Church History Tour with BYU - July 23 - Aug 2, 1971 - Church History Part 1
On July 25th we began our Church History tour by driving to Sturbridge Village and visiting a community representing a New England agricultural village of the 18th century similar to those where the ancestors of Joseph Smith lived.
We then drove to Springfield, Massachusetts to attend sacrament service. Following the meeting, we drove to Brattleboro, Vermont for an overnight stay at the Brattleboro Chalet Motor lodge. This picture is of our tour group outside the hotel.
Members of our tour group included the following. This picture is only a few of them.
James & Marie Froyd, Leota Keller, Meta Long, Connie Nichols, Lorraine Harris, Shelly Wood, James & Leah Ray, Joseph & Dorothy Freeman, Franziska Kooyman, LaRue Harvey, Dorothy Turner, Donna Thompson, Vicky Gurney, Mary Robinson, Canny7 Thorpe, Spencer & Eva Heiner, Carvel & Leona Evans, LeOra & Janice Larsen, Harold & Ruth MacKay, Geneve & Keith Hollbrook, Frank & Vera Hampshire, Mary & Viola Milton, Kathleen Backman, Lorenzo Summerhayes, Delores Egan, and Myron White.
We boarded the bus at 8:00 am on July 26th and headed to Sharon, Vermont to visit the birthplace of the prophet Joseph Smith. Brother Backman cited details of the historical setting of Mormonism, the Prophet’s early history, and family life. Joseph Smith was born December 23, 1805. The monument is 38 ½ feet high representing each year of his life. There were also 38 trees around the flag pole and 38 steps leading to the monument each representing a year of his life. The sun hitting the top of the monument makes it look like it is on fire.
After visiting the birthplace of Joseph Smith, we proceeded to up-state New York and to Western New York for overnight stay Auburn.
On July 27th at 8:30 am we boarded the bus and drove to Palmyra, New York where we visited the following homes:
Martin Harris farm where is mortgaged it for $3,000 to pay for the publishing of the first 5,000 copies of the Book of Mormon.
To the right is the Joseph Smith home where he was born.The Mansion House – Joseph Smith’s 2nd home where he resided 1843-1844. It was the largest hotel in the city, once containing 22 rooms.
The Sacred Grove near Palmyra New York: The Father and His Son Jesus Christ personally appeared to the Prophet Joseph Smith in the spring of 1820 in answer to his prayer for what direction to go as to which church he should join.
As I walked through that grove, just to think that for one point in time, the Father and his Son Jesus Christ were actually there was so humbling. When people walk through, they are very quiet and you can tell that you are walking on sacred ground. This is my friend Vicky Gurney standing in the Grove.
While in the Sacred Grove, Brother and Sister Backman unfolded the historical setting of Joseph’s early visions and the many significant events that occurred in Genesee County. Sister Backman read the song “Oh How Lovely Was the Morning.”
This was the beginning of a change in my life that I did not expect nor will I ever forget. I knew that what they were telling me was true and I could feel it deep within my heart and I could not deny it. . By the power of the Holy Ghost, my knowledge that God The Father and His Son Jesus Christ did appear to Joseph went beyond secular knowledge and was burned deep into my soul. I knew it beyond the shadow of a doubt. That type of knowledge is incredible and undeniable and I encourage anyone to seek after it.
After visiting the Sacred Grove, we went on to Fayette, New York to visit the Peter Whitmer farm.
In the presence of Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery, and members of the Smith and Whitmer families, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints was formerly organized 4 April 1830.
We also saw the original site of Peter Whitmer’s log cabin. What a wonderful experience so far!
To continue to Part 2 Click HERE