Temple Square – Salt Lake City, Utah

Temple Square – Salt Lake City, Utah

Almost everyone has heard of the Temple in Salt Lake City and many of the tourists that come to Utah come for the specific purpose of visiting the temple and the attractions leading to it.  There are three city blocks in downtown Salt Lake City that contain nearly 20 attractions related to Mormon pioneer history and genealogy.  Besides the Temple, there is the Tabernacle and the Family History Library.

Salt Lake Temple

The Salt Lake Temple is a worldwide icon of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  This massive granite edifice was constructed in a neo-gothic style over the course of an astounding 40 year period of time between 1853 and 1893.  Only members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are permitted to enter the temple, but all visitors are welcome to pursue the grounds and see the grandeur of the workmanship of the building and the beautiful flowers and shrubs surrounding the area.

The South Visitor Center is just to the south of the temple and contains exhibits on the building of the Temple and on the family.  At this site, you can also see pictures of the temple interior.  The staff will be glad to answer any questions that you have.  The Center is open seven days a week from 9 am to 9 pm.

Assembly Hall

Assembly Hall is the most ornate and colorful building on Temple Square.  It was built in 1877.  It is used today for free weekend concerts. If you’re there on a Friday or Saturday evening you may want to attend the concerts, which are free and do not require tickets but those under the age of 8 are not permitted to attend.

Mormon Tabernacle Choir

Salt Lake Tabernacle is the home of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  It is located just north of Assembly Hall and is truly an architectural and acoustic wonder.  The organ at the front of the Tabernacle contains 11,623 pipes, making it one of the largest and richest-sounding organs in the world.  The building was constructed so that even the drop of a pin at the front of the building can be heard at the back!!  The Tabernacle is usually open daily for tours.  The public is also welcome to attend choir rehearsals on Thursday evenings and the Music and the Spoken Word broadcasts on Sunday mornings.

The North Visitors Center offers the same hours as the South square.  Here is the impressive 11-foot statue of Jesus Christ known as The Christus.

Family History Library

If you are looking for information on genealogical study then you will want to visit the Family History Library.  There are volunteers there to help you through the process if necessary.  The Family History Library is open Monday 8 am to 5 pm and Tuesday – Saturday 8 am to 9 pm.

Deuel Pioneer Log Home

The Deuel Pioneer Log Home is waiting for you to come and visit.  This is a typical home built in the Salt Lake Valley after it was settled in 1847.

Museum of Church History and Art

The Museum of Church History and Art features numerous hands-on exhibits such as covered wagons like those the pioneers used.  There is a model log home for you to get the feel of what it would be like for the pioneers to live.  Visitors can also see a 1830′s edition of the Book of Mormon, as well as historical actors, films, and demonstrations.  The museum is open Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., and on weekends and holidays 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

The Conference Center seats 21,000 in the auditorium and 850 in the theater.  There are free guided tours available daily from 9 – 8.  During renovation of the Tabernacle, Music and the Spoken Word is recorded here each Sunday at 9:30 a.m. (Visitors must be seated by 9:15 a.m.) The Conference Center is occasionally home to other events, so you might want to consider calling (800) 240-0075 for information before visiting.

Relief Society Building

Relief Society Building which is where the church offices and a resource center are located.  It is the oldest women’s organization in the world and an important part of the church.  It is located on the lower level and offers visitors great ideas how to achieve the goal of strengthening home and family.  Hours are Monday – Friday 9 am – 4:30 pm.

Church Office Building

The Church Office Building is the administrative center of the church.  It stands 28 stories high and dominates the Temple Square skyline.  Visitors are welcome to take an elevator to the 26th floor and stand on the observations deck.  It is open Monday through friday 9 – 4:30 (5 during the summer).

Brigham Young Historic Park

Brigham Young Historic Park is a  small park that used to be part of Brigham Young’s farm.  During the summer, the park hosts concerts each Tuesday and Friday evening (8:00 p.m. in June and July; 7:30 p.m. in August). Seating is provided, but you can also bring blankets or chairs.

Mormon Pioneer Memorial Monument

Mormon Pioneer Memorial Monument honors the more than 6,000 pioneers who died crossing the plains between 1847 and 1869.  Brigham Young is also buried there.

Social Hall Heritage Museum

The Social Hall Heritage Museum shows the difficult lives of the pioneers.  The museum, located half a block south of the Pioneer Memorial Monument, is open from Monday through Friday 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Admission is free.

Beehive House

On the corner of State Street and South Temple is the Beehive House, Brigham Young’s mansion residence. The mansion has been beautifully restored and serves as a museum offering tours showing what life was like for the Young family back in 1855. Tours are free and are available Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., beginning every 10 minutes.

Lion House

Next to the Beehive House on South Temple is the Lion House, another of Brigham Young’s residences. Today the building operates as a social center and has a restaurant on the street level called the Lion House Pantry, featuring homestyle meals and baked goods. The Lion House is open Monday-Saturday 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Joseph Smith Memorial Building

Finally, you can visit the Joseph Smith Memorial Building which was built in 1911. It houses several attractions of interest so you may want to stop there.

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