Thursday, November 18, 2010

#5 The Hill Cumorah

Next we drove down the road a few miles to the Hill Cumorah. We stopped first at the visitor center and then drove up the Hill Cumorah, where they have the pageant. They have a monument there on top of the hill explaining that the Angle Moroni hid the plates somewhere in that hill and then delivered them to Joseph Smith four year after he first showed them to Joseph.

With four years to prepare for the event, I doubt the date on which Joseph Smith received the plates was a coincident. Joseph received the gold plates from Moroni on 22 September 1827, one of the high holy days of the ancient Israelite Calendar. Keep in mind that the Jews start their days at sundown. That day, 22 September 1827 was Rosh ha-Shanah, or the Feast of Trumpets, a day when God remembered His covenants the Israelites to “bring them back from exile.” I think that is why Moroni is depicted on top of the temples with his trumpet.

There is a pillar of stone on top of the Hill Cumorah with the Angle Moroni standing on top, (With his trumpet). There was a special feeling there as well. I connected with Moroni for a few short minutes while there.

Moroni has long been one of my hero’s for all that he did to take care of the plates. Moroni finish his father’s (Mormon) book, wrote his own book and then abridged the record of Ether and the brother of Jared. Moroni also tells us he wrote an interpretation of all that the Brother of Jared saw in his vision of the earth “from the beginning to the end thereof”. Moroni actually wrote about twice as many gold plates as his father Mormon had written. We have most of what Mormon wrote in the Book of Mormon, but most of what Moroni wrote is in the sealed portion of the plates that Joseph was told not to touch or translate.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

#4 The Palmyra Temple

The Palmyra Temple sits on a high ridge at the east end of the original 100 acres of the Joseph Smith, Sr. farm in Manchester Township, New York. The temple was announced by President Gordon B. Hinckley on the 21st of April, 1999. Ground was broken that May and the temple was dedicated by President Hinckley on the 6th of April, 2000, the 170th anniversary of the organization of the church. It became the 77th temple in operation around the world and has approximately 10,700 square feet of floor space.

The new Palmyra Temple can be seen from the sacred grove. It is on a hillside just east of the sacred grove. We spent two or three hours in the Sacred Grove and then walked back through the Smith farm and Smith homes. We then drove over to the Palmyra Temple. DeAnne stayed in the van this time so she could rest her knee.

got out and took pictures of the temple and walked around it. Notice the glass on the windows and doors. You can see the glass was made with images of the trees that in the Sacred Grove.
It was a peaceful feeling to stand in the temple courtyard and look out to the west and see the sacred grove.

The Church has a new stake center just a few blocks north of the Temple.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

#3 The Sacred Grove

The guides from the visitor center pointed out the trail to the Sacred Grove and then left us so we could walk the trail at our own pace. As we walked down the trail toward the Sacred Grove, the fall leaves were so beautiful. They were falling on the ground all the way down the path which followed the log fence. The fence separated the barn and farm from the apple orchard. The fall colors were so brilliant in the sacred grove itself. DeAnne and I felt a quite peaceful feeling all around us as we walked through the grove together. We took a loop trail and soaked in the peaceful spiritual feeling by walking slowly and stopping to sit at some the benches to rest and to ponder.

We tried to picture what had happened there in the grove when God the Father and his son Jesus Christ appeared to answer Joseph's first vocal prayer. What an experience for Joseph and for us!

We were asked not to remove anything from the grove because it was such ground. DeAnne's knee was really sore, but she was a real trooper and we were grateful for the experience we had in the Sacred Grove together. I was glad we had an excuse to stop and let her rest so we could spend more time in the grove. It is truly sacred ground!

Also, we must remember, that somewhere on the Smith farm, "In a grove of trees where the Smith's often went in secret prayer", is where the Angle Moroni showed the gold plate's to the eight witnesses of the Book of Mormon and let them handle the plates.

Aren't the trees beautiful? We will never forget our time in the Sacred Gove or the feelings we had there.

Monday, November 15, 2010

#2 The Smith Frame Home

Next we went to the Smith Frame Home, which is just down the road a bit and across the street. This is the home that Alvin started building for his parents. Alvin became ill and while on his death bed asked the family to finish building the home for his parents. This the family did. Joseph really loved Alvin. Alvin was a special person. Joseph was told to take Alvin with him to receive the gold plates. But because of the death of Alvin, Joseph was told to take his wife Emma to receive the gold plates.

While living in this home, Joseph had the gold plates and was busy translating them. Joseph hid them for a while under the brick stones in the hearth. There was a small room upstairs where the two young sisters shared the same bed. One night the plates were hidden from a mob by placing the plates in bed, in between the girls. The Smith family lived in the home for only three of fours years. Because of financial difficulties, they had to move back into the old log home.

Right across the street from the Smith frame home there is a nice barn where they put their animals and farm equipment. Joseph hid the plates up in the rafters of the barn one night and the mob couldn’t find them.

The main street to Palmyra used to be the street where the Smiths farm is. The log home was on one side of the busy street and the new Frame home was on the other side of the street. We learned from Newell, that when the Church purchased the Smith Farm Homes and the Sacred Grove, they asked the City of Palmyra if they would move the road to the east so that the old existing road could be used as a walking path by the visitors that would come to see the farm and the Sacred Grove.

An agreement was finally made with the city that they would move the road if the Church would give them their Stake Center. The City wanted it so they could use it as a City Hall. The Church agreed and we have pictures of the old Stake Center – New Palmyra City Hall. It is just to the northeast of the Smith farm. If you look a map of the Palmyra area you can see how the new bends out away from the Smith farm for short ways and then back again to bypass the Smith Farms.

Friday, November 12, 2010

#1 Our Trip to Palmyra, New York

I have decided to start typing up the experiences that DeAnne and I had on our trip to Palmyra and Kirtland. These posts could take a while to get everyting written. I will divide them into smaller pieces and post them as I get them ready. We had such a great trip we just have to share what we felt, what we saw and what we learned. Most of our children have already been there before us. We would like to sit down with them and compare notes and their feelings of their trips. Anyway I am starting with this post.

October 15, 2010 – Friday – DeAnne and I got up early and drove to Jared’s house. He was good enough to take us to the Salt Lake airport, drop us off and take our car back to his house while we were gone.

We met DeAnne’s cousin Kimball Harward and his wife, Maxine at the airport. We flew on a Sky West commuter plane from SLC to Denver. From there we flew on a United 767 to Chicago and then got on a United Flight to Rochester, New York. That was the biggest airplane I have ever been on and it was packed. In Rochester we met Newell Harward, his wife Gloria, Thomas Axtel and his wife Joni. They took us to our hotel in Rochester where we stayed for two nights.

October 16, 2010 – Saturday – We went to breakfast in Palmyra. When we went to get back into the van, DeAnne re-extended her knee. Not a good way to start our trip! We went to the visitor center on the Smith Family Farm.

Hyrum purchased the ground just north of his father’s farm. The Smith’s log home was actually built on Hyrum’s land. Although Hyrum’s land bordered his father’s land, it was in a different county and the county doesn’t require two set of steps to the upper level (for exits) for public buildings like they do in the other homes in county where Joseph Smith Sr.’s farm was. So we were able to go to the second floor of the Smith’s log home but not the upper floor of the Smiths Frame home which is in the other county.

We went into the Smith Family log Cabin, which has been reconstructed on the original foundation.
The upper floor is where Moroni visited Joseph Smith in his bedroom area. There were other Smith children sleeping in the same room, but only Joseph was privileged to see and hear the message of Moroni. For DeAnne and me, it was a special feeling to be the room where the Angle Moroni appeared three times. We could feel the spirit there. It was there that the latter day gospel restoration really began.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Blessing Baby Michael

Just a quick post to say how neat it was to have all of the family attend the blessing of Michael. It was great to see everyone together again and enjoying each others company. It was also nice to talk with and get to know Jones family a little better. Family is great!

We hope to see all of you at Tori and Garth's home this weekend for another good time!