|Whitmer home - Fayette, New York|
For members of the LDS faith April 6 is remembered as the day in 1830 when Joseph Smith gathered with a few close friends and family members in the tiny log home of Peter Whitmer and officially organized the Church of Christ - later named by revelation as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We have been to the Whitmer home and seen how humble and isolated it is. Pretty much all of the early church historic sites are like that. Those who claim that Joseph Smith wrote the Book of Mormon by himself, or even with the help of others, have not seen or considered the conditions under which they lived and labored and the time frame involved. The Restoration truly is a marvelous work and a wonder. It is amazing what imperfect people are able to accomplish under very trying conditions with God's help.
Like most combat veterans he really didn't like to talk about his wartime experiences, but occasionally we could get him to tell a few war stories. Thankfully we were able to record him telling some of those stories before he passed away. I regret now not asking more questions when he was still with us to answer them.
One of our favorite stories was about 'Whistling Ridge' or Whistling Hill'.
World War II is ancient history to young people today. There are few living WWII veterans left. I hope we can continue to remember what they did to provide and protect that which we enjoy today.
One final observation. After all that he had been through during the War and after, living the rest of his life with injuries received during the war, I do not recall that he held any hatred or bitterness toward the Japanese. As far as I could tell he put it behind him and moved on. That is a noble example that we could all emulate.