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Old Feb 23, 2011, 2:24 PM   #1
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Default Joseph Smith Family Farm in Palmyra, NY

While in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York, my wife and I looked for local attractions to visit. The day was too windy for landscape photography so when we learned that the spot where Jesus appeared to Joseph Smith, Jr. -- founder of the Mormon religion -- was nearby, along with a farm and antique homes as part of a museum, we went to the Joseph Smith Family Farm in Palmyra, New York.

Our tour guide wore a dress shirt and tie, slacks, and a tan overcoat. He invited us inside what is called the “Frame Home” and began telling the story right away.

The Frame Home was the second house that Joseph Smith, Jr. lived in. The first house, just a few paces away and also part of the museum, was known as the “Log Home”. Joseph Smith’s family moved to Palmyra, New York from Vermont in 1816. Joseph Smith, Jr. was 8 years old at the time.

As a young child, Joseph wanted to know what Christian church to join. At age 14, after having read, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God,” in James 1:5, he walked into a grove of trees beside their farm and prayed. There he saw above the sun a bright light which he knew to be Jesus. In response to his prayer, Jesus and God the Father told Joseph to join no church and instead wait for direction in the restoration of Christ’s Church.

Four years later, at age 18, an angel appeared to Joseph in the upstairs bedroom of the Log Home. The angel, Moroni, once lived in the Americas in A.D. 421. As the last survivor of his civilization, Moroni buried golden plates that recorded his people’s history. Moroni returned as an angel to deliver the golden plates to Joseph, fulfilling the prophecy told upon Joseph at the grove of trees. Joseph translated the contents of the golden plates and the manuscript he wrote became known as, “The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ.”

Before the tour began, I asked my wife if she had bills that we can make a donation. I thought it was only fair since we’d be taking pictures of a historic place that they maintained for free. But the guide didn’t give us time for that. At the tour’s end, he simply said he’d now head over to the Frame House and we’re free to take all the pictures we want. So in lieu of a donation, as I often do in other places we visit, I offered to share the pictures we took should the museum find them useful.

“You mean, we can use your pictures?” the man asked.

“Yes,” I said. “If you like them.”

“And make you famous?” he asked, a smile on his face.

“That’s not the intent,” I said. “But, sure,” I added, “why not?”

He said goodbye and after a moment’s pause added, “Maybe we’ll see you again.”

It was then I remembered that when I was a young child, my family avoided Mormons. They came to our neighborhood knocking on people’s doors hoping to spread their religion. It wasn’t so much as we were annoyed by them -- they were well-mannered and presentably dressed, role models if there ever were such -- but we were already established spiritually and saying “no” to guests -- foreigners at that -- felt terribly awkward especially when you’re raised in a tradition of always-say-yes hospitality.

Yet here we were walking into the lair of Mormons. For all we knew we could have been cornered. We could have been pressured to convert. We could have been told we were lost and they knew the way.

But none of that happened. Instead we were taken back in time at a leisurely pace with the man showing off neatly arranged artifacts of the period and the renovators’ skills in rebuilding the antique homes, his pride matching if not exceeding any museum curator’s we’ve met in the past. The museum was free and walk-ins were welcome. It
was fun and, in my view, established purely for educational purposes. The man was there to teach history and not, as far as I could tell, sell his faith.

Still, if you do visit, you might find yourself wanting to become a member especially upon witnessing the man’s emotional retelling of the Church’s history. Gaining converts may not be the museum’s intent, but should a visitor express a desire to do so on the spot, I'm sure the Church’s response may well turn out to be similar to mine -- “Sure, why not?”

#1) The Frame Home.

#2) Inside the Frame Home.

#3) The Log Home.

#4) Inside the Log Home.

#5) The Sacred Grove where Joseph Smith, Jr. prayed.

Thank you for looking. C&C welcome.
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Old Feb 23, 2011, 4:45 PM   #2
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Wonderful pictures (I do like how you capture the direct sun and maintain the exposure in the rest of the photograph). The story behind the property and the story about your visit add greatly.

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Old Feb 23, 2011, 5:38 PM   #3
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Beautiful photos and well matched with the story. Life was certainly simple then.
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Old Feb 23, 2011, 10:03 PM   #4
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Please take heed they are not bad people!
I my self can tell you that I go to the church ...
They teach a lot of good home values they do not have many wives that is something a lot of guys think wow I get a different one any time... well tuff luck .. they had many wives but why to build the church up and some of the extra women were wives that had husbands that had passed on when coming over land... If you look it was a Lucy Bigelow, Evans and other women that help put a stop to that issue! They found out the true meaning of Love and Marriage of course...

As for angels yes they are real I seen one my self when I was younger in the LDS church one Christmas as well I have seen the Star of Bethlehem 3 times was woken by some thing
when I looked out side and be hold the east star was shining so bright ......

I have dreams just like Brigham Young did ,as well they come true and are always telling me of events that are to happen to my life too! I have felt some one sit with me hold me and all that!

You have to admit they do have a lot of nice temples that's the only thing I have not done yet to do so one has to give my 10% once I do I can go ... My son says but mom they are a cult.. I say if you want to put it that way every Religion is a cult if you are following them.. I feel we all are place here on earth to love one another as neighbours not to kill each other and to put one down is a killing of ones generous loving spirit ..... Its was feeling I got when I went to the church one day ... instead of sitting and listening to others preach you can go up and tell your own Testimony of how the lord has affected your life personally! I have yet to tell the whole church of mine I am working on that....
They are just another Church that has their way to give and serve in this world we live in today!

Thanks for sharing the shots they are great lovely to see that some one cares to share such things.. Perhaps some one can now go back and do something on the Salem Witches as well for I feel they are the ones done wrong to as well ... and they too were done by a group that called them selves Christians!

Love the Spinning wheel its called a
walk about... and the butter churn... and how the herbs were hung! Thank you for sharing this VVCARPIO!

PS whom is standing in the first shot off to the left side of the build as I look at it? It does give the shot a feeling!

Pss I shared this with many on Face book! I hope you do not mind!

Last edited by SharpShotGal; Feb 23, 2011 at 10:24 PM.
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Old Feb 24, 2011, 8:14 AM   #5
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Thank you all, bluenose, banksy, SharpShotGal.

bluenose, it was very windy. The trees, especially those sticking up above the horizon, were heavily ghosted when I processed my shots as HDR. To remove the tree-ghosting, I cut out the top of one shot and tried to blend it into my HDR edit. I'm glad you liked it.

banksy, yes, they had a lot of cool gadgets all made of wood.

SharpShotGal, I belong to a minority Christian religion (though we embrace all faiths) so we, too, at least according to our elders (I have not experienced any) were ridiculed by members of the mainstream ones. Thank you for your thoughts and comments.

The person beside the Frame Home in #1 is my son. He was getting cold from the wind so I told him to stand there where there was no wind. I knew he would be standing exactly where I will be taking pictures of but thought so what. I'm glad you liked it.

#6) I think this is the "walk about" that SharpShotGal pointed out. My wife took this picture.

#7) Our guide.

EDIT: I forgot to add, no, I don't mind sharing the pictures with your friends, SharpShotGal. Maybe you'll make me famous after all .

Last edited by vvcarpio; Feb 24, 2011 at 8:54 AM. Reason: Added "members of".
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Old Feb 24, 2011, 10:17 AM   #6
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Great photos and as always your accompanying narrative is great as well. Together they always give me a feeling of being there.

A. C.
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Old Feb 24, 2011, 12:36 PM   #7
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Yes they call it that for one stood rather than sat when spinning and if one got it going good enough it the wheel its self would and could walk the room other wise it was the person that stood and walked rather than Sit! Great shots...

Well at least they all can check ya out on Steves... some thing bound to happen somewhere along the way!

Ps the bed room looks so simple to my own overly filled room.

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Old Feb 24, 2011, 1:00 PM   #8
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palmyra is about a 45min drive from me out here in wolcott ny lol but great pics
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Old Feb 24, 2011, 1:26 PM   #9
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Good story. Great picks. Very natural looking, which is so difficult to achieve.
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Old Feb 25, 2011, 7:52 AM   #10
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Thank you, A.C., SharpShotGal, zombz, Ordo.

zombz, there's plenty to shoot there. We planned on going to Watkins Glen -- one website ranks it the most popular waterfalls in NY -- but snow (more like blizzard) the following day prevented us from doing so.

#8) Barns near the Frame Home. The Frame Home is actually fully covered by the barn on the left.
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