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A Lion and a Lamb

4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  337 ratings  ·  151 reviews
A Return to Palmyra

In 1830, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was established in Palmyra, New York. But within a few short years, persecution had driven the Saints away from the Church’s birthplace. For many decades, northwestern New York was a hostile place for a Mormon.

However, in 1915, President Joseph F. Smith felt impressed the time had come for the

Paperback, 180 pages
Published July 17th 2007 by Spring Creek Book Company (first published May 1st 2007)
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The story of Willard and Rebecca Bean, a young couple called to serve a mission in Palmyra, NY in 1915. Back then there was still much hostility toward Mormons in that area. He was a boxer and not afraid of anyone or anything. She was a great cook and hostess. Over the next 24 years, they slowly but surely made friends and helped turn the tide of anger, while living on the old Joseph Smith homestead. They were also instrumental in the church's purchase of the Hill Cumorah.

I actually just bought
It's hard to know how many stars to give some books. This one tells the truth -- and all by itself, that should probably give it five stars. It is a history of the authors grandparents, who were missionaries sent to open the doors of Palmyra so the church could establish a presence there again and perhaps acquire some of the properties of historical value. Willard and Rebecca Bean moved into the Smith farmhouse, and ran the farm as a self-supporting enterprise. At first, the townspeople of Palmy ...more
On a fall 2010 trip to Palmyra, NY to visit family I bought this book about the 24 year mission of Willard and Rebecca Bean to Palmyra, beginning in 1915. They were the first "Mormons" to return to the hostile Palmyra area after the Saints settled in Utah. Through kindness and hard work they were able to reestablish the Church in the area and obtain for the Church the Hill Cumorah and other historical sites. My sister and I gathered leaves from the Hill in the dark in a light rain and sent them ...more
I had never heard of these people but this is a true story of Willard and Rebecca Bean who were sent by the church in 1915 to settle in Palmyra and live in the Joseph smith home. All the anti church prejudices were still there and the people wouldn't even sell them food. They ended up living there for over 20 years and were instrumental in purchasing the Hill Cumorah and establishing the monument there. It was great reading and not long.
Jennifer Griffith
This is the story of Willard and Rebecca Bean's 24 year mission to return the LDS church to its roots in western New York. It's not a traditionally written "history" book. It is much more loosely told, and lovingly told. I found the Beans fascinating, and I think I might have come away from the book loving them almost as much as their grandson the author. I found this story so uplifting, their experiences exceptional. If a person goes into it looking for a strict, coldly researched, unbiased ret ...more
This is the sweet story of a couple who left their comfortable surroundings to go an a mission to Palmyra. It lasted for 24 years. They were the ultimate couple to be sent to this hostile environment. Willard was not a standoffish sort. He was a former prize fighter and he could hold his own anywhere. The two of them made many friends for the church and were instrumenatal in acquiring a lot of historical land including the Hill cumorah for the church. This is a great story and sort of makes you ...more
A very easy read. A biography in novel form of Willard and Rebecca Bean. They were called on a 5 year mission to re-establish the church presence in Palmyra and 24 years later were released. In that time they went from the hated and lonely mormons, to beloved friends of the entire community. My dad recommended the book to me and, as his dad was a boxer, I think he felt a kinship to Bro. Bean. I felt it was inspiring to know of anyone who could magnify their calling to the degree that they did fo ...more
I was so inspired by Willard and Rebecca Bean! This is a true story about a newly married couple sent to Palmyra, NY in the early 1900s on a mission for the LDS Church. The mission was unusual in that they were sent to live in and take care of the recently-acquired Joseph Smith home and re-establish the Church in that area. They did so willingly for what turned out to be 24! What was most amazing to me, though, was their faith and optimism in the face of a really difficult challenge. ...more
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Especially knowing that it was a true story of intrepid missionaries on a perilous mission in Palmyra NY. Willard Bean and his wife lived a remarkable life of truth and patience linking the Palmyra area back to the roots of the LDS church. They showed great faith in living amid unfriendly people, nee hostile people. Yet over time they made great friends and gathered the land sites into the hands of the church so that we could learn about the beginnings and walk in ...more
Julie Carpenter
My mom sent me this book for my birthday one year. At the time my parents were missionaries for the LDS church serving in Palmyra, NY. It was really neat to read the history of that area as the LDS church was trying to buy back the land and create a visitor's center. It was especially neat knowing my parents were there serving and taking visitors on tours of the places the Bean couple were influential in helping the Church purchase.

They were an amazing couple!! If you are looking for a good hist
I read this book after visiting Palmyra, NY with my family. This is a great story about an incredibly strong couple, and the trials they went through living in a place where people hated them initially simply because of their religion. After years of turning the other cheek, and being good people and neighbors, the Bean's won over the town and were very loved and respected. It's also a very interesting read into how the LDS church obtained many of the sacred properties that relate to the beginni ...more
This book was fascinating to me and I really enjoyed it. Any of my friends who are LDS or who are interested in LDS or Palmyra, NY history will like it, too. It's about Willard and Rebecca Bean who, as newlyweds, were called on a mission to Palmyra, NY in 1915. The Church had recently purchased the historic Joseph Smith farm. The Beans were to live on the farm and befriend the community in order to improve the image of the Church there. The attitude of almost everyone in the area was very negati ...more
Holly Shaklee
I loved this book. Packer writes this book in a novel-type form, but the majority of the information comes from journal writings from Willard and Rebecca Bean. They have been asked to re-establish the Mormon church in Palmyra after the Saints were driven out and kept detailed accounts of their time there. It was funny, it was an easy read, and it made me proud of my Church and especially the Bean family. I plan to re-read this with my 10-yr-old son soon.
This was especially meaningful to read this book a week after visiting New York, Hill Cumorah, the Sacred Grove, Palmyra, etc. The Bean's were an exceptional couple that did one of the most difficult missions possible. It was mind blowing to me what sacrifices they made, the hard work they did for almost 25 years and all the amazing ways they blessed others including the LDS church for eternity. Loved this book.
I loved learning the history of Palmyra, NY. Willard and Rebecca Bean were called to serve a 5-year mission in Palmyra during a time of great hostility toward the LDS church. They ended up serving for 24 years. They patiently dealt with hostility and hatred aimed at their family, eventually breaking down barriers and making lifelong friendships. They worked tirelessly and experienced countless miracles.
I really enjoyed this book. The Hill Cumorah has been such an integral part of my life and it was very interesting to learn more details about the history of the Mormon church in Palmyra. The Beans did so much to improve the image of the the church , however when we moved to Palmyra in 1982, although there was no out right persecution, there was still significant animosity directed towards the church as a whole, not so much toward individuals. We have seen marked improvement in the past 30 years ...more
Dec 29, 2008 LaSchelle rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to LaSchelle by: Teri
A great story of a wonderful couple--Willard & Rebecca Bean--who consistently chose to serve the Lord, even when serving meant being greeted by hostility.

I've always loved church history and I really appreciate the back story on how the church was able to secure the properties in Palmyra that are such an important part of the church’s history. Due to Willard & Rebecca’s patience, perseverance and kindness over 24 years, they were able to change many community members’ opinions of the Sa
I am so glad I stumbled across this book- It's a literal gem! I couldn't put it down, but gobbled up the pages as fast as I could, and then started it all over again. I've read it several times on my own, and once to my daughters while we took a trip to the Palmyra area. What an inspiration to read. It leaves you with a feeling of laughter and gratitude.
Loved this book! Since palmyra is my temple district right now it was so interesting to read how these people made friends with those who hated them and paved the way for the church to purchase the hill cumorah. I got to go to the pageant for the first time this summer. There are still those who oppose the church there but the spirit is so strong.
May 03, 2015 Gina rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: lds
I loved reading about the miracles that took place in and around this family. I did not know about the events that led up to the LDS church to acquire the Hill Cumorah property. This book tells the story of a family who sacrificed 24 years of their life and made a great difference to many because of it.
Rand Packer was my Bishop while I was at BYU. I served as his Executive Secretary and later as one of his counselors. Yet in all that time, I don't remember hearing these stories of his grandparents. This was a very interesting and heartwarming account of those early years in Palmyra.
A spirited read of the first missionaries returning in the Palmyra area after the Mormons had left. I enjoyed the stories and feisty personality about Willard. I wished there was more about Rebecca and her perspective, but I suppose that was because there wasn't as much public record about her. Overall, a great read!
Kim Mathews
A couple sent to try to repair sentiments toward the LDS. Living at the bottom of Hill Cumorah near Palmyra she slaved in the house feeding hundreds of travelers who stopped and stayed. He was responsible for several improvements of property and relations with the locals.
Jil Craythorne
I bought this book during my trip to Palmyra. This book really gave me a greater understanding to how Palmyra and the Hill Cumorah pageant came to be. What a great example of serving those in your community and fulfilling your calling above and beyond expectations.
This was especially interesting to read after living for 4 years in Western New York and remembering these places. A wonderful and historical read for any member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, or for those who are not members.
Loved this book and all the photos and historical accounts of the missionary service of a newlywed couple called to serve a life long mission! So many miracles and testimony building occurances! I learned so much! Quick read.
Jennifer Blaine
This is a sweet story of a couple confronting prejudice with kindness and boldness. I would give this book 5 stars, but the writing seemed choppy in parts. I highly recommend this book though!
Carla Marie
Excellent book building friendships for the church in Palmyra New York! Story of 'the Mormon Cyclone', prizefighter and his humble, sweet wife as they lived for 25 years on a mission.
Bret Chamberlain
My parents are serving right now in Palmyra. What a sacred place. The events that the Beans were a part of are wonderful to read about. I love Mr. Bean's fighting spirit!!!
I've been thinking a lot about taking my family out east to visit the church history sites, now I have a much better understanding of what happened in Palmyra in the 1900's.
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