Friday, July 27, 2012

Cradle of the Restoration

While in New York we traveled to see a lot of church history sites.  It was really neat -- I had never been to any of the New York sites.  We also timed our trip so that we could see the Hill Cumorah pageant.

First stop, the Peter Whitmer farm in Fayette, New York, where the church was officially organized and where a lot of the Book of Mormon was translated.  This house was rebuilt on the original cornerstone of the house.

After taking this picture, I set my camera down somewhere and left it there in Fayette.  I blame mommy-brain.  Luckily, Paul's dad PJ found someone in their ward who was going to be there a few days later, and he picked it up for me.  Yay!  Also luckily, I packed my videocamera too, which takes still photos (but doesn't have a flash), so I didn't miss out on any pictures.

Next stop, the Smith family farm.  There are two houses on the property, the old home and the newer home.  The old home is where Joseph Smith lived when he had the First Vision, and where Angel Moroni appeared to him in the upstairs room.  We stood in the same "air space" that the Angel Moroni did, even though the house was not the original one.  I can't believe how tiny that house was for so many people.  It's amazing how abundantly we live nowadays. 

This was the brick hearth where Joseph Smith had to hide the gold plates from mobbers.

Of course, on the same property as the Smith farm is the Sacred Grove.  No one knows where exactly Joseph Smith had the First Vision, but it's all very beautiful and spiritual.

Baby Levi liked having some time to crawl around in the grass at the Smith property. 

We all have the same smile, don't we?

 We stopped at the Palmyra Temple grounds on our way home from Niagara Falls.  It's such a beautiful temple.  It has windows that look out over the Sacred Grove, and it has stained glass everywhere depicting trees.  Krystle said it's such a small temple you have to make a reservation to do an endowment session.  We didn't go inside; we only spent some time on the grounds.

Also in Palmyra was the site of the first publication of the Book of Mormon.  I really enjoyed that.  It had a lot of demonstrations of early bookmaking, printing, and binding, and an original copy of the Book of Mormon.

After the Palmyra Temple, we went to the Hill Cumorah pageant.  It was fantastic!  I can't believe the special effects they pulled off -- fireballs, rain, smoke and mist, it was pretty cool.  Baby Levi, Donna, and I met "Laman," and he said the beard he wore was the same kind they use in Hollywood movies. 

Baby Levi did great -- he slept through the whole pageant, stayed asleep being put into the car, and slept the whole two hours home.  Unfortunately, once we got back to the house he screamed for about an hour and a half before he fell back asleep.  I felt very bad for everyone there; after all that driving, everyone just wanted to get to sleep!!

More on Niagara Falls, Cornell, and New York City later!

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