Summarized by Kent Larsen
Guides at Mormon Church's birthplace leave room for proselytizing
Boston Globe (AP) 9Aug99 C3
By Ben Dobbin: Associated Press
PALMYRA, NEW YORK -- At the reconstructed Joseph Smith home, missionaries provide tours and testify to visitors of the truth of the Joseph Smith story. Dobbin visits not only the Smith homestead, but also the Grandin Building in Palmyra, where the first 5,000 copies of the Book of Mormon were printed. The Grandin Building is being remodeled, with later additions to the building being removed and fireplaces are being reinstalled.
The sites around Palmyra have drawn visitors for more than a century, but since the 1960s they have become much more popular, drawing thousands to the outdoor Hill Cumorah pageant, held each year since 1935, and currently featuring a cast of 600.
This article gives extensive background on the Church and its beliefs, and focuses somewhat on the senior missonaries serving at the historic sites. Elder Rand Clark, 74, is one of the volunteers, "Why it's beautiful to us is, this is where it all began," he says. Sister Marilyn Baird is glad that she is serving also, "I think it's kind of neat that people of our age look around for ways to serve," she says. "Retirement years should be productively used. We have responsibilities."