The Church History Museum


Come with us this month for a look at an important place on Temple Square.

The Church History Museum

Blake and Ellie C. weren’t there when the Nauvoo Illinois Temple was built. They also weren’t there when the first Book of Mormon was published or when the Salt Lake Tabernacle was finished. However, when this brother and sister from Layton, Utah, visited the Church History Museum in Salt Lake City, they learned that they could still feel the same spirit felt by those who were there.

Blake and Ellie started their tour by looking at a stained-glass triptych that depicts the appearance of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ to Joseph Smith in the Sacred Grove. The triptych is at the beginning of the museum exhibit for a good reason. Without the First Vision, there would be no Church history.

As people learned about the First Vision and the Book of Mormon, more and more converts joined the Church. Many of them gathered in Nauvoo, Illinois.

In Nauvoo, the Lord commanded the Saints to build a temple. The Nauvoo Temple was decorated with several sunstones on its exterior. At the museum, Blake and Ellie saw a copy of an original sunstone.

Many temples have been built since the Nauvoo Temple was completed in 1846. There are now more than 130 temples all across the world. Many include an angel Moroni statue atop the temple.

The announcements of the construction of many of the temples have taken place from behind the pulpit in the Salt Lake Tabernacle. The museum includes a replica of the original pulpit and rostrum, as well as a few rows of pews.

In the years after Joseph Smith received the First Vision, the Lord commanded him to translate the gold plates, which included writings of ancient prophets. The translation was published on a printing press as the Book of Mormon. One of the museum exhibits includes a printing press and a Book of Mormon that was printed on it in 1830.

New Children’s Exhibit

This month, the museum opens a new children’s exhibit about the Book of Mormon. The exhibit will have displays and activities based on stories from the Book of Mormon and the importance of sharing and living its teachings.

Photographs by Christina Smith; exterior shot of museum © Steve Tregeagle

Stained Glass: Glass colored for decorative purposes.

Triptych: A piece of art consisting of three panels side by side.

Pulpit: A high reading desk used in conducting a worship service.

Rostrum: A platform raised above the surrounding level to give prominence to the person on it.

Printing Press: A machine that prints books, newspapers, or magazines.