Monday, March 31, 2008

Dead Sea Scrolls

Yesterday afternoon we took a family "field trip" and headed down to Palmyra for a special exhibit they had featuring the Dead Sea Scrolls. The kids took their Sunday naps on the way down there in the van, but when we got there they were so excited. We like to drive the kids past the temple any time we're down there, and they always love to see the temple.
Seth kept asking us where the Sacred Grove was, so we had a great discussion about what that is, and where. Seth was able to tell us about the First Vision, and how Joseph Smith saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, and talked to them. We explained how that never really happens, so it was extra special. We also shared with the kids that the Palmyra Temple is the only temple with a clear glass window so you can look out to the West and see the Sacred Grove. They thought that was cool. We headed next over to the visitor center. The kids wanted to know why the temple was so far from the Hill Cummorah, so it was nice to explain to the kids how far Joseph Smith walked to get to the hill to discover the plates. They were a little surprised when we got there that it looked different than when we see the pageant. We told them that the stage wasn't up right now, but it's the same hill as always. They also recognized the visitors center, and commented on how the curtains were closed, they are used to seeing the Christus statue through the front windows.
We went inside and there were some great, friendly sister missionaries in there to greet us. The kids were excited to see the scrolls, we were trying to explain to them what they were on our way down there, so they had a little bit of an idea. First we went into the room with the Christus statue, and were able to hear a beautiful message from Christ. I got a great picture of our family with the statue to put on the wall to help us remember to follow the Savior. In his message he shared that if we love him, we should keep his commandments. The sisters were great to say to the kids, that if they love Jesus, they should listen and obey their parents!

The next thing we did was head into the video room to watch a 13 minute video on the history of these scrolls, and the people who wrote them, and why our church is so interested in them. It was really interesting. I remember when I was a kid and some scientists discovered some of these scrolls, my dad would tell me about them. I was pretty interested in them then, and now as an adult, it was even cooler to learn in more detail the importance of them. The kids, especially Seth and McKee sat really still and watched the whole video, I was impressed. They are like little sponges. (I managed to forget my cell phone down in Palmyra, Tyler was playing with it to keep him quiet during the movie, and he tossed it under the chair, and I forgot to pick it up. Today I get to drive back down there to pick it up, but I'll stop at the book store and get Brooke a set of scriptures, so it won't be wasted.) After the video they gave each person a headset and a tape that walked us through 5 stations. The kids loved having the headsets on, the tape told them when to go to the next station, they thought that was fun. Even Tyler tried out the headsets! Seth seemed to be the most excited, but McKee was soaking it all in quietly.

They had a replica of the longest scroll on display and many others, and some of the clay pottery that the leather scrolls were hidden in. The people had wrapped the scrolls in linen tissue type paper and hidden them in these pots in caves. It really was very interesting. I would like to go down again and hear everything a second time so I can remember more of the details. They have extended the exhibit to the end of May, instead of today being the last day, so I'm hoping to sit through it again soon.

This is a "close up" of some of the text on the long scroll. They were all written in Hebrew and they wrote from right to left.

1 comment:

Family:whatitmeans said...

Thanks, Crystal. I wasn't interested in going to see the scrolls, but half-way into reading this post I wished I had gone to see the display...and now I can b/c they have extended it! Thanks for that bit of information.