Wednesday, July 9, 2008
The next two days, of our trip, were spent in the Palmyra area. We visited the Joseph Smith Farm, Sacred Grove, Palmyra Temple, Peter Whitmer Farm in Fayette, the Grandin Bldg where the first Book of Mormon was published, then spent Friday night watching the Hill Camorah Pageant.
Everything has changed so much, that I felt like I was going there for the first time. Inside the Joseph Smith visitor center they had an awesome statue of the first vision, all in white. It took up a majority of the room and was breath-taking when you saw it. Most of the farm had new buildings, even the Smith house I used to know changed from when I was there.
The Sacred Grove was peaceful. We spent most of the time trying to figure out which trees were thought to be the original 6 when Joseph prayed there. Even the new trails in the grove made it hard for me to remember where I once prayed or swatted misquitos or the tree I sat by for a picture. You would think trees wouldn't change much, but when they make new trails, and tell you to stay on those trails, it's hard to walk down memory lane.
We did search to find the perfect leaf to put in our Book of Mormon when we get back home. That was one thing Mike really wanted everyone to have, since I already had one in my book. I love to open my book an see the leaf there that I got from the Sacred Grove. It helps me remember the First Vision and my mission and I hope that my kids will always remember this trip and know that I know that God and Jesus did visit Joseph and that he restored the true church on the earth. Our family has been so blessed with knowing the true gospel. Every visitor center we went to, they wanted referrals. It's amazing the names that would come to my mind of who I should share my testimony with or just to give a name. Each time a different one would come to me. There are people waiting to hear the gospel, and sometime they just need a friend to help nudge them towards the truth. It may not happen quickly, but maybe with time, prayer, and love, the gospel will spread to everyone.
The pageant of course was the biggest highlight!! I expected to see families I used to know, but either they weren't there or it's been so long, that I didn't recognize anyone--at least from my mission. I say that because we ran into relatives and people from home, which I thought was funny. It's amazing that miles away from home, you still can find people you know at church sites. If we didn't have to leave that night to the condo we reserved in Pennsylvania, Mike would have liked to stay and watch pageant again the next night. It was as good as I remember, I can't tell you all the changes since I can't remember every detail and what it was like, but I think all the water they had this year was new. One thing that doesn't change, and that's the spirit there.
We talked to a girl that was converted a year ago because of the pageant. I am not surprised. I don't know how anyone could see it and not feel the strong spirit there and know it is true. We actually felt the same about the Manti pageant too--it must tell you something about the church, humm!