Saturday, April 2, 2011

Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah

We have been to Utah a couple of times, but never stopped at Temple Square.  This trip we had time to explore the 10 acre area in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City.    The buildings are varied and not all are open for tours.  Many enthusiastic young people are around to give directions and history (in up to 30 languages!).  There is no charge for these exhibits.

The Salt Lake Temple was built by the Mormons between 1853 and 1893.  It is used by members for baptisms and marriages.  No tours are allowed.

The Tabernacle is the home of the famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  The public is invited to rehearsals and broadcasts.  Rehearsals are Thursdays 8-9:30 pm and broadcasts are Sunday at 9:30.  There are 30 minute organ recitals at 12:00 Mon-Sat.  We didn't make the recital, but there were a few gentlemen practicing while we were there.  Very impressive!

Assembly Hall is an 1882 meeting hall and now used for concerts and recitals.  The gardens were beautiful with spring flowers.

Family History Library has the largest genealogical collection of it's kind in the world.  Visitors can use this facility at no charge.  There are many church members who are very helpful in assisting your search.  We were told they work with local Boy Scout troops on the Genealogy merit badge.  The center also provides blank family tree forms for you to use.  Anyone can access the online database and research family history from home.

The Church history museum features historical and contemporary church and Utah art and artifacts.  There is also a small gift shop on site.

It is an interesting and very beautiful area to explore.  We agreed that the site at Nauvoo, Illinois was a little more 'fun' way to learn about Mormon history - and general 1800's life.   The Illinois site is also free and is set up as the old town was in the 1800's with period buildings  and townspeople.  There are ox drawn carts to take you around to the different areas there.   Kids would definitely enjoy Nauvoo more.

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