Last week was Spring Break and we decided to stay home and spend our time off doing some of the local fun things. Some of our friends had the same idea. They were sharing about one of their field trips to the Salt Lake Cemetery and we were reminded just how much we enjoyed visiting the cemetery too.
It sounds strange. I know.
To spend a day in a cemetery with a bunch of kids.
Years ago my grandmother gave me a map of Salt Lake City Cemetery. On the map it shared the locations of the grave sites of prominent leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. At the time, I was serving in a Primary Presidency and in charge of planning Primary activities. We decided to hold our Primary Activity at the cemetery and it was a big hit.
We hadn't been back with our kids in years so Utah Dad and I decided that we would spend our day together finding the grave sites, sharing memories with the kids and spending quality time together.
I was able to find a printable map of the prominent leaders grave sites at Salt Lake City Cemetery at this link : http://www.slcdocs.com/Cemetery/CemeteryMap4Sm.pdf
The map includes all but four of the deceased Latter-day prophets (the others are buried elsewhere), many of the apostles, their wives and other notables such as Porter Rockwell and W.W. Phelps. I especially love to explore in the "pioneer" area.
We were all excited to find Elder Neal A. Maxwell's grave site since Utah Dad regularly (as in every day) quotes his perfect nuggets of wisdom.
Utah Dad brought along his copy of the 2013 Church Almanac so that he could share little tidbits about the lives of the prophets. We even lucked upon the grave site of Truman Madsen who was our stake president when we got married and interviewed us before our wedding. He shared advice and insights that I will never forget.
We spent several memorable hours traipsing about the cemetery discovering the grave sites and stones for those who have been influential and revered leaders in our church.
It is part of our heritage and we honor them. We believe that because of Jesus Christ, we can all live again, therefore spending time in a cemetery reminds us that death is only temporary and we will all meet again.
Afterward, we went to nearby Memory Grove for a picnic. We couldn't have asked for a more perfect day. It was absolutely stunning and we appreciated the gorgeous "signs of spring" that the kids love to point out. So, you know we couldn't resist taking some more pictures.