Monday, July 30, 2012

Sacred Places

Looking towards the Sacred Grove from the
back door of Joseph Smith's childhood home

I have had a week I will never forget as I was part of a Church History tour of the Eastern States.  We began our tour in Boston, Massachussettes touching on American History and how it was intertwined with the early ancestors of Joseph Smith.  We went through Vermont, Pennsylvania, and New York. We ended our tour in Kirtland, Ohio which I learned is one of the most sacred places on earth.

I am forever changed by what I learned and experienced.

This picture your are seeing is one I took while standing in the kitchen area of Joseph Smith's log home as he had a perfect view of "the place he pre-designed to go" to pray to God. 

It was there that in answer to his question, "which of all the churches is the right one to join?" an innocent but heart-felt question by a young 14 year old boy -God, the Father and His Beloved Son Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph. 

Entering the Sacred Grove as it has been now named, is a sacred walk.  They have created a walkway where you can walk through the grove.  It is about about 1/2 mile long that loops around.  This is a very serene peace there that you don't feel many places. 
It is extremely quiet, reverent, and holy.

In the grove there are a few large trees that some call  "witness trees".  They are called witness trees as  they were possibly there, witnesses, to the First Vision. The one in the picture above is one of those trees.  It is much bigger than it looks in this photo.

"Joseph Smith's home and the Sacred Grove are  two of the sacred places on earth!  You feel it and cannot be there without being changed.
Karl Anderson, who is the author of several books on sacred places in  Kirtland, described these places best when he said, they  are of the small and simple places on the earth not unlike the manger"