One of the reasons the Angel Moroni came to visit Joseph Smith, Jr. was to direct Joseph to the Hill Cumorah. In a stone box on that hill were the Gold Plates, which Joseph would translate into English and have printed as the Book of Mormon. (See Joseph Smith History 1: 34-54)
The Visitor's Center is beautiful and varied. The sweet sister missionaries that taught us about the place concluded their testimonies with a violin and viola duet of Joseph Smith's First Prayer.
It was peaceful and invited the Spirit to testify to the events of this place.
From that obscure hillside, to the filling the earth. The Book of Mormon is now translated into 110 languages.
After the visitor's center, we went outside and hiked up the very steep hill. You can go straight up (kids) or take the longer, meandering route (parents).
It was a sunshiny Autumn day and the leaves were just beginning to turn. It was nice to be outside, kids running up and down the hill, Mom slugging along with her extra load. We didn't see the pageant, but we also didn't have to contend with the crowd or the heat of summer.
|My sweet, happy companion. I loved carrying her around for those two weeks. |
She slept easily, but would look up and warm my heart when she was awake.
At the top of the hill stands a monument, with Moroni on the pinnacle, declaring to the world that the work was about to commence.
At the top, we took a few minutes to discuss and absorb the events (and the repercussions of the events) of the place.
There is a trail through the forest on the backside of the hill to get back down to the parking lot. There was no one there except for our crazy family. Just the way we like it!
Following the Hill Cumorah, we ventured into Palmyra to tour the Grandin Building, site of the publication of the Book of Mormon.
The missionary who gave us the tour did an EXCELLENT job of engaging the younger ones. I was always so grateful for the guides who took time to keep the little ones happy. It made it so that I could enjoy some of the tours.
It was an interesting tour. This kind of thing just, I mean, I love it.
(Remember at the beginning of Girls Just Want to Have Fun when Sarah Jessica Parker's character is introducing herself to the class? She is explaining her history and describing herself. All is stiff and nervous, until the last line. She gets a dreamy look in her eyes and gushes, "and I love to dance!" I feel that way about history.)
Justin bought a replica first edition Book of Mormon as his souvenir here in Palmyra.
The perfect thing to add to our library.
Isaac found a rather rare Star Wars book at a used book store that he was pretty excited about, too.
Each of the children prepared an oral report about one non-lds site along our journey. Eliza's report was about the Erie Canal. She dragged her feet like crazy, but ended up enjoying learning about the history of this fascinating engineering feat.
Home to the Palmyra White House (airbnb--five stars from me) for a home-cooked meal, laundry and down time.
It was a full, but remarkable day.