Tag Archives: Moroni

Secret Grove

Secret Grove

There’s a beautiful place in the Town of Palmyra called the Secret Grove.  It’s off Stafford Road where Temple Road tees in to Stafford.  It’s worth a visit.  Okay, it’s really the Sacred Grove, but there are many people who don’t even know it exists.  Plus, I was doing a little play off how people think of our temples as “secret” instead of “sacred”.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a lovely historic site on Stafford Road, about 1.5 miles south of the Village of Palmyra.  There you find the Sacred (not secret) Grove, a re-creation of the Smith’s log home, and their actual frame home.  It is open to the public and it costs nothing, nor do they ask for donations.

copyright 2016 db walton - Secret Grove

My Favorite Place in the Sacred Grove

Spotted with benches along the trail, the Sacred Grove is a favorite of many people.  Many people have their own “favorite” bench in the Sacred Grove.  Mine (picture above) is a quiet place of solitude.

The Temple

The temple is another sacred place I like to go.  In view of the Sacred Grove, the Palmyra Temple is a special temple.  All temples are special, but the Palmyra Temple is extra special.  Positioned on a hill east of the grove, the temple has a lovely view of the Sacred Grove.  Moroni, with his back to the grove, is a symbol of the gospel being spread from the grove to all the world.

copyright 2014 db walton

Palmyra Temple

Book of Mormon

Book of Mormon

The Book of Mormon is a book I recommend to everyone living in the United States.  Mormon (member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), or not, it is a must-read book for what is going on in our nation right now.

I have Christian friends who won’t read it because they have a prejudice regarding Latter-day Saints’ view of the book and their view of the Bible.  If they would only set aside that prejudice and read the book in terms of hearing what it says about this nation, government, and its warning against secret combinations, I think they would enjoy it.  Just for once, set aside Revelations 22:19 (because you already don’t believe the Book of Mormon to be scripture), and listen to the story.

Don’t give up once you start reading it.  Remember, you’re reading it for the story line to find out what it has to say about the country we live in.  And, start with the introduction and cover page.  They will set the scene.  (This is important because it is actually several books that have been abridged by a man named Mormon, and finished by his son Moroni.  If you don’t realize this as you read, it kind of throws you for a loop when Mormon starts to speak.  His comments should be parenthetical, but parenthesis weren’t used, and that can throw you for a loop if you don’t realize this.  I know it did me the first time I read it.)

It’s written in King’s English, and that’s a bit tough for some people, but yea means yes, and nay means no.  Thee and thou means you, thine means yours, thy means your, and if you can handle that, you can handle the “est” at the end of words (like thinkest).

Pay particular attention to what it says about kings, taxes, elections and corruption.  Look for an underlying theme throughout the book.  (Oh, and it pays to know some biblical history such as the Exodus and the Babylonian captivity.)  Listen for promises.

While there is an underlying theme, there are also stories within stories.  There is also an insert, the Book of Ether, that is another entire story of another group of people.  Interestingly, their story is like a condensed version of the entire story.  I like to think of the Book of Ether as a short, “I told you so,” story.

There’s nothing in the book that’s going to corrupt you.  In fact, just the opposite.    You’ll see things like King Benjamin teaching his people that when you serve and help others in need you are in the service of your God.  That’s just one example of the good teachings contained in the book.

You can order a free copy here:  https://www.mormon.org/free-book-of-mormon  You can also ask a friend who is a Latter-day Saint for a copy.  (You can even purchase one here, but seriously, we’ll gladly give you a copy if you ask.  And, there is a free app called Gospel Library that contains the Book of Mormon.)

Scripture Study

After completing the New Testament, Elizabethe and I decided to add the U.S. Constitution to our scripture reading.  A few General Conferences back, Elder Oaks encouraged members of the church to study the Constitution so we will recognize the rights granted in the Constitution.  Today was the day we started our reading.

It is amazing how quickly we read through the scriptures by reading every morning and night.  We only read two pages each time (4 per day).  As a result, we’ve read the scriptures dozens of times over.  And, while there was a time in my life I could remember a lot of what I would read (I used to have chapters and verses memorized verbatim), as I grow older I appreciate re-reading the scriptures because my memory is waning.


The sisters came over for dinner tonight.  I made black beans (feijoada) and cornbread.  Elizabethe finally likes cornbread!  The secret is to partially cook the cornmeal before making the batter.  It makes for a moister cornbread.



I love horseradish.  I grew up on the stuff.  It was like a family right-of-passage to take some of Grandpa Knowles’ horseradish sauce, place it on your tongue, and see if you could breath through your nose.  Roast beef without horseradish is like a pancake without maple syrup.  The two go together and I love both.

Last year, I wasn’t able to dig up the roots.  This year the tire we planted it in was so root-bound it broke the pitch fork.

We threw the roots in to the VitaMix and instead of using white vinegar and white sugar, I used brown sugar and white balsamic vinegar.  Mmmm… hot, but sweet.

I couldn’t get anyone else to taste it.  They just don’t know what they are missing.

There is a difference between the heat from chili peppers (capsaicin) and the heat from horseradish (myrosinase).  It is completely different type of heat.  Myrosinase is an enzyme, while capsaicin is an irritant.  (According to Wikipedia.)

Elizabethe went to a friends house and picked up a bunch of canning jars.  She picked up a LOT of them and so she was spending most of the day cleaning bottles.  She got everything from 4 oz. jars up to 64 oz. jars.  These came just in time for my horseradish sauce.


I have decided to do my “ponderizing” cards as meme photos.  Here’s my first…

copyright 2015 db walton

Ponderize Scripture for the Week of October 12th, 2015


Early Walk

Early Walk

I took an early walk with the New York Rochester Missionaries this morning.  We went from the Smith Home to Hill Cumorah in commemoration of the anniversary of Joseph’s trips to Hill Cumorah.

copyright 2015 db walton

Hill Cumorah and NYRM Missionaries

It was on September 22nd that Joseph Smith first visited the hill.  There he was met by Moroni, a resurrected being, who gave him instructions regarding the stone box Joseph had just unearthed.  He was instructed to return annually on this date until such time that he could obtain the plates.  (Read the rest here (click here).

After returning every year for four years, Moroni again met Joseph at the hill and delivered in to Joseph Smith’s hands the gold plates, the breast plate and other artifacts with a charge that he was to do all in his power to protect the plates from falling in to the wrong hands.  Soon, he commenced translating the plates.  The result of that translation is the Book of Mormon.

It was a fun walk, but some of the missionaries thought it was a race and ran.  Aye, yi, yi.  I simply walked at my pace.

After my Tuesday meeting, I headed to Harbor Freight Tools and picked up another “light saber”.  They are on sale and I have a coupon.

While I was down that way, I stopped at the Turkish store, the Indian store, and two Asian markets.  We’re stocked for the winter.  Food storage taste much better if you have all the right seasonings.

Rain Stopped

Rain Stopped

The rain stopped just in time for tonight’s Hill Cumorah Pageant Performance.  We sat with Sisters Jones and Stoddard, Elder and Sister Miller and our friend David.

Just part way in to pageant I noticed King Noah’s voice was different.  Sure enough, the entire soundtrack seemed different as did some of the scenes.  It’s all for the better.  Every year it just gets better.


copyright 2015 db walton

Sisters Jones and Stoddard and David

While we were waiting for pageant to start, another one of our CSM Photographers, Sister Anderson, tracked me down to say, “Hi”.  I heard via Facebook that she was in town and suggested we look for each other.  I had heard a lot of good things about Sister Anderson, and how she was the grand-niece of George Anderson (the photographer who photographed the church sites around the turn of the century 115 years ago).

copyright 2015 db walton

Me and Sister Anderson (another CSM Photographer)

The pageant was great.  I like the subtle changes and the rain stopped long enough for the show to go on.

copyright 2015 db walton

Hill Cumorah Pageant Performance

As pageant ended I couldn’t help think about the rebel-rousers outside the fence.  It must be a cold, chaliced heart that can sit there and wait for such a performance to end and then shout insults.  Obviously, the must not have listened as Moroni says, “And I exhort you to remember these things; for the time speedily cometh that ye shall know that I lie not, for ye shall see me at the bar of God; and the Lord God will say unto you: Did I not declare my words unto you, which were written by this man…?”

A New Coat for Moroni

I learned today that the Moroni on the temple was replaced.  They swapped him with one that had a new gold leaf coat.  The old one is now going to be re-coated and placed on another temple.  I kind of wish I would have known so I could have covered it for my missionary assignment.  But, I guess it will take some time before all the local members and church departments know what my mission is all about.

Elizabethe and I met our son-in-law, Jason, at his hotel this morning for breakfast.  He’s in Rochester speaking to some retirees about their Medicare options.  He said he got to choose where to meet so he picked Rochester so he could see us.  (Amber picked a choice husband.)  We had a nice conversation before he had to move on to go to his speaking engagement.

In our missionary meeting today my questions about BYU logos and military uniforms were answered.  Yes, I can show BYU logos, but not any non-church college or university.  Yes, I can photograph people in military uniforms.   I know there are going to be some Ute fans that are disappointed, but the church doesn’t own the U’s trademarks because it isn’t a church-owned school.

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.


Grand Central Station

It was grand central station here today.  I could not believe how may people stopped by the house.  It was quite the afternoon.

The morning started off much slower, however.  After breakfast, I decided to take a walk, since conference didn’t start until noon. So, I grabbed my cameras and off I went.

I headed to the Canal Park at the edge of the village.  It was overcast and gray, but that’s just the light I love for taking photos.

Palmyra Aquaduct

Palmyra aqueduct

I decided to take a trail back home.  The trail went along an older section of the Erie Canal.  It was absolutely beautiful back there.  Water separated me from the backyards of the homes along Main Street.   And, on the others side, was another section of the canal that had been closed for years.



There were ducks feeding, and at one point, a beautiful woodpecker landed on a dead tree branch.  He was only about 3′ in front of me, and my effort to turn on my camera spooked him and he flew away.  He was black & white with a red crown.

Dead Trees in the Canal

Dead Trees in the Canal

I made it home before conference stated.  It was a wonderful walk.

Woodbine on the Greenhouse

Woodbine on the Greenhouse

The elders watched the 1st session of conference with us.  After that, we had a taco feast. 

About the time we started eating, the Crookstons and their guests came home.  Then, some people from West Valley City, Utah, stopped in to see the Crookstons.  It was one of Elder Crookston’s students from back around 1980 or so.  He heard the Crookstons were serving missions here and stopped to see them. 

Then, Kevin Lane, Elizabethe’s dad’s cousin, and his sister stopped to visit.  Then Elder and Sister Semedeni stopped in to see the Crookstons.

Like I said, it was like Grand Central Station around here.

Conference was great.  General Conference always is.  I loved Elder Holland’s talk Sunday morning.  I love the directness with which he spoke regarding the Book of Mormon.  All of the talks were great, but I think his will go down as one of my all-time favorites.


Beckwith Mansion (shot with Lensbaby Composer)

Oh, and a Happy 30th Birthday to my eldest daughter, Rebecca.  It’s hard to imagine that it was 30 years ago that we brought her home from the hospital.

The Peace of the Temple

There is something about entering the temple, no matter which one it is, that brings peace to the soul.  You can have a hectic day at work, a bad drive home, have received a bad letter, or any number of things, but when you walk through those doors, there is a hush that comes over you.

I enjoyed going to the temple to night.  Of course, I always enjoy the time I spend at the temple.  I was proxy for one of my 19th century ancestors, Benjamin Scott.

When I got out of the temple, the sun was just starting to sink beyond the horizon.  From the temple, the sun sets over the Sacred Grove.  It is always quite a sight.  Then, to see Moroni atop the temple with the red sun behind him, it serves are a reminder that these are the latter days.

Palmyra Temple at Sunset

Palmyra Temple at Sunset


Stained Glass Windows of the Palmyra Temple

Stained Glass Windows of the Palmyra Temple

As I was leaving, after taking a few shots, I saw our elder’s quorum president.  I said, “Hello”, to him and we chatted for a while about Friday night.  (Friday night will be Ward Temple Night.) 

Upon coming home I decided I better practice the piano.  Boy, is  that piano out of tune since the move.  I do not think that piano has ever been that out of tune.  Never.  I wish Des Wilson were here.  Looks like I have to find another piano tuner.

Pageant with Srini

A move of this size comes with a lot of unpacking.  I spent a good portion of the day opening boxes and trying to find what I need for setting up my servers and desktop computer.  (My laptop is sufficient for most things, but is somewhat of a pain to use all of the time.)  I managed to get things set up to an extent, but couldn’t find my 10/100BaseT switch which meant WiFi’ing everying.  Slow… very slow.

Patty came for Day-2 of her internship, and shortly after she arrived, my sister-in-law’s mom and her friends showed up.  Elizabethe gave them the tour of the mansion, while I did some Lightroom training with Patty.  After their tour, Patty and I took their photos out on the front steps…

Dorothy and Friends

Dorothy and Friends

.. walked with them to the E.B. Grandin Building and took some photos there…

At the Grandin Press Building

At the Grandin Press Building

… and then parted company with them.  They went on to Chill-n-Grill (best ice cream cones around), and we went back to the mansion.As we were passing the Village Hall, a police with lights and siren going went speeding west on Main Street.  I joked that someone just have jay-walked.  However, as we got right in front of my house, it was evident that it was much more serious than that.Wreck in Front of My House

I didn’t see what happened, so this is only hearsay.  But, appearantly someone talking on a cell phone veered head-on into a semi-truck going the opposite direction.  The truck, trying to avoid her knocked off several branches from my trees.  It appears the cell-phone-talking-driver went under his rear tire, breaking the truck’s rear axel, and bringing the car to a grinding (literally) halt.  Someone was life-flighted out.  A little toddler in the car seemed to be unharmed and unfazed by the whole event.Moral of the story is – don’t let things distract you while driving !!!  (I am against the outlawing of cell phone conversations while driving.  However, I think if you are involved in an accident while being distracted by ANYTHING, you should (1) pay the price, and (2) re-think taking public transportation or walking before you kill someone.)After Patty left, Srini came over and we went to watch the pageant.  It was a perfect night for it weatherwise.  Srini met some of the cast, and we got a good chuckle over the antis who were yelling really ignorant things.  (People who yell at Mormons, “Worship Jesus, not Joseph Smith,” are really quite ignorant because Mormons do NOT worship Joseph Smith. )On of the Actors and Srini