This past Saturday, 13 October 2012, the Church held an unveiling of the proposed plans for the site, which currently has only a small stone monument commemorating the restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood.President Keith Dunford, local stake president, said in this past Saturday’s unveiling, “Some significant events occurred here and the church concluded it was time to do a full restoration of this site for church members and non-members to learn about our church history.” Enormously important to Latter-day Saints, this site is the location where Joseph Smith received the Aaronic Priesthood at the hands of John the Baptist and, in a nearby location, received the Melchizedek Priesthood from Peter, James and John in 1829.These events laid the foundation for the restoration of the original Church established by Christ Himself.
During the translation process of the Book of Mormon, Joseph and Oliver went into the woods and prayed for guidance on the subject of baptism.
In reply, the resurrected John the Baptist visited them on and ordained them to the Aaronic Priesthood.
The road realignment is expected to take over two years to complete and will be paid for entirely by the Church with no expenses incurred by local residents or taxpayers.
The chapel, which will be the future home to the small Susquehanna Branch, will have a capacity of 235, and will have Pennsylvania bluestone used as the building’s facade.
Trails, walkways and access roads will also be constructed.
The work on State Route 171 could begin as early as November of this year, Dunford said.
Exiting east off of Interstate 81 into the small town of Great Bend, you would pass a single gas station as you followed the windy road known as State Route 171 along the meandering Susquehanna River.
You would drive for only a few moments before you would pass one of the most historic places in all of Mormondom.
In fact, if you blinked you would probably miss it. In a letter to Church leaders dated 15 April 2011, the Church’s First Presidency announced plans to restore a historic site in Pennsylvania that played a significant role in the growth of the Church from humble beginnings to a worldwide faith with over 14 million members.
The site, sitting on 90 acres just above a bend in the Susquehanna River, is located in Oakland Township (formerly Harmony), Pennsylvania.
They lived with Emma’s parents, Isaac and Elizabeth Hale, for a short time until they purchased a nearby log home with 13 ½ acres from Emma’s brother Jesse for 0.