It is a 6 hour drive to Palmyra, NY. We left early in the morning and arrived around lunch time.
We took a few minutes to walk around the Temple there. We also walked around the visitors' center.
We spent some time walking through the Sacred Grove. It is a grove of trees on the Smith family farm. Joseph Smith wanted to know which church he should join. He found a quite place in the grove to pray and ask God. It was then that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith to answer his prayer and give him instructions. We enjoyed a peaceful walk around the grove and feeling the spirit.
We visited the Smith family log cabin. It was in this upstairs bedroom that the Angel Moroni appeared to Joseph Smith. The angel told Joseph Smith about a record of a people who left Jerusalem and came to the Americas. The record was engraved on brass plates. Moroni was the last prophet to write on the plates and buried them.
We went up to the top of the Hill Cumorah. This is where Moroni buried the record. Joseph Smith didn't get the record until he was older. It took him almost 2 years to translate the record. This record is The Book of Mormon. It contains a record of Christ's visit, after His resurrection, to these people in the Americas.
Then we visited the E.B. Grandin building. This is where the Book of Mormon was first published. I loved looking at the old book bindings. It reminded me of when my sister, Holly, took a book binding class.
This is the site of the Martin Harris farm. Martin Harris mortgaged his farm for $3,000 in 1829 to provide the funds to publish the Book of Mormon.
Here's a special little blooper for you:
Every year in Palmyra they have the Hill Cumorah Pageant. Volunteers come to act out the story of the people in the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. We had to get there early to stake out our seats. We sat and read books while waiting for it to start.
We also visited the home the Smith family built after their log cabin. On the farm was a cooper shed. This is where Joseph Smith was living at the time he received the brass plates. He had to keep them hidden in various locations because the mod kept trying to steal them. He finally moved to Harmony, PA so he could work on the translation in peace.
Before we left the area we stopped in Fayette, NY and visited the Peter Whitmer farm. Shortly after the Book of Mormon was published, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized. The meeting was held in the Whitmer home.