The Washington Temple District


Latter-day Saint Historical Sites

The Washington Temple District

1. South Royalton, Vermont—Joseph Smith was born here December 23, 1805. The Church has constructed a marble memorial here commemorating that event. §

2. Sacred Grove—site of the First Vision

3. Palmyra, New York—Here is the “cradle” of the Church that includes the farm where young Joseph Smith grew up, the Sacred Grove where he went in prayer and received his great vision of the Father and the Son, and the Hill Cumorah where he received the plates from which he translated the Book of Mormon. Here also is the farm home of Martin Harris, early Church leader and one of the Three Witnesses to the Book of Mormon.

4. Hill Cumorah—Joseph Smith received the gold plates here §

5. Smith Farm-boyhood home of Joseph Smith §

6. Martin Harris Home §

7. Waterloo, New York—Here on the Peter Whitmer, Sr., farm the Church was organized with six members on April 6, 1830. Much of early church history takes place in this part of New York. §

8. Harmony, Pennsylvania—Near here, on the banks of the Susquehanna River, John the Baptist conferred the Aaronic Priesthood on Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery on May 15, 1829. Soon after, in the same area, the Melchizedek Priesthood was restored by Peter, James, and John. This was the hometown of Emma Hale who married Joseph Smith. Much of the work of translating the Book of Mormon took place in the home of her father in Harmony.

9. Toronto, Ontario, Canada—Here in 1833, Joseph Smith opened the first mission of the Church beyond the boundaries of the United States. One of the first converts was John Taylor, who eventually became president of the Church.

10. Kirtland, Ohio—Site of the first Latter-day Saint temple in this dispensation, the Kirtland Temple was dedicated in 1836. The building has now been restored.

11. Nauvoo, Illinois—This was the “capital city” of the Church from 1839 to 1846. Here the Saints turned a swamp into the largest city in the state with a university, its own militia, and a beautiful temple. Many of the original pioneer homes and other buildings have been restored and are open to the public. §

12. Carthage, Illinois—Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were shot and killed by a painted-faced mob in the Carthage Jail on June 27, 1844. §

13. Independence, Missouri—This was the headquarters of the Church during part of the 1830s. It is an area rich in Church history, both past and future.§

14. Kingston, Missouri—Formerly known as Far West, this was another place of refuge for the Church in Missouri. The cornerstones of a temple were laid here in 1838. §

15. Liberty, Missouri—Site of the Liberty Jail where Joseph Smith and several companions were held illegally in a basement dungeon for six months (1838–39) while their fellow Church members were driven from the state. §

Map of Washington Temple District(click to view larger)

§—location of visitors or information center •—cities named indicate stake centers