Tag Archives: Farm

Former Bishop

Former Bishop

It seemed odd having our former bishop talk in our ward today.  You see, about 5 years ago they split our ward and our bishop became bishop in Lyons Ward, but he still lives in Palmyra.  Well, today he talked in our ward, even though he’s in Lyons Ward.

It is still summer and we still have a fair number of visitors in our ward.  We filled the overflow and a little of the cultural hall.

I took a very long nap after church.  Yesterday wore me out.

After dinner (ham hocks and navy beans) we took a walk in the Sacred Grove.  The kids got a kick out of all the tiny frogs that were out there.  (There were a lot this year.)


copyright 2015 db walton

In the Frame Home

We just made one loop through the grove and then went in to the frame house so the kids could see it.  I pointed out to the kids the box (picture, upper right) that is a replica of the box Alvin made that was used to store the plates.

copyright 2015 db walton

Temple View from Smith Farm

It was a lovely evening walk and I think the kids had fun.  I know I did.

Surprised Them

Surprised Them

It surprised them to run in to Elder Holland at the Smith Farm.  Some tourist were visiting when eyes got real big and one exclaimed, “That’s Elder Holland!”  Yes, it indeed was Elder Holland.

I met up with Elder Holland, the mission presidents and others at the Smith Farm to capture some candid shots for the church.  Sisters Sumpsion and Rosemore were selected to give the first group their tour.  In that group was, yes, you guessed it, Elder Holland.  These two sisters did a marvelous job giving the tour.

After the tour of the frame and log homes, they group retired to the Gathering Place for a meeting.  I will preface my feelings about the meeting with this…

I woke this morning with the worse bout of depression I have ever had.  I cannot describe how awful I felt.  All of the self-talk in the world wasn’t helping.  I reminded myself that last night I was in the company of an Apostle of Jesus Christ — Elder Holland.  I was taking pictures of mission presidents, members of various quorums of the seventy, and an apostle.   What reason would I have to feel this way.

It took all my mental strength to go to the Smith Farm and take photos.  I was doing my best to mask it.  I do not believe in wearing it on my sleeve.

When they got to the Gathering Place, I almost turned and went home.  Something said, “Stay”.

I thought, “I don’t want to stay.”

Again, a prompting came, “Stay.  You’ll only feel worse if you leave now.”

Lingering at the edge of the Gathering Place, I took a few photos.  Manners taught me not to leave during someone’s presentation or talk, so I politely waited.

When Elder Holland stood to talk, there came a point in his testimony that this cloud of darkness and depression lifted.  It became evident to me that the adversary is very real and aware that I would benefit from his words.   While not appropriate to go in to details, a question I for weeks was answered.  While the answer wasn’t critical to my wellbeing, I figure it will come in handy in the future in helping someone else understand this particular point of doctrine.

It is amazing to me how the Spirit works.  Elder Holland had no personal knowledge of my question.  In fact, nobody did.  It was one of those things where I wanted to have the answer if anybody ever asked.  Don’t ask my why, but that’s just the way I am when it comes to the gospel.  When someone who is not a member of the church asks me a question, I like having the answer.  So, there I stood, and when he gave the answer I was thinking, “This is why I was supposed to stay.”

The same is true for General Conference.  If you have a doctrinal question, pray about it, and do your scripture reading like you normally wood, but comes time for General Conference, and you haven’t received your answer, pray it will be answered in conference.  My experience has been my questions always get answered.  In this case, the question arose after General Conference (early this month), and I had over 5 months to wait.  (Hmmmm… I wonder if that means someone is going to ask me about this topic.  But, more likely, it was God’s way of telling me, “Be still and know that I am God.”

The group left to go tour the Grandin Building, and I headed to Hill Cumorah to set up for a group shot.  John did not assign another FM employee, but took the task himself to help me with the ladder.  We got all set up, and lots of tourist began to ask, “Why the ladder?”

The group arrived, the tourist watched with amazement, and I got my shot from atop a 14′ ladder.  As I was getting ready, one of the mission president’s wife asked, “Are you going to climb that to take the picture?”

Now, I will add, that the winds were quite strong — probably about 50 mph up on the ladder top.

I said, “Yes.”

To which she replied, “Thank you for risking your life to take our picture.”

Thanks to John and a couple other FM employees, the ladder was solid as can be.

I spent the remainder of the evening talking with Elder and Sister Veach, a visitor and a couple of young sister missionaries in the Hill Cumorah Visitors’ Center.

This day didn’t get off to the greatest start, but by the end of the day, I was wishing it didn’t have to end.

Hill Cumorah Anniversary

Early this morning, several missionaries met at Hill Cumorah, were shuttled to the Joseph Smith Farm, and walked from the farm to the hill in commemoration of Joseph Smith, Junior, receiving the golden plates.  The large group was escorted by a sheriff deputy who kept us safe from the early morning traffic.

copyright 2013 db walton

Hill Cumorah Walk Participants


The story can be found at josephsmith.net, but it was in 1823 that Joseph first visited Hill Cumorah under the instruction of a heavenly messenger named Moroni.  We was shown some gold plates with writing on them, but was instructed to return annually to the same location.  In September, 1827, Joseph received the plates and by the gift and power of God translated them to what we now know as The Book of Mormon – Another Testament of Jesus Christ.

Today, approximately 50 of us walked the route from the Smith Farm to the Hill Cumorah.

copyright 2013 db walton

Atop Hill Cumorah


That was a good workout for the morning.

From there I went to Books Etc. in Macedon where they will be displaying some of my work on the walls.  My work will be on display until November 30th.  There will be an open house on Friday, October 4th, in the evening if anyone wants to stop and see the display.

Elizabethe and I are heading back to the hill to watch a movie about the Book of Mormon tonight.  Perhaps we might see some of you there.


First Monday November 2012

Our First Monday Event for Palmyra Photographic Workshops (http://www.palmyra-ny.com) was a trip to the Morse Family CSA Farm.  It was quite education as well as a great opportunity to take some photographs.

First Monday Group Picture

First Monday Group Picture

They grow some really interesting stuff.  Who would have thought that you could cross jimson weed with tomatoes?

Jimson Crossed with Tomato

It was a cold morning, but once we got in to the hoop-house, it felt nice and warm.

Hoop House

Hoop House Walls Covered with Moisture

So, if you’re in the Palmyra area, or visiting, and it is a First Monday, join us.

D. Brent Walton is a professional photographer and leads workshops and field trips.  The First Monday event is free.  To find out more, visit http://www.palmyra-ny.com.  To see Brent’s work, visit http://www.dbwalton.com and http://www.FineArtbyDB.com

Sunday – A Day of Rest

Sunday in the Walton home has always been a day of rest.  By that I mean, we go to church, come home and read or do quiet activites; we don’t go shopping, or to restaurants.  However, in a Latter-day Saint family, it may also include other church meetings or family activities.

Since Ben & Ilene & family were with us, they came to church with us.  After church, I took them to see the temple and walk its grounds.

Lane Family at the Palmyra Temple

Lane Family at the Palmyra Temple

It was a perfect day for such a walk.  Not too hot and not too cold.  I took them around back of the temple where there is a small patio that over looks the Sacred Grove.

Lanes Looking at the Sacred Grove

Lanes Looking at the Sacred Grove

From there, we continued down the street (on foot, while Ben went and fetched their motor home) to the Smith Family Farm.  The Smith Farm is where the Sacred Grove is located, as well as the log home (an accurate recreation of the original log home on the original foundation), the frame home (built by Alvin Smith prior to his death in 1823), Joseph Smith, Senior’s cooper shop and their farm.  The Smith’s had some 1500 sugar maples in the grove as well as elms, ironwood, oaks, poplar and other trees. We walked through the grove, walking about half the trails.  (If you come visit the grove, allow for at least two hours to walk it.  If you plan to stop and  meditate in the grove, you might plan for more time.)
I always enjoy bringing people to the grove.  There is a notable change in their behavior once you actually enter the grove.  I’ve seen it in young and old.  Once they enter the grove, a sense of reverence comes over them.  You cannot walk through the grove without catching that feeling. 
Rocky and Alisha Pose in the Grove

Rocky and Alisha Pose in the Grove

Quite often, I have been walking the grove, and found people sitting quietly reading their scriptures,  writing in their diary, or just pondering.  Going early in the morning, or on a cold day is often enjoyable to me as I can have the grove all to myself.  It is at those times I understand why Joseph Smith Junior decided that the grove would be where he would go the first time he prayed vocally.  I have often sat at my personal favorite spot and wondered what it would have been like to be there in the spring of 1820 to witness that event.
After we completed our hike through the grove, we toured the log home and from there the frame home.  There is a lot of history in those two homes and it is always facinating to think that 11 people lived in that tiny log home.  And, by today’s standards, even the (larger) frame home would have been small for a family of eleven.
Taryn, Adam & Rocky Lane inside the frame home.

Taryn, Adam & Rocky Lane inside the frame home.

Just between the frame and the log home is a wonderful view of the temple.
Palmyra Temple viewed from the Smith Farm

Palmyra Temple viewed from the Smith Farm

After our walk and tours, we returned to the Beckwith Mansion for some brats and macaroni salad that Elizabethe had prepared for us.  We had plenty of food, and the company was great.
From there, most everyone decided it was a good time for a long Sunday afternoon nap.