- Why did the Church have to be restored in the United States and not in Brazil or Italy, the land of my ancestors?
Elder Mazzagardo believed he found some peace in believing that the answer was because of the religious freedom that the U.S. Constitution grants.
- Why did the Restoration have to be here, and why such a spiritual uproar? Where did all the people mentioned in Joseph’s account come from? Why there? At that time, the most reasonable answer to me was because the U.S. Constitution guaranteed freedom.
- He explained that Lakes Erie and Ontario and, farther east, the Hudson River are located in that region. In the early 1800s they decided to build a canal for navigation which would pass through that region, stretching more than 300 miles (480 km) to reach the Hudson River. It was a great enterprise for that time, and they could rely only on human labor and animal power. Palmyra was a center for some of that construction. Builders needed skilled people, technicians, families, and their friends. Many people began to pour in from the neighboring towns and places farther away, such as Ireland, to work on the canal. That was such a sacred and spiritual moment because I had finally found the crowd. They brought their customs and their beliefs. When the man mentioned their beliefs, my mind was enlightened and my spiritual eyes were opened by God. At that moment, I understood how the hand of God our Father, in His immense wisdom, had prepared in His plan a place to bring the young Joseph Smith, putting him in the midst of that religious confusion, because there, in the Hill Cumorah, the precious plates of the Book of Mormon were hidden.
- What happened at Cumorah was an important part of the Restoration, as Joseph Smith received the plates which contained the Book of Mormon. This book helps us get closer to Christ than any other book on earth.
I have never been to the Sacred Grove or to this part of the country. A few years ago my children took a trip with their seminary class across country to the Sacred Grove and other church history sites along the way. What an amazing opportunity for them to see and experience first hand the sacred places that are there. Their testimonies grew and they visited the various sites and learned about the days of Joseph Smith. How happy I was to see their love for the prophet grow as they learned of the prophetic mission of Joseph Smith. God had a plan, he had a place, and the Prophet Joseph Smith became the instrument to bring the restored gospel back to the earth. How grateful I am to have the knowledge of this truth.