We made it to Joseph Smith's boyhood home and the Sacred Grove. Half of the Scott family came to Palmyra, NY when I was about 12-13 years old. The Palmyra Temple grounds had just been dedicated and the Smith home had just been completed. We actually came by the Smith home at the same time the carpenter was finishing up some last minute touches. He was using an axe, just like the Smith's would have used. The Church wanted the sites to be as accurate as possible, and that meant using the same tools they would have back in the 1800's.
Coming back here with my children and Tyson who have never experienced this before was wonderful. I had the opportunity to bear my testimony to my little family of the truthfulness of the Gospel and Joseph Smith who restored the truthfulness of the Gospel to the earth in the latter days. We talked a lot about the Visions Joseph Smith had, how he translated The Book of Mormon, and we walked through The Sacred Grove.
It was a beautiful day in the Scared Grove and we enjoyed out time, walking with our kids and some of their cousins, talking about what happened there.
There is a peace you can feel, The Holy Ghost, that testifies to you the truthfulness of the Gospel. I became overwhelmed several times with the Spirit as I talked to the kids about the Church.
It's true! It's true!
(We spotted a little snake, which we joked was Satan in the Sacred Grove. Jacob loved seeing the little snake!)
I loved this scripture that was printed on the wall in the visitors center. Such a great reminder to me as a mom to have patience and use love to teach my children because out of them will grow something great!
We visited the Grandin Building where The Book of Mormon was first published. We toured the rooms that still have ink splatter on the walls from when the Printing Presses were in use.
Tyson is shown holding what a first edition of The Book of Mormon would look like.
It's a miracle that they were ablate find the funds to print The Book of Mormon. It was done with a leather cover and made so beautifully. It was very expensive for that time but I know Heavenly Father had a hand in making sure this book was printed so all could benefit from it.
Tyson and I heard the story "Miracle of the Plowfield" for the first time during this visit to the Whitmer farm. We watched the video in the Visitors Center and I felt the Spirit so strongly. After such a miracle, it would be hard to deny Heavenly Father, Jesus, the Holy Spirit and the work that Joseph Smith was trying to put forth at that time.
One of our last stops for the day was going to see the Palmyra Temple so our kids could "Touch the temple" I love the picture right above because Margot was sad and Taryn wrapped her arms around her, and still smiled for the picture :)
One with Cody and one with Brooke
If you ask Brooke to take your picture, she will leave you with a selfie too :)
By the time we toured about the temple, my little family was so done with pictures and walking. I asked them to take a family picture with me and they said NO! Taryn changed her mind last minute and joined me, winning lots of Smith family points for being the only one willing to take a picture in front of the temple with me :)
I love this picture so much! It shows just how vast the Whitmer farmland was, making the miracle of the plow field even more evident that it had to have been Angels who did the work.
That night we went to the Hill Cumorah. We ate hot dogs, chicken, popcorn and candy. The best way to make sure that all the kids stayed awake long enough for the pageant that didn't start until 9pm.
Jen And I with Abinadi. No big deal :)
That night we had a Fancy cheese party. Megan had bought a bunch of fun cheese, chocolates, fig spread, and crackers for one of the days at the cabin but we never got to eat it. So we pulled it out for the last night we were there. We ate some really great cheese. The night was made even better when we all tried sticking grapes in our upper lip and talking.
Try it. It's near impossible to not laugh :)
The next morning we the Smith's left bright and early to head home. The girls were troopers! I think they watched Netflix on the kindles for most of the time. They were exhausted, as were we, and we thought it was the best way to spend the 8 hour drive home.
Thanks for my amazing Parents who put so much time , energy and resources into this Family Reunion.
Family is so important and special. We know that we can't go too long without seeing family (1 year max!) without going crazy with withdrawals. We're excited for some upcoming family trips our West during the next year we have planned!