The prophet Joseph Smith writes in his history: "... there was in the place where we lived an unusual excitement on the subject of religion. It commenced with the Methodists, but soon became general among all the sects in that region of country. Indeed, the whole district of country seemed affected by it, and great multitudes united themselves to the different religious parties, which created no small stir and division amongst the people, some crying, “Lo, here!” and others, “Lo, there!” Some were contending for the Methodist faith, some for the Presbyterian, and some for the Baptist."
He lived in upstate New York at the time. First in Palmyra, then in Manchester.
"I was at this time in my fifteenth year. My father’s family was proselyted to the Presbyterian faith, and four of them joined that church, namely, my mother, Lucy; my brothers Hyrum and Samuel Harrison; and my sister Sophronia."
|Not sure which church this is, but one of these was there in Palmyra|
at the time of Joseph Smith's first vision
"...I attended their several meetings as often as occasion would permit. In process of time my mind became somewhat partial to the Methodist sect, and I felt some desire to be united with them; but so great were the confusion and strife among the different denominations, that it was impossible for a person young as I was, and so unacquainted with men and things, to come to any certain conclusion who was right and who was wrong."
|Downtown Palmyra today|
|Palmyra's church row|
|Western Presbyterian Church, Palmyra|
Erected A.D. 1832
|The Palmyra Latter-day Saint Stake Center sits across from the Temple|
|The Palmyra Temple|
Holiness to the Lord - The House of the Lord
"So, in accordance with this, my determination to ask of God, I retired to the woods to make the attempt. It was on the morning of a beautiful, clear day, early in the spring of eighteen hundred and twenty. It was the first time in my life that I had made such an attempt, for amidst all my anxieties I had never as yet made the attempt to pray vocally.
"After I had retired to the place where I had previously designed to go, having looked around me, and finding myself alone, I kneeled down and began to offer up the desires of my heart to God. "
|The Palmyra Temple|
of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints