Sunday, August 26, 2012

LDS History Tour (part 2)

The following is a continuation of pictures and commentary from our recent tour of historic sites of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You can see the first post here. Please click here to read a brief article about our basic beliefs, as well as answers to some frequently asked questions!

On the third day of our trip, we went to the Hill Cumorah visitor center and monument before leaving the Palmyra, NY area.

I love seeing the Christus statues at so many of our visitor centers. Jesus Christ is central to our faith-- it is only by Him and through the power of His Atonement that we are resurrected (one more link) and can be forgiven (and one more link on that, too). He is our advocate with the Father and our Perfect example.

The Christus statue at the Hill Cumorah visitor center. It it surrounded by the lovely scenic mural you see in the picture.
The Hill Cumorah visitor center also has some articles relating to the pageant:

These are retired costume pieces from the Hill Cumorah Pageant which are housed at the visitor center.
After a short look around, we drove up to the top of the Hill Cumorah.

This is the view of the pageant stage and audience seating from the top of the Hill Cumorah.
This monument on the Hill Cumorah commemorates Joseph Smith's receiving the gold plates from the angel Moroni. These plates were translated by the prophet by the power of God, and became what we know today as The Book of Mormon : Another Testament of Jesus Christ.
On our way out of New York, we realized that our route would take us near Niagara Falls. We figured that an hour detour to see the falls was worth it!

As for a geology lesson for the day, did you know that erosion is causing the falls to migrate up-river?

The falls are incredible, but if you visit, watch out for the tourist traps. We were flagged into a parking lot by some guys in orange vests who looked very official-- only to find out they were operating a parking service and were charging $20 to park. No thanks!!

We found free parking (although with a time limit) about a block away.

Proof we were there ;o)
From there, we dipped briefly into Pennsylvania:

And then headed into Ohio:

We stopped in Kirtland, OH, where the Latter-day Saints built their first temple, and toured the visitor center there.

I loved the tin lanterns we saw there.
From the visitor center, we began a tour which took us through the Newel K. Whitney store. Joseph Smith lived upstairs in the store for a time, and this is where the school of the prophets was originally held, where the Word of Wisdom was revealed, as well as where the first Bishop's storehouse was located.

The store was restored in the 1980s, and looks like it would have in the 1830s!

This living area above the store is where Joseph Smith would have lived.

I love the historical authenticity of the Church's sites-- note the rope holding up the tick (folded back at the corner) on the bed. As a side note, I also love the lamp in this picture.
Our tour also included the Whitney home...

...and the Johnson Inn, which is now a resource center (not historically furnished).

We were disappointed that we missed making it to the Kirtland temple, the first temple built by the Latter-day Saints, during visiting hours.

The temple is not currently owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. A group now known as The Community of Christ, formerly the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (a group which split from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints after the martyrdom of the prophet Joseph Smith, due to differences of opinion regarding succession), owns the Kirtland temple. They have a visitor center and give tours of the temple.

We were able to walk around the temple grounds at least. Coincidentally, we were married on the anniversary of the dedication of the Kirtland temple, at which miraculous events occurred.
We spent the night in Ohio-- and couldn't resist taking this picture of our slightly odd hotel room:

Notice anything peculiar?
And Thomas was glad to have a nice hearty meal, after subsisting on nectarines and granola bars for most of the day :o)

On day 4, we drove across Indiana:

and we could have gone to Gary, Indiana, but decided to stick to our itinerary...

...which took us across Illinois, as well, and into Iowa:

We caught a brief glimpse of Fort Madison before...

Thomas managed to get this picture, with the sign, as we drove by it.
...heading back into Illinois:

We spent the weekend in Nauvoo, IL, which will be getting its very own post. Stay tuned!


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