Ohio holds a special part in Mormon history starting with the migration of saints from New York in 1831 who followed the promptings of the Lord to gather in Ohio. Historic Kirtland is the first place the group settled. Joseph Smith and Emma were warmly welcomed by Newel K. Whitney, a prominent businessman, and were invited to stay with his family upon arrival. The Whitney Home and Store served as many things, including the headquarters of the Church, a storehouse, and a meetinghouse for the School of the Prophets. Many saints made the arduous trip from New York and built log cabins on many of the farms in the area. There were many challenges in the early days of the settlement, but it was also a joyous time where much missionary work was accomplished and many visions, prophecies and procedures were established. The 4th General Conference was held in Kirtland, Ohio in 1831. And, in 1836 the first temple in this dispensation was built and dedicated in Kirtland. Shortly after the dedication, the Savior appeared and accepted the temple. Prophets Moses, Elias and Elijah also appeared in the temple. The priesthood keys were restored in this temple. After the saints were forced to leave Ohio for Illinois and Missouri, and after many years, the Community of Christ took ownership of the temple, has restored it and still operates it today. With all the history and hallowed ground in Ohio, it is truly a blessing to now have a second temple located in Columbus after 150 years.
Columbus is an urban, political city with interesting neighborhoods, such as the German Village just south of the downtown area. You can walk the brick streets and enjoy the delicately preserved architecture, shop or enjoy authentic German food at Schmidt's Restaurant and Sausage Haus. To see some of the political past and present, visit The Ohio Statehouse, built in the 1860's and is still a working statehouse. The Easton Town Center (Many Dining Choices) gives you boutiques, shops and restaurants. Being a capital city, Columbus is filled with arts and science. The Center of Science and Industry (COSI) houses 320,000 square feet of exhibits and hands-on activities for all ages of children. See the zoo & aquarium Jack Hanna made famous at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. After a day of fun playing at COSI or the zoo, you'll need a hearty meal. Carsonie's Stromboli & Pizza Kitchen makes a mean pizza with fresh daily-made dough. Or, check out a retro diner with a modern twist on the decor and your favorite comfort foods at Cap City. The Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens displays beautiful gardens full of flowers, plants and trees. For a special treat, grab some non-traditional ice cream at Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams.