On Monday morning we hit the road again. This time we left Connecticut to pass through Massachusetts to New York as we drove to Palmyra. We were able to spend the afternoon and early evening climbing the Hill Cumorah, touring the homes of Joseph Smith, and walking through the Sacred Grove. I had not been here in more than 15 years and the church has done a wonderful job of restoring these sites for visitors. It was nice to share these sites with our children and ponder on the events of the restoration of the gospel to the earth. It was nice to walk through the grove and remind myself and my children how much the Lord loves each of us and that he is listening to our prayers. How grateful I am for young Joseph and his prayer in that grove so long ago.
Tuesday morning we drove 1.5 hours to Niagara Falls. We told the kids we were going to see a big waterfall, and Calvin said, why are we driving to see a waterfall, we've seen big waterfalls. Then as we were crossing Rainbow bridge to Canada we had a fantastic view of the falls and the kids all exclaimed, WOW, that is a really big waterfall. And now they were very excited to see the falls and go on the boat ride to them. We rode the maid of the mist and I had told the kids we were going to ride the boat through the waterfall. They loved getting closer and closer and having the spray blown on us, and then they were disappointed as the boat backed away and did not go thru the falls. Not one of them was scared of the sheer magnitude or force with which the water roared over the fall. It was definitely a site to see up close.As you can see in the above picture Matthew joined us in his well covered stroller. After our picnic lunch we decided to head to Kirtland. We really were flying by the seat of our pants. Kirtland was 3 hours away; we were able to arrive at the church visitors site before closing so we toured the Newel K. Whitney home, store, and the rooms above the store, one being where the school of the prophets was taught. A very reverent place where the Lord had appeared. The sister missionaries did a great job us adults and kids too. We sat in the room of the school of the prophets and after the sister bore her testimony of the special events that had happened there asked if we could sing I am a child of God. My heart was full as I sat some where so sacred with my children and listened to them share their testimonies as they each sang the words of the primary song.
In the morning we were able to visit the Kirtland Temple, now owned by the Community of Christ Church. To walk thru that sacred building and see the beautiful workmanship that the saints spent 3 years building for our Heavenly Father. I think of their dedication and sacrifice and how hard it must have been for them to leave it behind, and yet they were so blessed by the events and blessing they were able to receive in the Temple before leaving. Again, the spirit was strong as we sat in the assembly hall in the Temple and sang the Spirit of God, a hymn written for the dedication of the Kirtland Temple.