LDS Church to restore historic site in Pennsyvania

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PROVO, Utah -- In 2011 the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced plans to restore a historic site in Pennsylvania.

On Monday the church gave FOX 13 News a glimpse of the plans that are underway to renovate its Priesthood Restoration site in northern Pennsylvania and a new film they are making specifically for the new visitors center there.

“It's the last really site that has not been restored by the church from church history so this is a very, very exciting place,” said Stephen B. Allen, managing director of Missionary Department for the LDS Church.

The project has been in the works for nearly two decades. Church leaders say the construction of historic buildings, a visitors center, as well as monuments will help educate members and others.

“All the events that transpired here are of tremendous significance to Latter-day Saints. The covenants we believe we can make by baptism, the priesthood, which keeps us together as families, the ability to continue to progress in the gospel and the Book of Mormon as an additional witness of Jesus Christ, these things all came out of the Harmony area,” said Reid Neilson, managing director of the Church History Department for the LDS Church.

To show those visiting what happened at the historic area, a short movie is being filmed in Pennsylvania as well as in Provo -- depicting events like Joseph Smith, the church's founder, translating the Book of Mormon and receiving revelations on the priesthood and baptism.

“We feel it's a timely story we want to emphasize right now the importance of the restoration of the priesthood and the reality of the translation of the book of Mormon,” Neilson said.

The 90-acre Susquehanna site is expected to be finished in late summer or early fall of 2015.