One of the reasons I was excited for the AP scoring move from Louisville to Kansas City was that it put us closer to some LDS Church history sites. Mormons have a way of finding each other in large crowds, and the AP English scoring group is a very large crowd. However, over the past few years my LDS friend from my hometown and I had identified and befriended several other Mormons, and in 2014 when we heard about the location change, we decided a group of us would rent a car the following year so that we could go on some evening excursions as soon as we were turned loose at 5:00.
There were five places we wanted to go: Independence, Liberty, Far West, Adam-Ondi-Ahman, and the LDS Temple in Kansas City. We were fortunate that everywhere we wanted to go was open late, unlike many of the tourist attractions in Kansas City. It took two different trips to see everything we wanted to see.
In 1831, members of the newly organized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints began to move into this area, and before long there was a fairly sizable population here. Joseph Smith designated a spot for the building of a temple, but tensions grew with the locals, and the Mormons were eventually driven out in 1833. Some years later, some offshoots of the original LDS church returned to this area, and the Community of Christ (formerly known as the Reorganized LDS Church) eventually built their headquarters in the center of town.
We made a short visit to a very nice visitors' center that is kitty-corner from what is known as the Temple Lot, the place Joseph Smith chose for the temple that never got built.
2. Liberty Jail
From there we drove to Liberty, a sleepy little town with a population of just under 30,000, although it feels much smaller than that.
No wonder Joseph cried out "O God, where art thou?" (See Doctrine and Covenants 121)
At the LDS Church General Conference in October 2008, Church President Thomas S. Monson announced that a temple would be built in Kansas City. The site was a location just under seven miles from Liberty Jail. That temple was dedicated and began operating in May 2012.
Our second excursion a day or two later took us further afield to Far West and Adam-Ondi-Ahman.
4. Far West
While the property in Far West is held by the Community of Christ, it is an important site for the LDS church, so I include it here.
Today the area that was designated as the temple site is a pretty little park:
The Lesser [Aaronic] Priesthood:
The High Council Quorum of the Twelve:
Other signs note important events, including the birth of Joseph F. Smith at Far West. He was the son of Hyrum and Mary Smith and became the sixth President of the LDS Church:
Our final destination was a place even more remote and isolated than Far West, but the two places are very much companion destinations. Unlike the Far West temple lot, however, this site is currently owned by the LDS Church.
church website suggests the translation "Adam in the presence of God."