Pilgrimage to Palmyra

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In September 1923, all the missionaries of the Eastern States Mission gathered in Palmyra, New York, for a conference commemorating one hundred years since Joseph Smith had a vision of Moroni and first saw the gold plates from which the Book of Mormon came. Before that date, the elders of the mission had spent the summer doing “country work”: preaching in rural areas without prearranged lodging, patterned after the ministries in the New Testament. The conference was held under the direction of mission president B. H. Roberts and was attended by President Heber J. Grant, other Church leaders, and local members of the Church. This article tells this history and tells how this event reinforced the Church’s emphasis on its founding story, reaffirming the importance of the Book of Mormon.