For many years I have anticipated a visit to the sacred grove where Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to a fourteen year old Joseph Smith. It was cold and windy as we walked from the log home the Smiths lived in. The air was calm in the grove, only the tops of the trees were moving. We split up, each taking his own path through the grove.
I sat on a bench and read Joseph's account of the first vision, recorded in his history in the Pearl of Great Price.
I rose and walked some more, enjoying the solitude and the leaves that would fall in little showers when the wind blew.
It felt peaceful and it did feel like a sacred place. But then this thought came to me.
I have felt this feeling many times before. I have felt it in the temple, I have felt it in my home countless times as I have talked with my children, rocked a baby, served a meal, read the scriptures or a good book, said a prayer or played games with my family.
I have had many "sacred groves" in my life. Heavenly Father has answered my prayers. He has testified of His son to me through the scriptures, my own feelings, and in the beauty of the earth. There have been times that I have felt the powers of darkness grip me. I have felt utter fear and despair. I have felt light and hope when the Spirit came.
The Father and the Son that appeared to Joseph Smith are real to me.
Anyone that isn't tempted to roll down the Hill Cumorah has never been a kid
This Angel Moroni is holding the Book of Mormon. I bet he was so grateful when he got to bury it and quit lugging it around. I bet he was equally grateful to deliver it to Joseph Smith and see it come forth to the world.
|Carol and her missionary|
The Grandin Building where the first editions of the Book of Mormon were published was a wonderful stop, mostly because of remarkable Sister Lay, who gave us a tour and bore testimony of the truth she believes. Of all the great things we saw that day - her testimony was the best.