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Saturday, July 25, 2015

The Independence Visitor Center, Temple Lot, and Community of Christ Temple

Independence Temple Lot portion owned by the Community of Christ (Temple Lot)
In May we went over to Independence to visit some church history sites and historic sites.  Our first stop was at the Independence LDS Visitor Center.  The visitor center was a good visit, with numerous exhibits on families, LDS church (Mormon) history in Missouri, and information on what Mormons believe.  Stop on in if you're interested!  Even if you're not interested in becoming a Mormon, I'm sure you could find things that are interesting.  In 1831, Mormon settlers moved to the Independence area and began to settle and build a community.  Within a year or two, many of the Mormons began to gather together in Independence.  Joseph Smith Jr, a modern day prophet, came and dedicated a lot in the town for a temple.  Friction with other settlers escalated and before a temple could be built, the Mormons were forced to move on.  First they moved north to Far West, Missouri, then shortly after that to Nauvoo, Illinois. 
The Temple of the Community of Christ
The temple lot has been subdivided into several pieces, which are now owned by different churches. The LDS Independence Visitor Center sits on a portion of the lot.  The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, prior to becoming the Community of Christ, built their temple on one portion of the lot.  Another portion is currently vacant, but is owned by the Community of Christ (Temple Lot).  There was a detailed map I picked up at the LDS visitor center that showed the location of the temple lot, overlaid with current parcels and ownership. 

We stopped by the Community of Christ temple and quietly walked through it.  Its design was inspired by the conch shell.  The building functions as an administrative building, visitor center, museum, and temple.  Every day they have a Prayer for Peace at 1:00.  I found an interesting contrast between the Community of Christ Temple and those of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  If you have some time in Kansas City, stop by the Kansas City Missouri Temple and walk around the grounds.  I feel at peace there.

Nearest City: Independence, MO
Location: 937 W. Walnut Street, Independence, MO 64050
Time Needed: 1-3 hours
Difficulty: easy
Kid Friendly: yes
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