As everyone knows, we use places where major events have occurred to structure our understanding of our history, and to embed our landscape in our narratives of the past. That’s why we build memorials at concentration camps, battlefields, places where Gods are crucified.
Mormons, of course, do the same thing. We’ve built historical commemorations in New York, Ohio, Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Wyoming, Utah, California, and other places. Monuments celebrate visions of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, the birth- and death-places of leaders and sacred heroes, the locations of calamities and triumphs. The Sacred Grove, the Kirtland temple, the Independence temple lot, Nauvoo, Carthage, Temple Square. These places are occupied by thoroughly modern monuments and visitors’ centers, and yet they symbolize to us our sacred moments from the 19th century. Read the rest of this entry »