Saturday, March 24, 2018

Church History Tour: Hill Camorah, Smith Family Farm & BOM Publication Site

The next day, Karin, Mom and Dad did a morning endowment session at the Palmyra temple while Ricky and I took the boys to the Hill Cumorah monument. Erected in 1935 at the crest of the hill where Joseph Smith was given the gold plates, the monument depicts the angel Moroni, who appeared to the young prophet and told him where to find the buried record.

Ricky gave us a nice little devotional and spoke about the events that happened at the hill Cumorah and asked the boys a couple of discussion questions. After the devotional and walking around the monument, the boys spent a long time

After Karin, Mom and Dad were done at the temple, they met up with us and we all went to tour the Smith Family Farm. Here is a map of the farm as it is today, some of the buildings have been recreated as the originals no longer exist. I got this map as well as all the descriptions from

"In the winter of 1818–19, the 10 members of the Smith family moved into a small log home on the edge of their new farm. Here the Smiths lived, worked, read the scriptures, and prayed. During the family’s time in their log home, young Joseph Smith saw God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, in a nearby grove of trees. 
Although the original log home no longer exists, archaeological excavations revealed its location as well as 2,000 artifacts dated to the time the Smith family lived in the home. Applying the same methods, materials, and tools used in the construction of the original, an authentic recreation of the log home now stands on the original location."

This is the upstairs bedroom that Joseph would have shared with all of his siblings. It was in this tiny, overcrowded bedroom that the angel Moroni first visited Joseph late in the night in September of 1823.

Our tour was given by sister missionaries and they read accounts of the events that took place in this special family home. The boys were so amazing during our tours, they listened attentively most of the time and often asked insightful questions. Every once in a while they had a few wiggles that needed to get out ....

After learning all about the Smith Family Log House, we walked to the Smith Family Frame House and the other buildings located on the farm.

The Smith Family Farm sprawls over 100 acres. As I mentioned in my last post, the Palmyra Temple is built on part of the Smith Family land, we caught a glimpse of it's spires as we walked along the farm's trail.

"In 1825, Joseph Smith Sr. moved his family into a larger farmhouse on their 100-acre farm, a few hundred feet south of the earlier log home. The well-framed home was the setting for several important events relating to the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. While living here, the family gathered to listen to Joseph share things he had learned from the angel Moroni about the ancient inhabitants of the Americas. When he obtained the golden plates in 1827, Joseph hid them in several places in and around the home to keep them safe. It was also here that Joseph Smith learned that Martin Harris had lost the first portion of the Book of Mormon manuscript.
The Smiths’ frame home still stands on its original foundation. A restoration project in 1998 returned the home to its 1820s appearance—at the time of the project, it was discovered that 85 percent of the building materials had survived from Joseph Smith’s time to ours."

Next, we took a peek inside the Cooper Shop.

"Joseph Smith Sr. learned from his father the careful and demanding skill of coopering—making watertight wooden barrels and buckets. These containers were important tools for harvesting maple sap and producing maple sugar. On their New York farm, the Smiths built a cooper shop to house the tools and materials they needed to make barrels, baskets, and light furniture, both for their own use and to sell to or repair for neighbors. On at least one occasion, Joseph Smith protected the golden plates by hiding them in the cooper shop.
Today the original location of the cooper shop is unknown, but an accurate reproduction was placed across Stafford Road from the home, in keeping with Lucy Mack Smith’s account of the family’s farm life."

After our tours of the different buildings, we had time to stroll around the farm and take in the beautiful spirit of the gorgeous surroundings.

All six boys decided to climb trees to get their wiggles out.

After we saw some of the places the Book of Mormon was translated, we then drove to downtown Palmyra to visit the place where it was published after Joseph had finished all translating.

E. B. Grandin, Palmyra’s only printer in Joseph's time, initially refused to publish the book but reconsidered after friends assured him his role would be seen as “merely a business matter.” Martin Harris, a firm believer in the work, mortgaged part of his farm to finance the printing.

They agreed with E. Grandin to Print five thousand Copies which was Printed and Bound at Palmyra in the Spring of 1830.

It took Grandin and his staff seven months to complete the printing process. During that time, early believers worked in small and simple ways to support the work.

Within a year, missionaries would carry copies of the Book of Mormon across the United States and into Indian Territory; within 25 years, they would carry copies across the world.

The Book of Mormon is now read by millions of people in over a hundred languages. The same words published in Palmyra nearly two centuries ago still answer questions and bring Christ’s power into lives today.

The Publication Site visitors center is also home to the original paintings that I had grown up seeing copies of in lessons, church buildings, etc. It was pretty cool to see the originals in person.

For dinner that night we checked out the Chill N' Grill, Palmyra's local hang out spot. It reminded me a lot of Granny's in Heber. It is famous for it's huge ice cream cones and ginormous servings of fries that come with their burgers and sandwiches. It is an itty bitty place, and the line was out the door when we pulled up, a sure sign of a good place.

For reference, all the boys got "mini" ice cream cones...

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