“The Grove,” New Era, Oct. 1993, 11
I was about 12 or 13 when our family decided that we wanted to visit some of the Church historical sites in upstate New York. For months we planned and replanned the trip.
As I got off the school bus on the last day of class, there parked in the driveway was the camper, that wonderful vehicle that was going to take us on our trip. My dad owned his own business, so we were fortunate to be able to take extended trips.
We saw Niagara Falls. We attended the Hill Cumorah Pageant and looked at the Joseph Smith farm. After a few rigorous days of touring, we arrived at the place I had dreamed of visiting someday, the Sacred Grove. This was the place where young Joseph Smith had the glorious vision that started the restoration of the gospel.
As we piled out of the camper, we all knew how special this place was. When we walked into the cool shade of those big trees, we were overcome by what had happened here. My dad suggested that we kneel and have a family prayer. We scouted around for a quiet, peaceful place, similar to the one where Joseph Smith might have knelt for an answer to his prayer.
As my father prayed, I felt the Spirit of God stronger than I had ever felt it before. It seemed to grasp my entire body. The feeling had such intensity that I could hardly remember to pick myself up off the ground. It was wonderful. It was at that time that my own testimony began to develop.
I gained my testimony because of a wonderful earthly father who had a strong desire to instill in his children the testimony he had, and because of a kind and loving Heavenly Father who knew that I would need the gospel in my life.
I served as a missionary in the Arizona Tucson Mission, where I was able to share that testimony on a daily basis. My testimony is something that I am ever grateful for and would never trade for all the riches in the world.