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

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.


  1. I love your pictures!! The green is so vivid it feels like you are right there! It is an amazing place to visit and see in person, but your picture really do give it justice! Nice work!!

  2. If I gather correctly, these pictures were taken in June - not really early in the spring.
    Early Spring I would interpret as being late March or early April. At that time in the Grove birds may be singing, but there are no blooms out yet and bees wouldn't be humming. It wouldn't be verdant and green, and some years the snow melt would not be completed.
    Our dioramas are lovely, but I love the symbolism that the world was essentially dead-looking, and this first vision preceded the life that would shortly come to the Grove, and to the world.

  3. Beautiful pictures, beautiful post. Thanks, mom!

  4. To Looney Libertarian: If you noticed, I said the pictures in this blog were taken from April 2 through May - early to late Spring. The early pictures show bare trees and forest, much as the Grove probably looked when Joseph knelt in prayer. I agree, when he prayed there would not have been blooms our yet or bees humming. And the Grove wouldn't have been lush and green as shown in so many paintings. I like you thoughts on the symbolism of the world being dead-looking and coming to life as the Gospel came to the world. Thank you for your comment!

  5. Thank you so much for these pictures! I am currently doing a charcoal of the First Vision and was desperate for pictures of the Sacred Grove in the early spring. I finally found your site! Perfect!

  6. I needed some pictures of the Sacred Grove in the early spring to finish a charcoal I am doing. Thanks so much for your post!