Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Day 15, Tues, Sept 16, Palmyra, NY

After enjoying a guided tour with the sister missionaries at the Smith farm, and spending some very peaceful moments in the Sacred Grove, we drove the short distance to the village of Palmyra situated on the south bank of the Erie Canal. Here, among other points of historical interest is the actual print shop where the Book of Mormon was first published.

While Linda visited an LDS bookstore next door, Terry entered the print shop and bumped into a large group of students from BYU-Idaho University and their professor and guide, brother Nate Williams in the midst of being instructed about the publication of the Book of Mormon as part of their tour of Church history sites. I interrupted long enough to shake brother Williams' hand and tell him we were parents of Jeffery Chapman of the Religion Department. He said, "Of course! Brother Chapman! I was just with him at West Yellowstone just a few weeks ago!"

So, before we left I had to take a picture of the tour bus to memorialize this unexpected encounter. It is a small world, no?

You don't see the Palmyra Temple until you are literally upon it. It sits on a rise of ground directly east of the Smith farm, but the forest of trees both to the east and west conceal it from the highway (Rt 21).
It is small but it is beautiful with grounds that are covered with grass, flowers, shrubs, and both hardwood and conifer trees.

" ... I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me."

JSH 1:16

After the guided tour of the Smith's log cabin and home provided by the missionaries the two of us went on a walk through the Sacred Grove which is located directly west of the Smith home. It was so quiet and peaceful, even more beautiful and meaningful to us than our experience there 11 years ago. The sun was shining intermittatly through broken clouds, giving a special light effect within this sacred place with its towering trees and soft, leaf strewn grounds. Bench's are provided here and there along the various trails, providing a place for the thoughtful visitor to pause, contemplate and pray.

This is a view looking across the fields and split rail fences toward the Smith family cabin. We were reminded that it was in September 1823 on a day much like today that Joseph would have fallen while trying to cross a fence to return home from helping his father in the fields. It was then that Moroni again appeared to him.

The bence where Linda is seated could be near the very place of that remarkable occurance!

Tuesday morning, Sept 16, we drove to the Church History sites in Palmyra. Our first stop was at the Joseph Smith Farm where we were met by two sister missionaries: Sister Cataluddi from Italy and Sister Mejio from El Salvador. They are part of the New York Rochester Mission, assigned to help visitors who come to the church history sites in Palmyra. They were a pleasure to be with, taking us from the visitor's center to (1) the log cabin (replica) the Smith family built and lived in when they first moved to Palmyra. (2) the frame home a short distance away that the family built and lived in later. This picture was taken is front of the frame home.