“Adam Packer of Kirtland, Ohio,” Friend, Aug. 2004, 17
Adam Packer, 9, knows about special places. He was born in Luxembourg, one of Europe’s smallest and oldest countries. Now he lives in Kirtland, Ohio, one of the most important places in Church history.
Adam loves living in Kirtland because of its beauty. On summer nights, fireflies dance in his yard. On winter days, he likes exploring the ravine behind his house with his brother Joseph, 12, and their dad. (They don’t hike much there in the summer because of the poison ivy.)
Adam also loves Kirtland because so many Church members travel there to see the Church historical sites. Adam looks forward to meeting and befriending these travelers at Church each Sunday.
Most of all, Adam loves the Spirit he feels in Kirtland. He knows it is a special place where important truths were restored.
“Sometimes I walk to the Kirtland Temple,” he says, “or spend time in the cemetery. I like it there.” The cemetery reminds the Packer children of their heritage because it’s the site of many early Church members’ graves.
On Saturday mornings, Adam and Joseph ride their bikes to the temple alongside Dad, who jogs. Then they sit on their “special bench” outside the temple and reverently ponder, pray, and talk about the gospel.
Even though the Kirtland Temple is not owned by the Church anymore and is not used in the same way that other latter-day temples are, Adam feels the Spirit when he thinks of what happened there. His dad once explained: “Imagine that we didn’t have keys to our house and we couldn’t get back in. That’s kind of like how it was before the Restoration. We had left our heavenly home and didn’t have the priesthood ordinances to help us get back. Then Moses, Elijah, and Elias appeared to Joseph Smith in the Kirtland Temple and restored the priesthood keys, making it possible for us to return to Heavenly Father.” The Spirit still testifies of the wonderful events that happened in the Kirtland Temple.
Adam’s testimony is strengthened by the Spirit he feels when visiting the temple and other sacred sites nearby. Another favorite place is the Newel K. Whitney Store, where Joseph Smith lived for a time and received many important revelations, including the Word of Wisdom.
Adam has many unique experiences living in this special place, but he also enjoys ordinary hobbies. He likes playing outdoors and is good at soccer and croquet. He and Joseph especially like basketball. Adam set a goal to make 1,000 baskets before the end of the summer, and by mid-July he had already made more than 1,700.
Both Adam and Joseph are interested in music. Adam sings well and is following Joseph’s example in learning to play the drums. Joseph is also taking trombone lessons.
One of Adam’s favorite hobbies is Cub Scouting. When he first started attending Scouts, he called his den leader two or three times a week to find out what he could do next because he completed his projects so quickly!
In school, Adam enjoys math and reading. He set a goal to read 100 books over the summer and to finish the Book of Mormon in one year.
“Adam is a take-charge kind of person,” his mom says, “and very organized.” He often reminds family members about their responsibilities for family home evening that week, and sometimes he sets each family member’s scriptures out for morning scripture study.
For family activities, Adam enjoys having family night, eating Mom’s popcorn and watching movies together, playing games, and visiting other family members who live far away. Two of his older sisters are married: Rebecca, who lives in Utah, and Mysha, who is in Idaho. His grandparents live in Hawaii and Idaho.
“I like visiting my family,” Adam says, “but I get homesick.” He always feels better coming home. It’s easy to see why, when home is as beautiful, special, and sacred a place as Kirtland, Ohio.