: What’s a story about Nauvoo without a fabulous rock band to play along?
Lands and Records: One of the most fabulous services provided by Nauvoo Restoration is found in a small, record filled building. Want to know where your Nauvoo ancestors lived? They know. (Never written)
LeRoy Kimball: In one of life’s perplexities, the great man who was NRI’s first president, also destroyed some prime Nauvoo property in his dream for an all-brick Nauvoo. (Never written)
Monday, July 1, 1844: A discussion of the Times and Seasons printed immediately after the martyrdom. (Never written)
Memories: In a catch-all hodgepodge, I slap together a selection of funny stories that can be told in very few words. (Rough draft only)
The Day Before: Before leaving Nauvoo, there are many things the conscientious traveler must accomplish. Sin is only one of them.
Final Field Trip
Day 1: Subheadings include Waiting, Thought in the Bus, Home Teaching, Truck Stop, Museum of Science and Technology, The Sears Tower, The Results of Bad Planning, Hotel, and Obscure Lines.
Day 2: Subheadings included Breakfast Typicalle, The Temple, The Miracle Mile, Notre Dame, and Grocery Store and Other Miscellany.
Day 3: Subheadings include Driving, Spending Money, Strip Mall Buffet, Temple Dedication, and Joseph Smith History.
Day 4: Subheadings include The Kirtland Temple, Inside the Kirtland Temple, Places to Go, Honesty, Memories Stirred by a Can of Tahiti Treat, and Natural Things.
Day 5: Subheadings include The Mystery of the Missing State, The Famous Four Corners, Weather, E. B. Grandin, Cumorah, Palmyra Temple, and Pizza Parlor. (Rough draft only)
Day 6: Subheadings include A Helpful Educational Sidetrack, The Sabbath, The Official Joseph Smith Sr. Home, The Sacred Grove, and Loneliness.
Day 7: Subheadings include Fayette, Parley P. Pratt Visits Niagara and Likes It Very Much, Visiting Canadia (They Hate It When You Say That), When I Eat a York Peppermint Patty, A Better View, Mauled by a Bear, Eddie Fitzgerald, Lost Lloydel, Lost Sarah, Lost State, Lost Half, and Lost ?. (Rough draft only)
Day 8: Subheadings include Driving, Songs from a Bus, The Bother of Leadership, Denny’s, and Peru.
Day 9: Subheadings include A Familiar Place, One of the Great Mysteries of the JSA, Laundry List, The Last Show, The River, and Spring-Colored Blue Filling.
Day 10: Subheadings include Splitting Up, Keosauqua, The Problem with Irony, Mount Pisgah, The Town Formerly Known as Kanesville, Henry W. Miller, Drive-Thru Religion, Lost, A Full Circle, Des Moines, and Ending the Day.
Day 11: Subheadings include Suddenly, George Washington; Anyway; Aspects of Eternity; and The Collapse of the Bus Buddy System.
Day 11 continued: I fly home and meet my family and Nauvoo slips into past tense.
Lynsey: The last thing a boy and girl in love need after four months of separation is a broken deadlock keeping them from one another. (Never written)
Email: A spattering of lines from emails exchanged among now former students of the JSA. (Never written)
Flime Ties: Short musings on time, mortality and friendship. (Never written)
Marriage and Time: People who are engaged get married; people who were not engaged get married; everyone gets older. Nothing notes the passage of time like change.
The Saunderses’ Fireside: One of our favorite missionary couples was called home from their mission early to fill a vacancy in their stake with the passing of the patriarch. Not long after our return form Nauvoo, they invited us to attend a fireside for their stake’s youth. And Nauvoo comes to Clinton, Utah. (Never written)
It Never Ends: A final tale in which I finally find Hyrum Smith’s sunglasses. And try them on. (Rough draft only)