Today I attended Church services here in Palmyra. Half of the congregation were visitors, filling up the chapel and halfway into the cultural hall. They were great meetings. Afterwards I toured the Smith cabin, framed house and the Sacred Grove.
Since I have several of my friends reading my blog who are not affiliated with my Church, I want to share with you a little history of my Mormon faith and Joseph Smith.
Joseph Smith, when he was a 14 year old boy, living in Upper State New York in 1820, was concerned about which religion he should join. One day he was reading in the Bible, James 1:5, which said, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”
So Joseph decided to go into the woods behind his home and apply what he had read. Walking some distance into the woods, and finding himself alone, he knelt down and prayed to Heavenly Father for guidance. After praying, Joseph said, “I saw a pillar of light above my head that descended gradually until the light rested upon me…in this light I saw two personages, whose brightness and glory defies all description. One of them, calling me by name, and pointing to the other said, ‘This is my Beloved Son, hear Him.'”
Joseph eventually asked which of all the churches he should join. He was told to join none of them, for the churches of that day taught some form of truth, but did not have the fullness of the gospel. He was also told that over time the fullness of the Gospel would be restored to the earth through him.
Several years following this experience, Joseph grew in age and wisdom, and had several other appearances from heavenly beings. One of which was an angel called Moroni who lead Joseph to a place where ancient records were buried. Over time these records were given to Joseph to translate through the power of God. The translation of this record is what we now have as the Book of Mormon.
Through these divine experiences, the fullness of the Gospel, with Prophets and Apostles (Just as during the time of Christ), along with proper priesthood power, were fully restored back to the earth through Joseph Smith.
With all this being said, now let me share with you some very special places from our church history.
This is the cabin Joseph lived in.
This is inside the cabin.
This is the upstairs bedroom where the angel Moroni appeared to him and told him about the ancient record.
When Joseph obtained the ancient record, he hid them in this upper loft, to keep them from falling into the wrong hands.
He also hid them at one time under the hearth of this fireplace.
These pictures are places in the woods behind his home, called the Sacred Grove.
This is the new Palmyra Temple, overlooking the Sacred Grove.
I want to share with you my personal witness of these historical events. I know them to be true. I have felt the spiritual witness many times. I felt them today as I walked through these sacred areas. I know the Book of Mormon to be the word of God. If you haven’t had an opportunity to read it, I challenge you to do so and pray about its truthfulness.
I am firmly grounded in this personal testimony, and desire to share it with you my good friends.
See you again tomorrow!