Mormons Believe This Is The Spot Where Joseph Smith First Saw Jesus Christ And God

via Business Insider: 

PALMYRA, N.Y. — On the surface, this tiny hamlet outside of Rochester seems like an unlikely birthplace for one of the world’s fastest-growing religions.

But it was in this small town in the Finger Lakes where Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon faith, had the first visions that led to the creation of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Every year thousands of Mormons make a pilgrimage to Palmyra, to celebrate the church’s flagship Hill Cumorah pageant and visit the historic places where their religion originated.

The most holy of those sites is the Sacred Grove, a wooded patch adjacent to the Smith family farm where Smith had what is known as the First Vision.

According to LDS doctrine, Smith had this Vision in 1820, when he went out to the grove to pray. While praying, he is said to have seen a “pillar of light” and two images — identified as God and Jesus Christ — who told him that his sins were forgiven and that all churches were false.

For Mormons, the importance of this vision is twofold. First, it launched Smith’s religious journey, which ultimately led to the founding of the LDS Church. Second, it marks a major distinction between Mormonism and other Christian faiths, firmly establishing God and Jesus Christ as physically separate entities, breaking from the traditional Christian trinity.

Check out pictures of the Sacred Grove below:

 

mormon sacred grove

Grace Wyler / Business Insider

 

 

mormon sacred grove

Grace Wyler / Business Insider

 

 

mormon sacred grove

Grace Wyler / Business Insider

The visitor’s entrance to the Sacred Grove.

 

 

mormon sacred grove

The pathway to the Sacred Grove.

 

 

joseph smith farm

Grace Wyler / Business Insider

Joseph Smith’s farm, adjacent to the Sacred Grove.

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