Monday, July 19, 2010

This is the Place

I am so sad to be leaving the Smith farm and the Sacred Grove. We've walked the Grove for about 20 hours, listened to a devotional talk while in the grove, watched the wildlife, but most importantly soaked in the sacred light that exists even in the shadows of the Grove. We've listened to the stories of people who have come from all over the world just to see the place where their faith began. We've been surprised by how many come from Central and South America, their eyes wide with wonder and expectation just to know they are in the same place Joseph Smith walked and talked, and especially a place where it is known that Jesus Christ and God the Father have appeared upon the earth. Most come here to be fortified and renewed and to celebrate and worship. It has been such a blessing to be part of it and to help those coming here in even in a small way.

Yesterday we finished our last shift at 3:30 and D1 and her family came over from Zion's Camp to go through the Grove with us. All four boys were in white shirts (except for a little breakfast and lunch on some of them! Afterall, they are camping!) We showed them all we have learned and our favorite spots in the Grove, then we stopped at a bench near the oldest tree in the Grove, the Apostle Tree, and we all talked about the First Vision. To end Mr. J and I shared our testimonies with them. It was a very sweet time with our South Carolina grandchildren that we don't get to see very often.

I knew it before I came here but this experience has strengthened my testimony. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet sent by God and that Jesus Christ and God the Father appeared to him in the Sacred Grove. I know the the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true and that it offers eternal life, happiness and love to all who follow its teachings.I will never forget this experience!

This morning we are packing up, driving (six hours!) back to NY city and will fly out to Ireland tonight. I'm glad we have this ahead of us or I don't know if I could go home! As soon as I have Internet access again, I'll let you know what I think of Ireland.


Martha said...

The youth in our stake just came back from a youth conference in Palmyra, where they saw the pageant and the sites there. Yesterday in Sacrament meeting, one of the young women in our ward who attended was asked to share her experiences there and her testimony. I was impressed by how she described the Sacred Grove. She said, "It felt.....holy. Like being in the temple. We felt like we should whisper there." I agree. I felt the same way when I visited there. I wish I could have stayed longer.

Kim said...

What an amazing experience for both you and your husband. Thank you for taking us on this journey with you. Letting us feel the spirit that only truth can bring. I can't wait to hear about Ireland.

Wendi said...

Thank you for sharing your experiences and your testimony with us! Enjoy your time in Ireland! :)

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