• June 16, 2024

What to Expect When You Visit the Church’s Historic Sites

Five historic locations in Pennsylvania and New York are open for visits by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. These locations serve as reminders of how the prophet Joseph Smith initiated the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Discover more about Joseph Smith’s First Vision, the translation and printing of the Book of Mormon, the restoration of priesthood authority and power, and the founding of the restored Church of Jesus Christ on earth as you visit the locations.

Read More: Lds

The five locations of the Church in this area are around 140 miles (225 km) apart. Three locations are conveniently close to one another: the Book of Mormon Historic Publication Site, the Hill Cumorah, and the Smith Family Farm and Sacred Grove. Although the locations are available year-round, bad weather occasionally forces them to close.

Most areas of these attractions are wheelchair accessible or easily navigable for guests who have trouble walking. The walkways outside aren’t paved, though, and two of the ancient houses give tours of the upper stories but lack elevators. At these locations, missionaries will modify their talks to meet the requirements of each and every guest. There are water fountains, chairs, and public bathrooms at every location.

The Church’s historic sites in Pennsylvania and New York accept trained service animals, including within historic structures. However, therapy, consolation, emotional support, and companion animals/pets are not permitted. For further details, please consult to the Church’s Service Animal Guidelines.

Keep in mind that these are hallowed locations. Kindly observe the paths and show consideration for both locals and other tourists. Never move any of the exhibitions’ or the landscapes’ trees, plants, headstones, monuments, relics, or other components.

Visit the Church’s webpages for the historic locations in Pennsylvania and New York to get ready for fascinating encounters there.

The Core Experience

1. Smith Family Farm and Sacred Grove

At the Smith Family Farm, the message of Jesus Christ was restored. Joseph Smith received visits from Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father in the Sacred Grove on the estate. It also features the rebuilt log cabin where Joseph was first visited by the angel Moroni and the house where Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack Smith subsequently resided. An summary of the sacred events that took place at the farm is available in the welcome center.

At the welcome center, tours start. The two residences will be toured by missionaries. You will be taking your own guided tour of the Sacred Grove.

You should allow yourself one to two hours if you decide to take advantage of everything the website has to offer.

2. Hill Cumorah

Joseph Smith received instruction from the angel Moroni on the Hill Cumorah and was given access to an old document that contained the entirety of the gospel of Jesus Christ. With the help of God, he translated the Book of Mormon from that account. The location now has a path system, a visitors center at the foot of the hill, and the Angel Moroni Monument at the summit of the hill.

A self-guided tour with interactive displays and artwork that narrates the narrative of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ is available at the visitors’ center. There will be missionaries on hand to respond to your inquiries.

At the summit of Hill Cumorah, a number of self-guided pathways lead to the Angel Moroni Monument. A few traverse the ancient woodland. There are paved pathways that are wheelchair-accessible and suitable for people who have trouble walking. The missionaries at the visitors center are able to arrange for a shuttle for guests who are unable to walk to the summit of the Hill Cumorah.

Allow yourself one to two hours if you decide to take advantage of everything the Hill Cumorah and the visitors’ center have to offer.

The Smith Family Farm is located around 3 miles (5 km) south of the Hill Cumorah.

3. Grandin Building: Book of Mormon Publication Site

Printing, binding, and public release of the Book of Mormon took place in E. B. Grandin’s print studio, which is today recognized as the Book of Mormon Historic Publication Site. There are displays and a refurbished print shop on the property.

During an interactive tour of the print shop, missionaries will lead you through practical exercises that will teach you about book binding and printing. You will have time to peruse interactive displays, original artwork, and artifacts that narrate the narrative of the Book of Mormon’s creation after the tour.

You should allow yourself one to two hours if you decide to take advantage of everything the website has to offer.

The Smith Family Farm is located around 2 miles (3 km) north of the Book of Mormon Historic Publication Site.

4. Peter and Mary Whitmer Farm

Joseph Smith completed translating the Book of Mormon and founded the Church of Jesus Christ at Peter and Mary Whitmer’s house. The location is now home to a visitors center and a replica of the log cabin.

The visitors’ center is where tours start. The narrative of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Whitmer family is presented through interactive displays, artwork, and an 18-minute film. The visitors center’s displays are self-guided.

The Smith Family Farm is located around 30 miles (48 km) away from the Peter and Mary Whitmer Farm.

5. Priesthood Restoration Site

The historic settings where the restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood and the first Restoration baptisms took place are part of the Priesthood Restoration Site. Two historic residences are also reconstructed there: the house of Emma Hale Smith’s parents, Isaac and Elizabeth Hale, and the house of Joseph and Emma Smith, where Joseph translated the majority of the Book of Mormon. An outline of the hallowed occurrences that took place here is available in the visitors’ center. The residence of Joseph and Emma Smith is within a short stroll from the McCune Cemetery, which is not a part of the official site. There are the tombs of Emma’s parents and the firstborn child of Joseph and Emma.

The visitors’ center is where tours start. A twenty-five-minute movie, illustrations, antiques, and hands-on displays impart knowledge concerning the translation of the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith’s early revelations, and the restoration of the priesthood.

Missionaries lead the tour of the rebuilt homes and supervise the film screening. Self-guided tours are available for the visitors center, baptismal site, Aaronic Priesthood Restoration Monument, priesthood restoration area, and McCune Cemetery. Click or touch this link to see a trailer for the movie, Days of Harmony.

You should allow two to three hours to explore everything the website has to offer.

The Smith Family Farm is located around 140 miles (225 km) southeast of the Priesthood Restoration Site.