Early LDS roots intertwined with local history of town in New York

Geneseo’s newest church was also one of its first.

The construction of a new chapel for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 2009 brings back to Livingston County a religious organization whose roots here stretch back to the 1820s and the earliest days of the village of Geneseo.

The 13 million-member worldwide Mormon Church – as it is informally known – had important parts of its origin in Livingston County.

It was under a hearth in Livonia, for example, that the golden plates from which church members believe the Book of Mormon was translated were hidden for safekeeping. The hearth was in the home of Alvah Beman, a man who was friends with the Palmyra family of young Joseph Smith.

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