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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Guest Post | Palmyra, New York

Hello! My dad asked me to post about my recent trip to upstate New York.

I had the opportunity to accompany my grandmother on a trip to Palmyra, New York last week.
We flew into the international airport in Rochester on Tuesday night, rented a car and drove straight to the Hill Cumorah to see the pageant. It was an incredible production! I could not believe how large the cast was. The pageant is performed on a 10-level stage that sits at the base of the hill and includes special effects of earthquakes, floods and fire. The script for the pageant
comes from the Bible and the Book of Mormon. Some of the stories depicted are Lehi and his family leaving Jerusalem and traveling to the Promised Land, the burning of Abinadi, the ministry of Alma, Joseph Smith's encounter with the Angel Moroni and the Restoration of the Gospel.


On Wednesday we drove up to Niagara Falls. The falls are so majestic...and loud!

Maid of the Mist

Thursday was my 24th birthday. We started the day by attending a session in the Palmyra Temple.

President Hinckley requested that these windows on the west side of the temple be clear so that those inside could see the Sacred Grove.

There are a total of 27 beautiful stained glass windows inside the temple depicting the Sacred Grove and the First Vision.

Afterwards, we headed into downtown Palmyra and saw the four corners churches. The four corner churches include the First Methodist Church on the northeast corner, the First Baptist Church on the southwest corner, the Palmyra Zion Episcopal Church on the southeast corner, and the Western Presbyterian Church on the northwestern corner. 

A block north of the four corners churches is a small cemetery where Joseph Smith's brother, Alvin, is buried. His original headstone has been reset to help preserve it. The headstone reads:
"In memory of Alvin, son of Joseph and Lucy Smith, who died Nov. 19, 1823, in his 25th year of his life."

The last stop of the day was to the Martin Harris farm.
In 1831, Martin moved away from the one-and-a-half story white frame home which stood on the site. It was then occupied by William Chapman. That home burned down in 1849 and was replaced by the lake-stone house pictured. Lake-stone buildings were first built in the area by English artisans who came here to work on the Erie Canal. After the canal was completed in 1825, they found employment by constructing stone houses. Approximately 700 of these lake-stone structures were built in that part of the state.

Friday was our last full day in Palmyra. Our first stop was the Book of Mormon historic publication site, also known as the E. B. Grandin building. The site offers visitors a glimpse of the printing and binding processes of the 1820s.

Since we arrived to the Hill Cumorah late on Tuesday night, we decided to head back to see the visitor's center and visit the monument at the top.

Next, we drove to Waterloo to see the Peter Whitmer Log home where on April 6, 1830, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was formally organized.

After visiting the Peter Whitmer farm we drove back to Palmyra to see the Sacred Grove.

The Sacred Grove and Smith family farm are located to the west of the Palmyra temple. We were able to see the log home and the newer frame home. 

When we walked through the Sacred Grove there were only a handful of people around us (I'm guessing everyone was at the Hill Cumorah waiting for the pageant to start) so it was very quite and peaceful.

We both had a wonderful time and loved being able to visit such beautiful and sacred locations.

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