Regardless of your religious persuasion, you cannot help but be moved by the beauty, artistry and craftsmanship of Temple Square.

Temple Square is the headquarters and hub of the Latter Day Saints of Jesus Christ church, commonly referred to as the Mormons.  It sits as a 10 acre oasis in the amidst the busy Salt Lake City.

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IMG_8865The grounds are lavish gardens, dotted with statues; the buildings, examples of master construction.  

IMG_8825 We spent a short time in the Family Center where the genealogy work starts.  Temple Square houses the largest genealogical collection of its kind in the world.  Having worked several years on our genealogy in the past, we decided to spend the rest of our afternoon seeing the square.

 IMG_8838 As we entered one of the two Visitor Centers, we were greeted by two young ladies, working as guides during their 18 month mission period.  Young adults have the option of serving as missionaries for the church for 18 months.IMG_8830

IMG_8852 The girls we had as guides were delightful, giving us an excellent tour of the grounds.  The  lavish Temple is visible from anywhere in the square.  It is open only to members of the church. 

IMG_8839 Our tour began in the visitor center with the displays as our guides described the building of the temple and other buildings.  Taking almost 40 years to build, the story is amazing. 

IMG_8840Each stone for the temple had to be transported many miles, and eventually a railroad was constructed to aid in moving the rock.  Displays show examples of the elaborate furnishings.

IMG_8852 The next building we visited was the domed Tabernacle.

IMG_8855  Another young lady demonstrated the acoustics of the building.  From the front of the building, with no electrical amplification, she dropped a pin on the podium, and you could hear the distinct ‘ping’ at the rear of the building. 

IMG_8860 The huge columns, appearing to be marble, are actually pine, realistically painted.  One of the massive organs is also located here, but we weren’t visiting on the right day to hear a recital of the organ playing or the choir.

IMG_8864 We were next escorted into the Assembly Hall, the 1882 meeting hall,  with its white spires and beautiful stained glass windows. 

   

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The gigantic Conference Center (seats 21,000) actually has a four acre garden, complete with trees and fountains located on its roof.  A waterfall cascades down the south facade.

IMG_8907bIMG_8906    Normally the tours include the roof, but it had rained the day we were there, and for safety reasons, the roof is locked when wet.

IMG_8911There was only time for a quick stop in the second visitor center.  Here, murals depicting the life of Christ fill the walls.  There are two art galleries, and a large walk-around interactive map of Jerusalem.

IMG_8913A spiral staircase leads you to the top floor where an awe-inspiring 11 foot statue of Christ, The Christus, dominates an atrium with the walls depicting the universe. 

We enjoyed a quick, delicious  meal in the one of the squares restaurants, then headed for the train station to return home. There were many more buildings and areas in Temple Square that we did not have time to investigate … another reason to return to the area some day.  For more information on Temple Square, CLICK HERE.

frontrunner3 Layton, along with other nearby communities is linked to Salt Lake City by rail, with the Frontrunner, a commuter train.  It made it a lot easier for us to visit the city than driving.

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