So at the very beginning of April (almost two months ago), Marylynn’s parents came out to visit us and we thought to ourselves, “well heck, they’ve seen our apartment plenty of times, and it’s full of boxes, why don’t we just take them on a little church history trip to see Palmyra?” So we told them our idea and they got all giddy. We went, had a great time and here are the pictures to prove it.
The next day we piled into the car and headed up about five hours to upstate New York to the tiny town of Palmyra. Now if you don’t know, Palmyra is where our Church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, commonly known as the Mormon Church) was founded. The Prophet Joseph Smith who was called to restore Christ’s church from ancient times was a farm boy in Palmyra. A lot more happened there, that I’ll touch on that later. Over hereis a more detailed account.) Our first stop was to visit the Smith Family Farm.
The Palmyra Temple was built only a few years ago and is right across the street from the Smith Family farm.
Here’s a better shot of it we took a few days later.
This is the cabin where Joseph and his family grew up (nine kids in this tiny place!!).
This tree was planted in memory of Joseph’s oldest brother, Alvin after he died at the age of 27 (?). Cool to see how big it is now.
My awesome in-laws, Don and Mary in front of the Smith family homestead. They built this home later on. I guess the cabin was getting too small…?
Here we are inside the homestead. Other people have lived here in the past 150 years, but since the church bought it a long time ago, they’ve restored it and re-created what it was like before.
This is our family.
A shot of the barn and homestead from out back.
Buster running ahead of us on our way to the Sacred Grove.
Cricket and Buster right when we got into the Sacred Grove. Cricket was grumpy about something.
So this is what we call the Sacred Grove. This is where Joseph Smith went at age 14 to pray to see which church was the true church and he received the First Vision.
“The First Vision” is when God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to him and told him that none of the churches held the full truth and that they were all in error. Joseph learned here that he would be called to restore Christ’s church as it was established during His ministry.
So, the First Vision took place in early April, 1820 and is often represented in paintings and church films as taking place in a lush, leafy green forest. It was interesting to be there at the very same time of year. The trees were still bare and there was a stillness in the air.
I experimented with the macro zoom a bit on the camera and got some cool results.
More macro nature shots…
I like this one a lot. I used it for the art of my last podcast episode.
In the early spring, we could see leaves just starting to bud. Mary pointed out to me that it was such an appropriate time for the Gospel to be restored. A time of renewal, new life and hope. I thought that was amazing.
Mary and Don in the Sacred Grove.
The Smith Family Cabin from behind.
After that (was it the next day? I think so. I can’t remember) we went to the Hill Cumorah monument. The angel Moroni led Joseph Smith to the Hill Cumorah where the golden plates were buried. Joseph later translated these plates and that’s what the Book of Mormon is. Today there stands a monument up on top and a visitor’s center below. Every year there is ths hill Cumorah pageant there, where key parts of the Book of Mormon are acted out.
Here’s our little family on top of the Hill Cumorah. You can’t tell from this picture, but it’s actually pretty high up. Well, at least higher than I had expected.
Here’s looking down from the top.
Marylynn and her mommy are strolling along the ridge of the hill. It drops of pretty steep on the back side as well.
This is the Angel Moroni monument on the top of the hill. He’s also the little golden guy blowing a trumpet on top of our temples. Kind of a cool picture.
Cricket, Buster & Moroni.
Cricket and Buster on the Hill Cumorah. Watch your step, guys!!
Reminders of new life were all around.
Cricket my sweet.
Buster and Cricket at the Monument again.
Hill Cumorah Marker Stone. To read it easier, click to view the original size over at Flickr.
This paints a clearer picture of the steepness of the hill. I think Marylynn and her dad were talking about me.
Our Family at the Monument.
Got a few more nature shots on our way down the back side of the mountain. These are blossoms
Cricket gave me funny looks.
On the trail down the hill.
Hill Cumorah Visitors Center
Buster doubled up on the audio commentary in the Visitors Center. Must have sounded awesome in stereo!
Cricket agreed it was a good idea.
Marylynn practiced her Braille with a sample copy of the Book of Mormon… in Braille.
Afterwords, we headed over to McDonalds for lunch. Happy meals made them happy apparently.
Me and Don. I think he was describing his evil plot to destroy the world! Muwahahaha…
Then we headed over to the Peter Whitmer Farm. Donnie was checking to see how sturdy the sign was.
The Meeting House at the Whitmer Farm… and Cricket.
Buster, Grandma and Cricket outside the Peter Whitmer cabin
Peter Whitmer’s cabin. This is where the church was first organized.
All of us.
Inside the Cabin. The first Sacrament Meeting was held here. OK, well not THE first (that would have been the last supper), but you know what I mean.
A replica of a first edition Book of Mormon in the upper bedroom.
The hotel we stayed at wasn’t as modernized as we had hoped.
Then we went over to the Book of Mormon Publication Site in Palmyra. And that tall guy is Don.
They recreated what the publishing offices looked like.
More inside the publishing house.
The Book of Mormon printing press.
Buster was mr. wiggly pants by this time.
Back at the hotel, Grandma and Cricket got a few cuddles in before bedtime.
Cricket in her nightgown that Grandma Becky made for her. I love this photo. She’s so lovely.
Kids sleeping at the hotel. Buster wasn’t used to the new place and wet the bed… my apologies to the cleaning lady!!
This snow storm hit as we were leaving. Perfect timing!!
Cricket and Buster love each other at a Dunkin’ Donuts somewhere on the way home.
It was a really fun trip and I’m glad we could do it. We moved a few days later. What a crazy week! But it was well worth it.