Despite a few setbacks from Tropical Storm Isaac, Mitt Romney is at the Republican National Convention in Tampa to become the first Mormon presidential nominee of a major political party. With the religion in the headlines, we asked contributor Charles Edward Hicks to take a closer look at Mormonism through the lens of travel. Turns out there’s much more than just Utah on the map.
1. Sacred Grove, Palmyra, New York
In 1823, Joseph Smith, Jr., a local treasure seeker, said that while he was praying in a grove near his home, an angel appeared and showed him where he could find a several artifacts, including a breastplate, a translation device and a collection of golden plates. On the plates was the untranslated inscription of the Book of Mormon. Hence, the beginning of Mormonism. This area has come to be known as the Sacred Grove. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints owns the site, which is open to the public. You can also swing by the Hill Cumorah Visitors Center which is also in Palmyra. The Smith Family Farm, where young Joseph grew up, is also in the area and offers daily tours.