Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Peter Whitmer Farm

Yesterday we visited the Whitmer farm in Fayette, New York. This is the place where Joseph Smith with Oliver Cowdery as scribe did some of the final translation of the Book of Mormon. Twenty sections of the Doctrine and Covenants were received here and some of the first ordinances of the Church were performed here. It is best known, however, because it is the place where the Church was organized on April 6th, 1830. Sixty eager people crowded into this small home for the event!

But there was something more. The Whitmer farm is also the place where Mary Musselman Whitmer was shown the gold plates by a man she called Brother Nephi, but Joseph said was Moroni. Mary was weary from so much work caring for her family and Joseph and Emma and Oliver and all the visitors that stopped by to see Joseph.

One day as she went out back to do chores she was mired in discouragement and wondering how she could possibly go on when a stranger with a knapsack over his shoulder approached her. He told her not to be weary, that the work Joseph was doing was very important and she should continue to do all she could to help. Then he took the sack from off his shoulder, opened it up, and lifted out the plates for her to examine. After she had seen them, he put them back in the sack and started down the road. Mary turned back to her chores but then looked back to see the stranger once more, but he was gone. To her dying day she bore this testimony and also declared that after that day she was never weary from her chores but did them gratefully and had the strength to do them.

Our first and only orientation meeting took up the afternoon and evening. Many of the same volunteers that were here last year are back but there are fewer volunteers this year. President Jack Christiansen, the mission president, and others spoke to us. Pres. Christiansen's talk was amazing. He gave us a blessing from the pulpit that even though we already had testimonies of the things that occurred here our testimonies would grow and burn in the marrow of our bones.

Today as I was at the Whitmer farm that process of the "burning" had already begun. I didn't just think it, I felt it. My heart filled with gratitude for the great price that was paid so that I could have this gospel in my life. It is real and it is true and I am so blessed to be here. I'm also grateful to be able to share this experience with you. I hope you'll enjoy.

1 comment:

Wendi said...

Thanks for reminding us of these great events from church history and for sharing your testimony. :)