Joseph Smith Sr. Farm

We spent all day Tuesday traveling through Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York and finally arrived in Rochester, New York at about 9pm. Grandma Bonnie and Grandpa Don were flying in earlier that day and were already at the hotel when we got there. We had another late night swim, and prepared for a full day the next day.

We had breakfast at the hotel on Wednesday morning and then set out for the sites to see in Palmyra for the rest of the day. The drive from Rochester to Palmyra was so beautiful. There were little farms all along the way, with neatly kept barns, rows and rows of corn, and  flowers in bloom everywhere. I never realized how many trees there were in New York. One of the senior missionaries reminded us that every part of tree free land there, was cleared to plant crops. It’s not like the Midwest where I grew up where there is open land for as far as the eye can see. Backbreaking work went into clearly land just to survive.

We decided to tour the Smith farm first that day. It was a special experience to see the places where Joseph Smith would have grown up, and feel of the sacred nature of the ground we walked on. I know the kids could feel of that Spirit too. Abby would walk around from place to place with her arms reverently folded. She turned to me when we were inside the log cabin and said, “Does Jesus live here?” She could feel the spirit radiating over the whole property, and her little body just knew that our Heavenly Father was near. I hope she will remember that feeling all the time, and know that he is always that near to us.

It was humbling to see how small the house was for their large family-5 kids in an upstairs attic type room. (I won’t ever complain again about needing more space for our family) It was this upstairs room where the angel Moroni appeared to Joseph, and this same spot where he would have left from to go into a grove of trees and offer up a prayer that would change the whole earth. 

Smith Farm Family Picture blog

In the log cabin the kids loved seeing old scriptures that would have been around at the time of Joseph Smith. There was a lantern in the upstairs bedroom that I imagined Joseph reading by as a young 14 year old boy. The family scriptures lay on the kitchen table, opened to the place where he read in James. It left such an impression on me of the simple faith of this young man. The faith to go to a loving Father and know that he would answer his prayers.

Joseph Smith log cabin blog

Reading scriptures by candellight blog

On the gravel road walk from the log house to the frame house there is a view of the Palmyra temple.  It’s inspiring to see just a mile or less away from the place that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith there now lays the House of the Lord.

 Brianna holding Scott by fence blogMom and Dad temple blogScott flying with grandpa blog 

   We visited the larger frame house next, along with a barn and the coopers shop. The barn was amazing. Aaron and I decided we didn’t need a larger house with a playroom, just a barn like this one. It was a little boys dream. Enormous  ceilings and huge sliding doors on both sides let in tons of light. I could imagine kids of the time spending hours in there playing.

Austin by covered wagon blog

   barn 1 blogbarn 3 blogbarn 2 blog 

Brooke in barn blog

All of the kids loved to hear the stories that were told as we visited each of the houses. Abby and Brooke’s favorite story was the “rip up the floor” story.  One of the senior missionaries shared the account of one time when the mobs were coming to persecute Joseph. He was prompted to move the plates three different times to keep them safe. One  of the times he moved them out to the Cooper’s Shop ( a building shed) and placed them in a loft area used for keeping wood and other supplies for making barrels. The mob came in, ripped up the floor, found an empty box, tore apart the rest of the area in search of the plates, and finally left. The plates were protected, mere feet above their heads the whole time. When we returned to the hotel that night Abby would keep asking Brooke to tell the story again and again. Brooke would patiently rehearse the story to her, only to have her request it again at the end. It made me happy to see them love to stories of the workings of the Lord. This truly is His work on the earth.

Cooper shop blog

As we walked towards the Sacred Grove we came to a marker retelling the story of when the angel Moroni had visited Joseph during the night and how tired he had been the next day. On returning to the house he fell over a fence too exhausted to go on. The angel Moroni appeared again to him and rehearsed all he had before and then told him to tell his father what had happened. There is an orchard there planted as it would have been at the time, and a view of the log cabin from his perspective.

moroni by fence blog 

I found out how nice it was to have more than one person taking pictures. Thanks mom and Brianna for sharing your pictures. When I got home and uploaded mine to the computer, I realized how few I had of the whole family together. It was nice to have some with me in them too.

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