“Cradle of the Restoration,” Ensign, Jan. 2001, 45
Doctrine and Covenants and Church History
Cradle of the Restoration
The Joseph Smith Sr. family farm, with its grove of trees and log home, is sacred ground where the restored gospel of Jesus Christ was nurtured.
Here, beginning in spring 1820, in Manchester Township, just south of Palmyra, New York, the 100 acres of the Joseph Smith Sr. farm became sacred space. A believing place. Holy ground.
Here in a grove of trees, Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, appeared to 14-year-old Joseph Smith Jr. Here the Smith family, who were the first to hear of the heavenly appearance, believed their son and brother Joseph. Here the angel Moroni appeared to the young prophet on numerous occasions and told him of a book written upon gold plates, which gave “an account of the former inhabitants of this continent” (JS—H 1:34).
After 21-year-old Joseph received the plates in 1827, it was here—in the frame home and the cooper shop—that he hid the sacred records to protect them from antagonists until he could translate their inscriptions as the Book of Mormon.
And so it was that in the dawning of the dispensation of the fulness of times, the Smith family farm became the cradle wherein the restored gospel of Jesus Christ was placed, protected, and nurtured. Today the log home, frame home, cooper shop, barn, and farmland have been restored to their original state, making it easier for us to envision the sacred events that took place here.
Following are photographs of the Joseph Smith Sr. farm with a brief review of some events that took place here during the early years of the Restoration.