My name is Elder Kyle Rasmussen. I'm a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The message of the Church is one of joy and happiness. This message has given me this great joy and happiness in my life and now I want to share that same joy with everyone else. I know it can bless everyone's life and that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Cradle of the Restoration Part 4 - The Hill Cumorah

East side of Hill Cumorah in Manchester, New York
About 3 miles south of the Smith Family farm lies a  a small hill.  On September 22nd, 1823 in the Log Home on the Smith Farm, Joseph Smith was visited by an angel whose name was Moroni.  That night, Joseph Smith Jr. went to bed pondering upon the vision he had witnessed 3 years previous.  Wondering about what the Lord expected of him next, he offered up a prayer to God.  In Joseph Smith's own words, he says "While I was thus in the act of calling upon God, I discovered a light appearing in my room, which continued to increase until the room was lighter than at noonday, when immediately a personage appeared at my bedside, standing in the air, for his feet did not touch the floor."

"He called me by name, and said unto me that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me, and that his name was Moroni; that God had a work for me to do; and that my name should be had for good and evil among all nations, kindreds, and tongues, or that it should be both good and evil spoken of among all people.
He said there was a book deposited, written upon gold plates, giving an account of the former inhabitants of this continent, and the source from whence they sprang. He also said that the fullness of the everlasting Gospel was contained in it, as delivered by the Savior to the ancient inhabitants;" (Joseph Smith History 1:30, 33-34
Joseph Smith Jr was given much instruction by Moroni that night.  Moroni visited Joseph 3 separate times that night, each time delivering the same message exactly as the first, each time though adding further council and direction.  Joseph got no sleep that night, and his mind still was bewildered about what he had been shown and told.  
Hill Cumorah in early 1900's
By the time Moroni had delivered his message for a third time and left, morning had come.  Joseph then proceed to go about his morning chores and duties on his father's farm.  He said his strength was utterly gone and his father noticed his son was not well and told Joseph to return to the house.  As he climbed over the fence from the field, he lost all energy and collapsed on the ground.  As he awoke, he saw the same personage, Moroni, standing above him.  He then again for a fourth time received the same message he had been given by Moroni the night before.  As he finished, he was commanded to go and tell his father about what he had seen and heard.  In obedience to that direction, Joseph did and told his father all the events of that night.  His father listened and said that the vision was of God and that he should go to the place the angel directed him.

Joseph with Moroni at Hill Cumorah
So, back to Joseph Smith's account.  "On the west side of this hill, not far from the top, under a stone of considerable size, lay the plates, deposited in a stone box. This stone was thick and rounding in the middle on the upper side, and thinner towards the edges, so that the middle part of it was visible above the ground, but the edge all around was covered with earth."

"Having removed the earth, I obtained a lever, which I got fixed under the edge of the stone, and with a little exertion raised it up. I looked in, and there indeed did I behold the plates,....."

"I made an attempt to take them out, but was forbidden by the messenger, and was again informed that the time for bringing them forth had not yet arrived, neither would it, until four years from that time; but he told me that I should come to that place precisely in one year from that time, and that he would there meet with me, and that I should continue to do so until the time should come for obtaining the plates.
 Accordingly, as I had been commanded, I went at the end of each year, and at each time I found the same messenger there, and received instruction and intelligence from him at each of our interviews, respecting what the Lord was going to do, and how and in what manner his kingdom was to be conducted in the last days"
Statue of Angel Moroni on Hill Cumorah
On September 22, 1827, Joseph Smith and his wife Emma traveled to the Hill Cumorah.  There, Joseph was finally entrusted with care of the plates, to be translated into The Book of Mormon.
In 1928, The Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints purchased the Hill and the surrounding land.  In 1935 they built a granite monument upon the top of the Angel Moroni holding the gold plates.
Today, a visitor's center is at the base of the Hill, giving visitor's tourist information about the Church and the surrounding Church sites.  Every summer, the Hill Cumorah Pageant begins, a huge outdoor theatrical event where scenes from the Book of Mormon are acted out.  Each showing is free and is open to all visitors.
Information gathered at and

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Cradle of the Restoration Part 3 - Joseph Smith Farm (Frame Home)

Joseph Smith Sr. Frame Home
Another historical site down the road from the Smith Family Log Home is the Smith Family Frame Home.  Joseph Smith Jr's older brother, Alvin, began construction of this more permanent dwelling for his parents in 1822.  However, Alvin unfortunately passed in 1823 before it was finished, leaving it uncompleted for a few years.  The Smith family however finished it in 1825 and moved the family there later that year.

Fireplace which hid Golden Plates
In 1827, Joseph Smith Jr. and his wife Emma, moved in with the Smith here to the frame home.  8 months later, Emma and Joseph drove a carriage to nearby Hill Cumorah where, after many years of instruction by the Angle Moroni, Joseph finally obtained the Golden Plates to begin the translation process into what is now the Book of Mormon.  The Gold Plates contained "a record of God’s dealings with the ancient inhabitants of the Americas and contains the fulness of the everlasting gospel." (Book of Mormon Introduction) 

Kitchen and Dinning Room in Frame Home
Joseph and Emma only stayed in Manchester at the Frame home for a month or two before persecution forced them to relocate to Harmony, Pennsylvania where Emma's parents lived.  It was in Harmony that a great portion of the translation was accomplished.  However, during Joseph and Emma's brief stay in New York, some amazing and miraculous events occurred.  One of which was one night, Joseph got the impression that the Plates were not safe.  He decided to hide the Plates underneath the brick of the fireplace in one of the rooms on the first floor of the house.  That night, a mob broke into the home searching for the Plates, but despite them being underneath their feet, they did not find them.  The original bricks are still there in the same fireplace.

It was in this home, in the dinning room where Joseph Smith Jr. first learned of the loss of the 116 lost pages of translation from his scribe Martin Harris.  It was here Oliver Cowdrey boarded with the Smith family as a school teacher.  There he learned of Joseph Smith's story and immediately traveled to Harmmony, Pennsylvania in 1829 to assist Joseph as scribe.

Alvin's Tree
So many other amazing stories happened in the Frame Home that are important to the Restoration of the Gospel.  The structure that now stands is in fact the original building the Smith Family built so many years ago.  In 1907, Elder George Albert Smith purchased the home and the farm which is sits on and transferred ownership to the Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints.  In 2000, the Church renovated the building to fit the age period it was first built and when Joseph Smith resided there.  One of my favorite sites of the Frame Home is outside next to it.  There is planted a huge tree still growing healthy and strong.  This tree was planted by the Smith Family in honor of Alvin, their beloved brother and son who passed away before the home was finished.  Alvin was an anchor of faith and love for many of the Smith Family, including Joseph Smith Jr's.  His last words to Joseph where "Do all that you can to obtain the record."  (referring to the Golden Plates)

It's so amazing to take a tour in the Frame Home and step back in time and learn of the amazing events that happened here.  You come to learn how much the Lord's Hand was there to protect the Ancient Record of the Book of Mormon.  So many times the adversary came close to stealing the plates from Joseph's hands.  But because the Lord is All Powerful and All Knowing, they were protected.  I know the Book of Mormon is true, and the history which occurred at such a place is true.  That makes it one of many Sacred Sites important to the Cradle of the Restoration.

Joseph Smith Farm:  843 Stafford Road
Palmyra, New York 14522