The sun peeked morning

to sleepy Palmyra hills, proclaiming

the promise of this day of days

as the lad arose, slipped on work clothes,

for another shift of clearing stumps.

Had he known

before he left the house that morning

whom he would meet,

he would have worn his Sunday best,

shined his shoes.

As he resolutely trod the grassy path

toward that predetermined spot,

he rehearsed what he would do;

he would kneel and, pleading,

place his heart upon the forest altar.

The gray squirrels of the grove,

who normally warn of visitors,

were hushed as Joseph knelt.

The only sound to pierce the stillness,

a choir of meadowlarks, trilling an opening hymn.

No whirlwinds, no tremors shook the forest floor.

No trumps proclaimed his heavenly visitors,

just a silent pillar of light, Their chariot of fire.

But Their message, oh, that message—

would thunder through the centuries,

light the corners of a darkened world.

The grove, the earth, the universe would never be the same.

For in that hour celestial, veils were parted;

a farm boy became a prophet,

a grove became a temple,

heaven and earth became as one.

Photo of the Joseph Smith Farm in Palmyra by Don O. Thorpe, may not be copied