BETA

'Who could have imagined?': Maturing of the Church in land of Restoration

Chronology of major events:

1820

On a beautiful spring day, a 14-year-old boy named Joseph Smith enters a grove of trees with desire to pray for guidance. He is visited by God the Father, and His Son, who instruct him to join none of the churches.

1823

The ancient prophet, Moroni, visits Joseph in his bedroom in the loft of his parent's log home. He is shown the plates hidden in a hillside near his home containing the record of an ancient people.

1827

Joseph receives ancient record and begins translation.

1830

First copy of Book of Mormon is printed, trimmed and bound.

1830

In the humble log home of Peter Whitmer in Fayette, N.Y., Church is organized on April 6th with six official members present.

1830-1909

From mid-1830s until 1909, Church has no formal presence or members in the Rochester-Palmyra area. In 1909, Church buys property encompassing old Smith farm on Stafford Road.

1915

Willard and Rebecca Bean and their family called by Church to move to Palmyra and live in Smith's white frame home while managing property. Missionary work begins here this year.

1921

First branch in nearly 90 years is organized in Rochester.

1923

Centennial celebration commemorating anniversary of Moroni's visit to Joseph Smith held in Palmyra under direction B.H. Roberts, Eastern States Mission president.

Church News graphicRequires Adobe Acrobat.

1925

Palmyra Branch organized with Willard Bean as first branch president.

1926

Forerunner of Hill Cumorah Pageant held in Sacred Grove under direction of Willard Bean.

1928

Church purchases historic Hill Cumorah property along with three adjacent farms.

1930

Centennial celebration of the founding of Church held in Grange Hall in Palmyra.

1935

Sunday services held at the Hill Cumorah to dedicate the Angel Moroni Monument. President Heber J. Grant offers dedicatory prayer. Gordon B. Hinckley attends as a missionary en route home from British Isles.

1937

First performance of "America's Witness for Christ" held on Hill Cumorah.

1944

John Stonely called as first local member to serve as Cumorah District president. Branches include Genesse Valley Branch in Perry, Palmyra Branch and Rochester Branch.

1952

Democrat and Chronicle reports that there about 165 members of Church living in Rochester, figures supplied by President John Stonely.

1956

Plans underway to construct Palmyra meetinghouse. Rochester Branch membership totals 235.

1957

Property purchased on Canandaigua Road for Palmyra meetinghouse.

1961

Palmyra meetinghouse dedicated by President David O. McKay.

1962

Cumorah Stake organized with Bryant Rossiter called as president. Stake composed of six wards and four branches.

1968

Palmyra Ward divided to create Canandaigua Ward.

1974

Cumorah Stake divided to create Rochester New York Stake and Buffalo New York Stake.

1976

Dale S. Dallon called as Rochester stake president.

1980

Church celebrates Sesquicentennial with general conference broadcast from the Peter Whitmer replica log home in Fayette where Church was organized.

1985

Division of Rochester New York Stake creates Rochester New York Palmyra Stake.

1987

50th Anniversary of Hill Cumorah Pageant.

1990

Dedication of Toronto Ontario Temple.

1998

Reconstructed Grandin Building, first site of Book of Mormon publication, and Smith family log home replica dedicated by President Gordon B. Hinckley.

1999

President Gordon B. Hinckley selects temple site. Church's 100th temple announced to be constructed in Palmyra.

Ground broken for temple.

2000

President Gordon B. Hinckley dedicates Palmyra New York Temple, 77th temple in Church.

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