FAITH

Church historic sites around the country close for coronavirus concerns

Mar 16, 2020, 5:20 AM
A sister missionary leads a tour of the Grandin Building in Palmyra on Saturday, before it closed (...
A sister missionary leads a tour of the Grandin Building in Palmyra on Saturday, before it closed ( where the Book of Mormon was first published in 1830) (Photo Mary Richards | KSL NewsRadio)
(Photo Mary Richards | KSL NewsRadio)

PALMYRA, New York — Besides temples and church services, historic sites for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have also closed because of coronavirus.

Visitors can still go walk or drive around many sites by themselves, but visitors centers and facilities are closed.

Senior couple missionaries got the word on Saturday as they were leading families on tours around the sites in Upstate New York.

They were saddened, but understood the reasons behind the closure. They are in the age group that has been hardest hit by the virus. Therefore they need to have limited exposure to visitors and crowds.

The sites around Palmyra were getting busier with the start of spring break visitors.

Riley Cooney from Seattle was visiting the Sacred Grove with his family.

“There’s so much confusion right now,” he said, but he added that he felt peace in the woods behind the Smith Family Farm.

“I came in feeling a lot of stress, I haven’t slept well the last week. But I left with less of those doubts and more surety God will lead us through his leaders, and personal revelation. Everything is going to be ok,” he said.

His brother Sean Cooney, on break from law school in Virginia, was glad to be able to go on the trip.

“We were thinking of the opposition Joseph Smith faced in the Sacred Grove, before he saw God the Father and the Son,” said Sean.

Others pointed out how Church leaders for years have asked members to prepare for emergencies, and how President Nelson prepared members for home-centered Church.

This is also supposed to be the last year of the Hill Cumorah Pageant. So far it is still scheduled to happen in July.

Pageant President Neil Pitts understands why the large event is ending.

“The number one reason President Nelson gave, was, we want people working in their home, studying with their families. And look at what’s happening, isn’t this prophetic,” he said.

The Palmyra Temple was crowded on Friday and Saturday before it closed, but with lots of hand washing.

A news report from Illinois, talked about the site closures there as well, in and around Nauvoo and Carthage.

“Our volunteer missionaries are primarily retired couples who serve full-time for one to two years here,” current sites president John Stephen Rizley told WGEM.

“They are healthy now and we want to keep them healthy. We also want to do our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by limiting large gatherings.”

Rizley said leaders at Church headquarters in Salt Lake City would announce when the sites would open again.

 

 

Today’s Top Stories

Faith

An artist's rendering of the Ephraim Utah Temple. Photo credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latte...
Mark Jones

Groundbreaking date announced for Ephraim Utah Temple

The Church of Jesus of Christ of Latter-day Saints announced the groundbreaking date for the Ephraim Utah Temple on Tuesday.
7 days ago
Ceremonies commemorating the beginning of construction on the Elko, Nevada Temple were held Saturda...
Devin Oldroyd

Ceremonies were held Saturday for the Elko, Nevada Temple

On Saturday, May 7, ceremonies were held to commemorate the start of construction on the upcoming Elko, Nevada Temple.
9 days ago
day of prayer...
Michelle Rowe and Simone Seikaly

Utah’s state and religious leaders recognize National Day of Prayer

Utah's governor, religious leaders, and federal representatives all marked the 2022 National Day of Prayer.
12 days ago
Former U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch lies in state at the Utah Capitol Wednesday, May 4, 2022, in Salt Lake...
Mark Jones

Utahns come to Utah state capitol to pay respects to late Sen. Orrin Hatch

Utahns came to the Utah State Capitol Wednesday to pay their respects to the late Sen. Orrin Hatch, who died on April 23.
13 days ago
Reverand Phyllis Spiegel...
Dan Bammes

New bishop for Utah Episcopal diocese will speak to social justice issues

The Reverend Phyllis Spiegel comes to Utah from West Chester, Ohio, and also served parishes in her home state of Virginia.
15 days ago
For the first time in nearly 50 years, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Kensingto...
WJZ staff

Open house for Washington, D.C. Temple is the first in nearly 50 years

The Church of Jesus Christ of-Latter-day Saints will hold an open house for the Washington, D.C. Temple for the first time in nearly 50 years.
29 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
...

Tax Tuesday: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
...

Tax Tuesday: How will last year’s child tax credits affect you?

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
...

Tax Tuesday: Key Information Before the Filing Deadline

Businesses can receive a credit of up to $5,000 per employee in 2020 and up to $21,000 per employee in 2021.
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Church historic sites around the country close for coronavirus concerns