Friday, June 8, 2018

Susquehannah, PA and Palmyra, NY - Church History Tour

We drove up to Susquehannah, PA to the Priesthood Restoration Site in Oakland Township, PA. We walked down from the visitor's center to some restored homes to look inside. A sister missionary showed us inside both Isaac Hale's (Emma's parents) home, and the house Joseph and Emma Smith lived in while much of the Book of Mormon was being translated. 

Statues of the Restoration of the Priesthood in front of the Visitor's Center. 

Isaac Hale home.

When excavating the site of the original Hale home, a small piece of a rifle was found. This is the type of gun they think they owned. 

Joseph and Emma moved down to Emma's parent's house after finding the plates. The plates were kept in a box like the one on this table for safe keeping and to keep them out of sight. (When we say, 'the plates', we are referring to ancient records etched into thin pages of gold.) The gold plates were written by ancient prophets that lived on the American continents. A prophet named Moroni buried the plates in Cumorah Hill hundreds of years ago. 

A replica of the box the plates were kept in, and it was weighted to give an idea of how heavy they were - about 70 lbs!

This monument was erected in 1960, the restored homes were finished in 2015.

the side view of Joseph and Emma's home

There are trails up in the 'sugar bush', where Joseph and Oliver Cowdery went to pray.

Inside the visitor's center at the Priesthood Restoration Site

a tortoise we saw on our way down the trail to the banks of the Susquehannah River

We decided to drive a couple more hours north to visit the monument at Hill Cumorah, where the plates were deposited. 

In front of the visitor's center at Hill Cumorah

A few minutes down the road, in front of the Palmyra Temple

Just down the road from the temple, there is the Smith farm. This is what they called the 'framehouse' the Smiths moved into after living in the cabin for a few years. This house was mostly original, since it has remained standing. The Smiths lived here about 4 years before they lost the property and moved back into the cabin. 

Just outside the framehouse, it was a beautiful day. I loved the trees and the fences. 

a garden kept up by the missionaries, outside the framehouse. 

me, exclaiming how much I love this property. 

Inside the threshing barn, which was restored. 

there were hollowed-out tree trunks with lids used as beehives. 

(on the trail to the Sacred Grove)

When he was 14 years old, Joseph Smith prayed in the Sacred Grove (the woods behind his home) to ask which church to join, as he had been attending different churches and wondering which one was right. That prayer was answered with a vision of the Father and the Son, who told him to "join none of them. They teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof." Later, Joseph was led to where the plates were buried in Cumorah Hill. He was allowed to dig them up and take them home 4 years later, when he started translating them. The finished translation was brought to the Grandin Press, printed and in two years, the first 5,000 copies were finished. 

there were multiple trails you could take throughout the Sacred Grove. It was very peaceful, lots of shade from the many trees that blocked the sun and noise. 

The Grandin Printing Press, downtown Palmyra, and only a few minutes away from the Smith Farm. Right down the street was the Erie Canal, which made it ideal for shipping. 

Art gallery inside the top floor of the printing press; these are all originals. 

The sister missionaries gave us a tour of each floor of the printing press; they demonstrated typesetting and inking the press. 

They showed us how the final print had to be folded a certain way and then cut.

One of the first editions of the Book of Mormon. 

A glueing station. 

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