There is a large Visitor Center at the Hill Cumorah in Palmyra, New York. This site commemorates the place where Joseph Smith found the Golden Plates from which he translated the Book of Mormon. There are several other LDS Church History sites in this area including the Smith Family Farm, the Grandin Press, and the Palmyra Temple.
When you enter the Visitor Center at the Hill Cumorah, you’ll be greeted by LDS missionaries. They will give a brief history of the hill and Joseph’s story of the plates. As in many of these sites, there is a short video, this one focusing on Moroni burying the plates in the hill. The video is short, and you’ll need around an hour to visit this site.
The next stop on the tour of the Visitor Center is at a Christus statue in a small round room. The room has large windows facing west down toward the Sacred Grove and the Smith Family Farm. The view is beautiful as this area of upstate New York is very lush and green.
There are also lots of hands-on activities for families. There are movies on small screens, a huge display of Book of Mormons, and many information signs and areas to learn more. You can spend as much time as you’d like in this are of the Visitor Center.
Monument on the Hill
After you are finished in the Visitor Center, you are invited to climb the Hill Cumorah. In the past, a narrow road wound its way to the top of the hill. Now you will be climbing it on your own. A small footpath climbs the hill, but it isn’t very long or difficult. The hill itself, is, after all, just a hill. If you have accessibility needs, speak with the missionaries about them taking you up in a golf cart.
At the top of the hill, there is a very large, impressive monument. This statue is surprisingly tall and has the angel, Moroni, on top. Three of the sides have plaques depicting scenes from Moroni in the 1820’s. One side has Moroni with the 3 witnesses. Another shows him on the hill with Joseph. In a way, this site is a memorial to Moroni and his work to bring forth the Book of Mormon.
The Hill Cumorah is an easy stop along your Church History tour throughout the United States. It is just a few minutes away from the other Palmyra stops, so make sure to tie them all together. Check the current hours and opening dates on their website.