Elder and Sister Watts

Elder and Sister Watts

Hill Cumorah Visitors' Sites Mission Statement

"Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life."
3 Nephi 5:13

Saturday, January 22, 2011


The Sacred Grove in the summer is serene, peaceful, and beautiful!  The trees have all their leaves and there is beautiful foliage on the forest floor.  When I make a post, especially one that is mostly pictures, I like to post a message with the pictures. My cousin, Ken, who lives in China brought my attention to a beautiful hymn.  So, I will intersperse my pictures with the words to the hymn.  If you want to hear the hymn go to the following link:


These pictures were taken in June, July and August 2010 and are posted in that order.

Verse 1:
This is my Father's world,  and to my listening ears
all nature sings, and round me rings the music of the spheres.

This is my Father's world: I rest me in the thought
of rocks and trees, of skies and seas; his hand the wonders wrought.

Verse 2:
This is my Father's world, the birds their carols raise,

the morning light, the lily white, declare their maker's praise.

This is my Father's world: he shines in all that's fair;
in the rustling grass I hear him pass; he speaks to me everywhere.

Verse 3:
This is my Father's world. O let me ne'er forget
that though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet.

This is my Father's world: why should my heart be sad?
The Lord is King; let the heavens ring! God reigns; let the earth be glad!

Verse 4:
This is my Father's world, the battle is not done.
Jesus, who died, shall be satisfied and earth and heaven be one.

In March 1992 Predsident Hinckley spoke to the students at Brigham Young University and listed 10 "I Believe" statements.  He said,

"The earth in its pristine beauty is an expression of the nature of its Creator.
 . . . the creation continued until “God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good” (Gen. 1:31).

I interpret this to mean that it was beautiful, for “out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight” (Gen 2:9).
I believe in the beauty of nature, and I see and believe in the beauty of animals."

The Sacred Grove is amazing in all seasons, and in the summer it is a wonderful experience to walk beneath the trees and shrubs and experience the beauty and sacredness of this special place.  I am so thankful for the opportunity Elder Watts and I have to be here in Palmyra so near the Sacred Grove and to walk weekly on the paths within.

Monday, January 10, 2011


"We now pause for station identification."  If you grew up in my era you will recognize this phrase as one that interrupted your favorite TV show right during the climax.  That is sort of how I feel about my blogging.  On November 21 I started a series of 4 posts about the Sacred Grove during each season of the year.  My first post was winter. Then I stopped, not for "station identification", but for "holiday celebration".  Now that the holidays are over it's back to the Sacred Grove visits.

I hope you enjoyed strolling through the Sacred Grove here in Palmyra, New York during the winter season.  Next we will enjoy the grove during the Spring.  In the spring of 2010 it was delightful to watch the snow melt and the Sacred Grove come to life. The pictures in this post were taken from April 2 - May 20, 2010.

Since the event that made this grove of trees significant and sacred happened in the early spring, it is fitting that I share that story as you enjoy "Spring in the Sacred Grove."  So. . . in Joseph Smith's own words:
"While I was laboring under the extreme difficulties caused by the contests of these parties of religionist, I was reading James 1:5, 'If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God . . . and it shall be given him.'"

"I at length came to the determination to 'ask of God.'  I retired to the woods to make the attempt.  It was on the morning of a beautiful, clear day, early in the spring of 1820."

"It was the first time in my life that I had made such an attempt, for. . .I had never as yet made the attempt to pray vocally."

"I kneeled down and began to offer up the desires of my heart to God.  . . .I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me."

"When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air.  One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other--'This is My Beloved Son.  Hear Him!'"

As Joseph Smith told people what he had seen and heard, he began experiencing opposition and persecution.  Yet he said, "I had actually seen a light, and in the midst of that light I saw two Personages, and they did in reality speak to me; and though I was hated and persecuted for saying that I had seen a vision, yet it was true; and while they were persecuting me . . . for saying so, I was led to say in my heart: I had seen a vision; I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it, . . . " 

Like Mormons all over the world, I too know that Joseph Smith saw God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ in the Grove.  I know because the Holy Ghost has borne witness of this truth to me.  I also know, that we can have our personal prayers answered as we go in faith and humility to our Father in Heaven.  I invite each of you to pray daily for your needs, questions, and righteous desires.

Coming next week: Summer in the Sacred Grove.