Saturday, June 9, 2012

Palmyra, New York

 After we spent the night in Cooperstown we woke up early and headed out of town to Palmyra, New York. The drive was gorgeous. So lush and full of wildlife. We headed straight to the Palmyra temple to participate in baptisms. We met some of our other cousins there as well. It was such a beautiful temple. After you walk in, you can turn left and the font is right there. If you go straight about 20 feet there is a huge window to look out of. Across the field is a huge grove of trees, the Sacred Grove. The workers told us that when President Hinckley was there before the temple opened he wanted a window there to look out over the Sacred Grove. How inspiring. Also, the temple was built on the Smith Farm property! How neat!
 The ward building right across the street of the Temple. Such a beautiful chapel.
 Next, was the Hill Cummorah and the Visitor's Center. We hiked to the top and what a great view of everything.  It's a very steep hill about 3 miles away from the Smith farm. This is the beautiful monument at the top.
 Here I am, with less than 4 weeks to go of my pregnancy, standing in the beautiful Sacred Grove. As I walked in and wandered around, it looks like every other forest. Huge trees, paths, birds chirping, a light breeze blowing making a rustle through the trees...BUT it felt much, much different. It was beyond peaceful and serene. The Sacred Grove has been well preserved and it was so inspiring and humbling to walk through it. I found a bench and sat by myself with my thoughts. I pulled out my phone and looked up the scripture in Joseph Smith-History and read Joseph's account of what happened to him there.
After some time, we all met up again and shared our feelings. We also read some scriptures and held a family prayer. It was so long ago that this experience happened to Joseph, but then again, it wasn't too long ago.

 We walked out of the Sacred Grove and around the Smith Farm. The house in the back was Alvin's house, and it was super fancy! He couldn't afford it and the Smith's moved in for a short time then ended up moving back to their simple log cabin home. The house is 85% like it was in the 1800's!
 Here we all are in front of the Smith log home, which is replica. It's tiny and homely, but also just right. The ceiling isn't very tall and there are a few windows. Our cute missionary guide said the government would tax you more the taller your homes were and how many windows you had. Interesting!
Our missionary that lead us on our tour was from Jordan. Jordan! Are there missionaries in Jordan...Nope! She and her family was baptised by service missionaries when she was 14 years old. She attends a branch of only 18 members! Now that's inspiring!
Here is a baby bottle they used from that time period!
 Upstairs in a large room with two beds on either side. You can walk through a small opening and there was a smaller room with one bed for the girls. Here is where Joseph was sleeping and awoken by Angel Moroni three times in the middle of the night. You know the story and the picture...
This portrait hangs in the Book of Mormon Printing store a few blocks away. It's an original!
 Here is the bible Joseph read from when he came across the passage in James, "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him."

What a tedious process it was to print and assemble 1 Book of Mormon, let alone 5000. E.B. (the publisher) didn't want to take on such a huge job. That was for the publishers in New York to do, and  he knew it was such a controversial book to be published. We entered a room (not pictured) that was his office where he met with Joseph Smith to discuss and finally agreed to do the project. Many things in the room have been redone, but the floor. I walked on the SAME floor as our dear prophet, Joseph Smith.
The day was perfect. It was s beautiful summer morning without a cloud in the sky. The weather was perfect for all the different historical sites we saw. I am truly blessed for this opportunity.


All about the Monaghans said...

There is nothing like being where Joseph Smith walked. It makes you feel connected physically. I wonder if the feeling would be the same if we walked where Jesus walked? I am glad that you have had the opportunity to go out to NY. You have done in a week what Dean and I did in 2 years.

Summer Spillane Jordan said...

You're so great at describing it all and with the photos I feel like I was there too! What a neat testimony builder!

Stephanie Shumway said...

love your preggo picture in the woods- GORGEOUS! Thanks for sharing!!