Visiting Palmyra, birthplace of the Restoration

In an unassuming pastoral setting between today's New York Thruway and Highway 31 near Rochester, N.Y., stands a collection of some of the most important sites in Church history.

Here, the Restoration of the gospel began. Here, in 1820, the boy Joseph Smith offered a personal prayer and was answered with a vision of the Father and the Son in a quiet grove of trees now visited by Latter-day Saints from around the world. Here, Angel Moroni gave him the record of an ancient civilization, inscribed on gold plates and hidden up in a hill. The young Prophet's translation would become known as The Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ, and its reach would extend throughout the earth.

The Church has a relatively quiet yet substantial presence in the area. The Palmyra New York Temple was dedicated on April 6, 2000, by President Gordon B. Hinckley and a new visitors' center built at the foot of Hill Cumorah was dedicated in 2002. An art glass depiction of Angel Moroni giving Joseph the plates highlights the center.

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