We took our family back east on a Church History trip in 2018 and one of the sites we visited was the Sacred Grove in Palmyra, New York. This is one of my all-time favorite places and I was so happy to be able to bring my children there so they could experience it for themselves.
The Sacred Grove was located on property that the Smith family owned, and is where Joseph Smith Jr. received a vision of God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, after his first attempt at praying vocally.
I came to the conclusion that I must either remain in darkness and confusion, or else I must do as James directs, that is, ask of God.
Hopefully, these pictures and videos will give you a better feel for what it is like in the Sacred Grove. Please know that it is a sacred and holy place. I wish I could have spent the whole day there.
We were there on a cloudy day, and that was the only sad part. Usually, the sun is bursting through the grove and you feel as if God is right there with you. The wind was blowing softly through the trees and it was so peaceful and serene. This clip below shows a view of the trees moving softly in the wind with the sound of birds singing in the background.
We walked the trails for about thirty minutes and were soaking in the wonderful spirit that could be felt.
Even though it was cloudy, we went back for a second visit later in the day and I got this one shot of the sun trying to break through the trees.
There are numerous benches along the trail and you’ll find people reading scriptures, pondering, and praying. (We even saw someone taking a nap on one of the benches this time). I had to snap this picture because it was so touching.
This shot was so beautiful to me. I grew up back east and miss all the trees. The forest is truly a sacred place, and it was a place where Joseph and his family would go to pray. Joseph didn’t just get this idea on his own. His mother would often retire to this grove to pour our her soul to God.
“There are places in the world where you somehow know that you are walking on sacred ground. I have felt such feelings on occasion as I have stood before nature’s beauty. So pristine and pure, I know that this is a moment to absorb and remember.” – Jon McNaughton
Here is another beautiful shot of all the green that is there. This photo almost looks fake because of how green it is!
I retired to the silent grove…
As you can see below, there is a collection of rocks that were used as property lines which the Smith family potentially made. Above these rocks, they would have built fences. It was incredible to see these rocks and realize whose hands put them there. There is also a short video clip below showing the rocks in more detail.
If you’ve never been inside the Sacred Grove before, I shot this little video of a small portion of the trail so you could get a feel for what it is like there. This truly is a sacred place. If you have the chance to make a trip to New York to visit the Sacred Grove, do it!