Tuesday, July 18th we spent a lovely morning relaxing, playing, and catching up with our friends the Boyer's or in the case of the kids making great new friends. After lunch we went to see some church sites. We started at the Whitmer farm which was such a wonderful place to visit. The church was organized there and a great deal of translating took place there. It was a place of refuge for Joseph and a place of miracles- a highlight of the trip for me.
Then we made the drive to the Smith Farm and Sacred Grove.
This is where it all began. Joseph had questions about religion due to the revival that was taking place at that time. He went to the scripture seeking clarity; something I know he learned from his parents. And that is where he read James 1:5-6 and felt the need to go to Heavenly Father in prayer.
(This is where the Angel Moroni would later appear to him and direct him towards the plates so he could translate the Book of Mormon.)
And somewhere, here in this peaceful and sacred grove of trees not far from their home Joseph knelt to pray. He prayed out loud and with sincerity. He was taken upon by a dark force and as he called out once more he saw a light directly over his head. He not only heard the Father but saw Him and His son, Jesus Christ.
I don't know what Joseph expected he would get when he prayed but I am thankful for his prayer and his faith and the answer he received. That moment has shaped my life. Peter and I each took the time to share our testimonies with our children about this event and read with them from Joseph Smith History his account.
I met Mo (Maureen) while doing my Ragnar race in Austin last year. She actually lives in Utah and we ran into each other in Palmyra, NY. Crazy!
I love those people!
After the Smith farm, we headed to the Palmyra visitor center and pageant. We intended to walk up the Hill Cumorah to the monument but we arrived at 6:02 and they close the pathways at 6:00 for the pageant. Oh well! Our kids were kind of over old places and buildings. So, we picked out amazing seats on the 2nd row and took turns holding the spot and letting the kids check out the visitor's center. And we found ice cream, after we had a delicious dinner of pizza brought to us by our friends the Boyer's, whom joined us for the pageant.
Picture with Moroni!
And it begins!
A picture with the whole gang- Jennie's mom was visiting them helping them get ready to move.
This pageant was one of the key reasons we went to Palmyra during this time of year. It was everything I wished for. There were great special effects and costumes and the story is so powerful and so true. I am thankful for the witness I felt there. I pray that my kids felt something that night as well and will remember it and rely upon it to build and strengthen their testimony.