“My father, Joseph Smith, Sen., left the State of Vermont, and moved to Palmyra, Ontario (now Wayne) county, in the State of New York, when I was in my tenth year, or thereabouts.”
Joseph Smith-History 1:3
While many know Joseph Smith moved from Vermont to New York in 1816, few know the cause may have been a volcano on the other side of the world.
After the Smith family moved to Palmyra, NY, and subsequently to the neighboring city, Manchester, NY, Joseph received several visions and brought to light The Book of Mormon. If it weren’t for a volcanic eruption in Indonesia, the Smith family may never have left Vermont, thus allowing Joseph Smith Jr. to accomplish his prophetic mission.
On April 6, 1815, Indonesia’s Mount Tambora erupted, spewing 25 cubic miles of ash, gases, rock and lava. This was the largest volcanic eruption since 1600.
Results of the Mount Tambora Eruption
- About 3/4 of a mile of Mount Tambor’s summit disappeared.
- There was complete darkness within 480 kilometers of the volcano for at least three days.
- The mountain’s hot air caused hurricanes.
- The ash blocked the sun, cooling the Earth by at least one degree Celsius.
- The extra atmospheric gases caused the “year without a summer,” causing it to snow in the Northeastern U.S. during June/July and frost in August.
- Dozens of families left Vermont because of crop failure.
The Smiths move to New York
After dealing with crop failure caused by the volcanic eruption, the Smith family decided to leave Vermont and move to Palmyra, NY. They lived in New York for several years and had experiences key to the coming forth of The Book of Mormon, including:
- Joseph Smith Jr. saw God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ and was called to be a prophet. (Spring 1820- In a grove of trees near Palmyra)
- An angel (Moroni) visited Joseph Smith, and showed him the location of The Book of Mormon buried in the Hill Cumorah. (September 21, 1823- a hill near Manchester)
- Joseph Smith retrieves The Book of Mormon and begins to translate it into English. (September 22, 1827)
“He knows his own plans and purposes that He will bring to pass. God’s eternal plan includes not only the result, but also each one of the means in their exact order that will culminate in that result.”
- T.A. Thomas
Personal Notes: I know God is in control. I’m fascinated how the Lord orchestrates our lives to bring about His plan for us. For example, I remember praying about where to live last year. We moved to where we felt was right. Because we moved there, I met a great friend and mentor who taught to build websites using WordPress. I don’t believe our meeting each other was a coincidence. If it weren’t for meeting him, I probably wouldn’t have created ScriptureNews.com. Thanks Bryan!