The Church History Library


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

The Church History Library

On a cold December afternoon, Tia C. walked through the doors of the Church History Library. History is one of Tia’s favorite subjects, so she was excited to help show Friend readers some of the library’s fascinating historical treasures. Tia met Elder Marlin K. Jensen, who is the Church Historian. He showed her some very special journals and photographs. He told Tia it is important for every boy and girl in the Church to keep a journal. “Two or three times a week, sit down and think about how Heavenly Father has blessed you, protected you, and kept you from temptation,” he said. “Mainly, it is important to write about your feelings.”

Taking Care of History

Tia watched a video about a pioneer girl named Mary Jane Millett. Mary Jane’s father had a special experience that he wrote about in his journal. Mary Jane copied it into her own journal. Mary Jane’s journal is in the Church History Library, and Tia visited the conservation lab to see how it is being preserved.

Write It Down!

Tia loves writing stories. Now she knows how important it is to write down her own special experiences. “Visiting the Church History Library was the best experience ever!” Tia said. “I will never forget it.”

But just in case, she went home and wrote about it.

These tools help repair old books and documents.

“I was surprised at how big the library is inside,” Tia said. The library has millions of items—books, journals, photographs, magazines, newspapers, letters, patriarchal blessings, videos, and DVDs. Most are kept in storage rooms, some at a temperature of four degrees below zero!

President Spencer W. Kimball wrote in this small journal when he was 10 years old—the same age as Tia. Who do you think chewed the eraser off the little pencil?

What’s the special story inside Mary Jane Millett’s journal? To find out, go to friend.lds.org, click on “Videos,” and watch The Story Lives Here.

Mary Jane’s father

Tia saw Joseph Smith’s first journal. The Prophet bought it in 1832 to write down what he did and what he saw.

In the conservation lab, Tia sewed a few stitches to help repair Mary Jane Millett’s journal.

Tia helped Brother Fuhriman wash the dirt off this photo of Mary Jane’s father. Goggles kept the alcohol and water from splashing into her eyes.

See More Online!

You can watch the video about Tia’s visit to the Church History Library at friend.lds.org.

Photographs by Christina Smith; Joseph Smith Jr. by Elbert Porter