Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Peaceful Palmyra

 I was excited to bring the boys to Palmyra, New York, which is a significant historical site for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It's probably my favorite church history spot, even more than Nauvoo, and Nauvoo is pretty awesome. We scheduled it into our trip so that we'd have enough time for it. I'd been to Palmyra a couple of times before but not since college. I can honestly say that the special spirit that's there has been there all of the times that I've visited.

Hill Cumorah

First we went to the Visitors Center at the Hill Cumorah, and then we walked up to the top of the Hill.

I hadn't seen this statue of Christ before. I really like the loving expression on his face and his outstretched arms. That is how he feels about each and every one of us.

I love this picture. In it are the things that matter most to me: my Savior and my family, my beloved sons.

And my mom 😄

The First Vision is one of the most significant events to ever happen on the earth. Someday everyone will recognize this for the significant and essential truth that it is.

A beautiful stained glass depiction of Moroni delivering the plates to Joseph.

It was neat to climb to the top of the hill. I kept wondering where exactly Joseph had retrieved the plates.

I'm pretty sure those steps weren't there in Joseph's day. 😁

At the top is a monument of the Angel Moroni.

The dirt paths at the bottom of the hill are from renovation work that the Church is doing here. There was a haze in the air from the wildfires all the way out west.

Walking back down

Smith Family Farm

Next we went to the Visitors Center at the Smith Family Farm and Sacred Grove. 
As you can see, Sam made himself at home 😅 He was tired--we'd been on the road all day, plus there was our morning stop in Kirtland.

Most of these pictures have the wildfire haze in them. I kind of like the ethereal look it gives them.

There are two homes on the Smith property. This is the first one where the Smiths lived when they first moved to Palmyra. The First Vision happened to Joseph when they lived here.  

This is the actual bedroom where Joseph and his brothers slept and where the Angel Moroni visited Joseph and gave him instructions and counsel. Our tour guide talked about how interesting it was that in such close quarters his brothers never woke up for this angelic visit that was repeated three times in the same night. That's because they weren't supposed to witness it, so I believe a deep sleep had come upon them. God's purposes are always accomplished.

This was my first time seeing the Palmyra Temple. What a wonderful location and view!

This was the second Smith home on the property that they moved into a few years later. It was bigger and nicer than the log house.

This is the original sink from when the Smiths lived there!

If I remember correctly, Joseph hid the gold plates in this room from people who were trying to find them and take them.

A bounteous garden

The path that leads to the Sacred Grove...

...with pretty views along the way.

The Sacred Grove

I love the Sacred Grove. It's one of my favorite places ever. There's a feeling of surpassing peace and reverence there. Even the birds are quiet. The First Vision opened up the restoration of the full gospel of Jesus Christ and a new dispensation before He returns to the earth again.

I loved being there with my children (even though one of them was tired and grumpy!).

This is one of the best pictures of the whole trip. The sun's rays are so reminiscent of what took place here 201 years ago. I love it!

Grandin Building, and Our Hotel

Finally that day, we went to the Grandin Building, where the Book of Mormon was first published. Because of my love of reading, books, and history, old printing presses and methods are so interesting to me.

We stayed at an outdated Hilton where Sam slept under a heavy blanket on couch cushions on the floor because he didn't want to share the pull-out bed with John. Unfortunately, that blanket left him overheated and with a huge migraine in the morning.

This is John. 😂 I don't know how he was breathing in there!
(I definitely prefer Holiday Inn Express to Hilton.)

Palmyra Temple

In the morning we stopped at the temple and John and I walked around the grounds, which were lovely. 

This is one of the only temples (maybe the only one?) with stained glass.

I love temples. The next time I go to Palmyra I'd like to do a session here.

Martin Harris Farm

We stopped at the Martin Harris Farm, which is now a private residence, but you can go and walk around the outside of it. It's a cool house--the walls are made of rocks!

Peter Whitmer Farm

Our final stop before heading home to Massachusetts was the Peter Whitmer Farm, where the Church was officially established on April 6, 1830 in the building below (it's a replica). Our time here was cut a little short because of Sam's migraine so we didn't do the full tour. But it was good to go there, and we will next time.

I loved going to Palmyra with my boys and my mom. It was a great way to end a memorable and special road trip. I'm already looking forward to going back again--to Palmyra and to Iowa and the Midwest.