Have you ever been to the Sacred Grove in Palmyra, New York, also the location of the famed Hill Cumorah Pageant (make sure your volume is turned up when you go to this link... )? Ya know, that oh-so-important place where Mormon founder Joseph Smith had his First Vision where he saw Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father and found the Golden Plates and translated the Book of Mormon? Growing up on the Eastern Seaboard, I had the opportunity to visit this site many a time with family and friends, and I'll admit that it has lost it's flare to me as a special place. This is why I wasn't very excited when JB expressed a desire to visit Palmyra to see "pageant" (not "the pageant," but just "pageant") and go to the Sacred Grove. Well, if you've never been, you should go. And this weekend we headed up to experience, what I like to call, Mormon Palooza.
JB made contact with Bob Parrot, who is the forester in charge of caring for the Sacred Grove and Hill Cumorah. We got to spend the greater part of Saturday morning with Bob walking around in the Sacred Grove. It was amazing to hear about this place that I have grown up, not only hearing about, but also visiting, from a very, very different but important perspective. I learned about it's ecological history and how it's being taken care of today. I loved the experience. Seeing the Sacred Grove as a sacred space, not because of the First Vision, but because it was already a place where you feel the spirit and character of the forest and recognize it as sacred. Bob said, and I completely agree, that Joseph chose the Sacred Grove because it was already a special place where he felt safe and loved, where he felt the Spirit.
(JB is blogging here about sacred spaces and he will be posting about his experience soon, so you should check it out.)
Oh yeah, Pageant was pretty great too. I only fell asleep once. :P
We took Rt. 20 home. Do this some time in your life. It is a beautiful drive through the Finger Lakes area and through rolling hills filled with farms, vineyards and quaint antique and Amish shops.