We took a two week road trip for a family vacation, with four of our children. Yes, you can guess it was a combination of grueling and awesome! We were blessed with safety, thank the Lord, but also experienced our share of ridiculous gas prices and sketchy hotels. Even so, we think our kids got a wonderful and educational vacation.

I won't bore you with a travelogue, but thought I'd highlight at least one place we stopped--Adam-ondi-Ahman in Missouri. According to Joseph Smith, this is where Adam and Eve lived after they left Eden, and this is also where Adam will come once more, this time to receive the priesthood keys of this earth back from the prophet living at that time, and also to turn those keys over to Christ to initiate the Second Coming.

I had seen the place almost 30 years ago on a similar road trip. Back then it was just a big field with a small sign. It's still primarily just big fields, but the Church has created a driveway, with one side leading to a few explanatory markers with pretty flower plots, and the other side leading to restrooms (thank you, thank you!!) and a picnic table. No mention of the role the place will play in the run-up to the Second Coming, but that's to be expected,

I've been asking myself why I love this place so much. Yes, it's really gorgeous farmland (and the Church actually does some farming on the land, perhaps for tax purposes), But I'd seen far prettier land in Pennsylvania Amish country on our trip.

I think it's because, unlike other Church History sites, this one is a blank slate. You can allow your own imagination to set the scenes, past and future. Eden must have been really something for this beautiful land at Adam-ondi-Ahman to seem like a "lone and dreary wilderness," but one can picture what it must have been like to have to carve out a home and a way to sustain one's family in this territory. Did Mother Eve's resolute faith flag at all as she left Eden, even though it was her considered choice that they must leave? Did angels sent by Heavenly Mother attend her in her first childbirth? Was it frightening to discover animals--once all your friends--could now see you as prey? I must have come up with a million questions about our first foremother as I walked those lands.

And then I thought of what is yet to come at this place. How these unassuming fields will one day host one of the momentous gatherings in all of human history . . . Of course, through the years we lived in Utah, we'd occasionally meet someone who was certain that meeting had already taken place, but I never felt that way. These beautiful lands are to me a sign of a promise yet to be fulfilled. I imagine I will not live to see that day, but I think on it. And I hope spirits on the other side will have the chance to be witnesses of the events prophesied to happen there.

Perhaps one of the reasons I love Adam-ondi-Ahman so much is that it seems indeed a place of fulfilled promises and promised to be fulfilled. Eve was promised to become the mother of all living, and that was fulfilled at Adam-ondi-Ahman. And there is another great promise waiting in the wings for this beautiful spot of Earth.

May God watch over it until that great day. I hope all of you are able to visit it at some point in your mortal ife.