Salt Lake City has thousands of visitors each year– for business, recreation and religion. However, many don’t fully grasp the myriad of exciting attractions the city holds. Just one of the many destinations in this great city is Temple Square and all the wonderful sights therein. Let us provide some great ideas on how a visitor could spend an entire day at this historic destination.
Salt Lake Temple
The Salt Lake Temple (or the Mormon Temple as it’s commonly known) was completed and dedicated in 1893 after taking 40 years to build, this marvelous structure attracts 3 – 5 million visitors a year. After seeing the structure in person, it leaves little question as to why so many visitors flock to this destination. Constructed of quartz monzonite (which resembles granite) and with total a floor area of 253,015 square feet this impressive display of craftsmanship and architecture is testament to the dedication of the early settlers of Utah and the majesty of the Utah temple. Salt Lake Temple tours wind around the structure explaining the many intricacies of its construction such as architectural inspirations, materials, symbolism and heartfelt stories of sacrifice and dedication of those involved in the work. It is the focal point of any Temple Square tour and will undoubtedly leave you with a greater respect for all those involved in such a feat.
Mormon Tabernacle Choir
The world renowned Mormon Tabernacle Choir was founded in 1847 and consists of 360 members. The choir is housed in a building called the Mormon Tabernacle, which is located just west of the Salt Lake Temple. Throughout its history it has performed at the Olympics, at the inauguration for 10 US Presidents and a wide array of various celebrations throughout America’s history. In the 1950’s the choir won a Grammy for “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and was admirably dubbed “America’s Choir” by former president Ronald Reagan. This group of highly talented artists attracts thousands of visitors each year, but regular shows and rehearsals can be seen for no cost. Times and dates can be found at their website here.
Family History Library & FamilySearch Center
Also known as the Family History Center or Family Research Center, this library coupled with the FamilySearch center in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, provides engaging activities for children and adults alike. In these areas visitors can learn about the technology and resources made available to the public to search and catalog an individual’s ancestry. While at the library visitors can learn about indexing, constructing family trees and genealogies and document and photo preservation. Visitors can also learn about the role and importance that the nearby Mormon Temple has with family history. Tours and class times can be found at the website here.
The North Visitor’s Center
This part of Temple Square celebrates Utah’s Christian heritage. In the visitor’s center you will find an array activities and media relating to early and latter days of Christianity. The walls are adorned with enormous painting depicting significant events from the scriptures and interactive
kiosks dot the area for children and adults to learn more about the life of Christ. The entire experience is crowned by the winding walkway that ascends through the celestial adorned rotunda and ending at the spectacular 11-foot statue of Jesus Christ.
Although we have only touched on a few of the attractions found in Temple Square, we invite you to visit the following; the Church History Library, Church History Museum, the South Visitor’s Center, the Assembly Hall, the Joseph Smith Memorial Building and the Beehive House. Any of the aforementioned sites would merit a Temple Square tour. All of these will help any visitor learn more about the history of Utah’s pioneer heritage and leave with an admiration to those who developed a bustling metropolis out of the high desert of Salt Lake City.