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Impressions at Cumorah

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Lord Led Prophet’s Family to Cumorah-Land

As I stood upon these sacred places I had peculiar feelings which I cannot describe. I always do have such feelings; I have visited the Hill Cumorah and the Sacred Grove on other occasions. As I stood at the Smith home, I thought of the early struggles of the family, and wondered what means the Lord might have used to get them to move from Vermont or New Hampshire, if they had not been forced from these states by poverty. Their poverty was not the result of indolence, as the wicked have proclaimed, but the poverty and reverses of Providence, sent to give experience and to lead the family to a better land where the Lord could perform his work through the youthful Seer, yet to be raised up.

When the Smith family arrived in Palmyra they immediately bargained for the purchase of 100 acres of land, This is known today as the Joseph Smith Farm and is in the possession of the Church. In that day the land was covered with a heavy growth of timber. This had to be removed before the land could be planted and crops raised to pay for the farm. As I stood upon this ground, I thought of the struggles this entailed. My grandfather, Hyrum Smith, and his older brother, Alvin, were called upon to do much of this laborious task. The younger brother, Joseph, was too young at that time to give much help, being only about 10 years of age. Nevertheless he was called to assist, and a few years later—at the time of the vision—was under the necessity of performing labor required of a man.

The house which stands upon the farm was built by these sons of Joseph Smith, Senior; but it is not the house, as many have been told, in which the Angel Moroni appeared to Joseph Smith. The older house has long since disappeared.

Cumorah Once Site of Carnage and Destruction

As I stood upon the summit of the Hill Cumorah, in the midst of a vast multitude, only a few of whom belonged to the Church, I tried to picture the scenes of former days. Here were assembled vast armies filled with bitterness and bent on destruction. I thought of the great promises the Lord had made through his prophets concerning those who should possess this choice land, and how those promises were not fulfilled because the people violated his commandments. Here a people perished because of their extreme wickedness.

There must be something in the destiny of things that would cause a repetition of this terrible scene on the same spot many centuries later. I reflected and wondered if this unhappy time would ever come when another still mightier people would incur the wrath of God because of wickedness and likewise perish. If so, would this same spot witness their destruction? I thought of the prophets, Ether, Mormon, Moroni, and tried to realize the sadness of their feelings as they witnessed the mad onrushing of their peoples to annihilation.

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