July 14, 2019 - The pageant tells stories from the Book of Mormon and how it was brought forth in our day. Draw closer to Christ as the cast depicts the story of an ancient American civilization that believed in Him too.
Karen, Emily & Katie in front of EB Grandin Bookstore.
Joseph Smith contracted with EB Grandin to print the Book of Mormon. To pay the printer for the first 5,000 copies of the Book of Mormon, Martin Harris mortgaged his home and farm for $3,000.
Emily, Katie, Kirt and Garret listening to the Sister Missionaries explain the printing process. Will listens to Sister Missionary explain the printing process. A small representation of the languages in which the Book of Mormon is printed. "For it shall come to pass in that day, that every man shall hear the fulness of the gospel in his own tongue, and in his own language." Doctrine & Covenants 90:11 Visitors Center for Joseph Smith Farm & Sacred Grove Joseph Smith family log cabin home. The Smith's moved into this small log cabin shortly after they moved to Palmyra from Vermont. The prophet Moroni first appeared to Joseph in this home. Lucy, Katie, Garret, Kirt, Jessy, Karen, Josh and Mark. (You'll notice that at least one or more of our group of 12 is missing from pictures - you have a small window to take a picture, because people are coming and going. It's hard to gather everyone who is either running around or chasing the ones that are running around!) Katie and Garret standing across from the log cabin home. You can see the Palmyra Temple in the background. Joseph Smith "Frame Home" which was being built by Alvin Smith when he died. The family finished the home and moved out of the log cabin into this much larger and nicer home. Emily, Katie, Jack Josh, Annie, Will, Jessy, Mark, Lucy, Karen, Garret and Kirt. (ALL 12 of us!!!) The Smith barn just across from the Frame House. Cooper shed. Joseph Smith, Sr built barrels and kegs. Annie, Jack & Will The Sacred Grove is such an incredible place, the spirit is strong and it is a nice, peaceful place to stop and ponder and count your blessings. Karen and Mark with 6 of their grandchildren in the Sacred Grove. We read about the Joseph Smith's First Vision as a family and Jessy shared her tender experience about her first visit to the Sacred Grove when she was 15. Palmyra Temple - similar construction as the Spokane Temple. Katie, Emily, Kirt & Garret. Palmyra Temple - looking through the gap in the trees is a view of the Sacred Grove. Kirt, Garret, Lucy, Emily, Will & Katie Time for a rest on the lawn near the Peter Whitmer Farm. Will, Lucy, Josh, Annie & Jack A room to watch a Video about the Restoration of the Church at Peter Widmer Home Site. (They have a small visitors center attached to a Stake Center.) In front of the Peter Widmer Home where the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was formerly organized on April 6, 1830 Mark & Karen at the Peter Widmer Home Kirt, Garret, Will, Lucy, Emily & Katie standing by the Christus statue in the Hill Cumorah Visitors Center. Jessy at the Angel Moroni Statue at the top of the Hill Cumorah - the statue itself (not the monument) is 10 feet, 4 inches tall. That sound familiar to anyone? Twenty five years ago our family was in the Hill Cumorah Pageant. Garret and Will - Check out the 7 tier stage on the Hill Josh and Annie. Fortunately, they had vendors with food at the Pageant - but even more important that the food, it poured rain for about 10 minutes while we ate under the food tent. So we stayed dry - the weather was perfect after this little cloud burst. All the striped tarps provide shade for the cast members when they are in between rehearsing scenes. Photo opportunity booth at the Pageant. That's Sam, brother of Nephi on the far left!!! Nephite Warriors - the cast members mingle with the crowd and hand out programs and offer a Book of Mormon to anyone who would like one. (They actually will get the contact information and have the local missionaries go by to give the actual Book of Mormon.) King Noah (center) and his Wicked Priests. This picture is extra special to me because I was a Wicked Priest 25 years ago when we were in the Pageant - so, I got a photo op with my brethren!! (Yes, they miscast me as a wicked priest, I thought for sure that I would have been Nephi or Moroni or Samuel the Lamanite!!!) The stage is gray, but as the Sun started to go lower, the sunlight mixed with the clouds and put off a beautiful pink tint that lit up the stage where it peaked through the clouds. The three Wisemen with Kirt & Katie. One of the work crew headed to the top of his tower to run the lights for the program. These young men come for 6 weeks to help put the stage together and then rehearse and finally help put on the final production. The cast begins to gather in the aisles and they form a procession and all 750 cast members walk on stage. The entire cast of 750 on stage at the beginning of the production. Notice the Angels with trumpets on the top center stage. Young Women enjoying a pool party at the Young Women's Presidents house. No toe in the water for these girls - they jumped right in. Last preparation day we went minature golfing with the sisters. Sister Spear crushed Sisters Oleson and Wiese!!! Ghosts, Count Dracula and scary sounds coming out this house were enough to frighten us!!! Undaunted the Sisters knocked on the door to share a message! There were goats to feed at the miniature golf course. And ducks and chickens AND turtles!!! Eva, Sisters Wiese & Oleson - We helped Eva prepare for her summer pre-school program. Sisters Oleson & Wiese with an armored knight in Gayle & Victor's home. Unfortunately, Gail and Victor have a racoon that keeps attacking the chickens, so they got this very fancy hen house for their remaining two roosters - so I guess in reality that doesn't make this much of a "hen house"!! Gail, Sister's Wiese & Oleson and Karen. Somebody had a birthday this week! Karen made me a sign and put it on the garage. I got a birthday sign made by Jessy's kids, too. Jessy made brownies (my favorite) and the grandkids helped me blow out the candles. We helped water Dick & Janet's flowers while they were on vacation. Their home is right on the water. This ship went by while we were at their home watering the flowers. Great timing: a ship and a beautiful sunset. Lucy, Katie, Will, Jack, Annie & Garret. (Emily & Jessy in the background.) Grandkids posing for picture at Jessy's while we were there. Three generations: Karen, Emily & Katie A little Indian leg wrestling - Emily whooped up on Katie. Annie, Lucy & Jack playing with their toys Annie, Garret, Will, Katie, Lucy and 2 thumbs up, Jack. Grandkids at the playground. Jessy & Karen watching the Grandkids play. Will, Katie, Lucy, Jack, Mark, Karen, Garret, Jessy, Lucy (is that a front tooth missing?) and Emily. Of course Karen beat me at bowling. I knew I should have used the lane with the bumpers!! Katie, Lucy, Garret, Will, Annie and Jack - Jessy has a place called "The Pond" where they actually have a swimming membership for the summer - so we let the kids go swimming. Lucy (in her watermelon swim suit) flies off the slide. Jessy, Karen, Mark & Kirt at the Pond. Garret catching the football as he slides down the slide. Will snags a pass coming down the slide. Annie getting warm in her frog beach towel. Karen, Jessy, Josh, Kirt, Emily & Mark - out for Vietnamese food. Yum!!!!
We had a wonderful time with our kids and grandkids. My favorite is the Sacred Grove - what a wonder feeling, what a wonderful place to be with your family.
My batteries are recharged and my testimony burns bright. What a privilege to serve a mission in the very area where the gospel was restored. If you always wondered what the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was all about or always wondered what was in the Book of Mormon, let me know; I'd be be happy to share.