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We’ve all heard amazing a cappella groups perform their inspiring harmonies – their blended vocals, with no accompaniment, astound us and leave us begging for more. But there’s no need to beg any longer. The world’s top a cappella groups are coming to Temple Square’s Conference Center in Salt Lake City to compete for the coveted title of International Champion, and you can come experience it all in-person!

Photo by Lorin May

During the first week of July 2019, we’re thrilled to welcome back the Barbershop Harmony Society (BHS) and the Association of International Champions (AIC) as we host their 81st annual Barbershop International Convention and contests, “Family Harmony” performance with past champions, and more exciting, family-friendly events. As if that isn’t thrilling enough, Utah residents can get free tickets to some events! So get ready for a weeklong adventure with high-energy performances from the best a cappella groups in the world. You don’t want to miss this!  

Below you’ll find background information, a list of events for the week, and tips on how to get the most out of your experience.

Events and Tips

Check out the below Itinerary on everything you can do during the week and how to soak it all in. These events are family-friendly and even have accommodations for your restless little ones. Parking is available in the Conference Center parking garage, but it fills up quickly. More parking options are available nearby, but we recommend guests use the UTA TRAX and bus systems wherever possible. 

Monday, July 1 | 6:00 – 8:30pm

Conference Center Plaza (southwest corner)

We’re starting the fun with a free outdoor concert on the Conference Center Plaza! The show stage will feature 8-10 Barbershop Harmony Society quartets and current International champions, After Hours, who will sing at about 7:00 PM. Multiple food trucks with also be there, so come enjoy the music and food! The food truck service will begin at 6:00 PM with the show starting at 6:30 PM.

This is the first time the Conference Center has hosted an event outside like this (on the corner of North Temple Street and West Temple Street), so come be a part of something unique!

  • Experience the AIC Show – “Family Harmony”

Thursday, July 4 | 7:30pm – 9:30pm 

Conference Center

This is the biggest show of the week! It’s fun, hilarious and features eight world-champion barbershop quartets as they sing popular theme songs from beloved classic family TV shows. Though it’s silly, the show is also a beautiful expression of life and love with family through harmony. Enjoy the music, and be out in time for the fireworks around the city!

Cost: Youth, students, and music educators are FREE – use promo code SLCFREE when booking and you will receive your ticket for free.

Tickets: www.aicgold.com

Source: www.aicgold.com/2019-salt-lake-city-aic-show/

Sunday, July 7 | 9:30am

Conference Center

The most decorated and recorded barbershop chorus in the world, The Vocal Majority, is joining the renowned Tabernacle Choir for their weekly broadcast. Admission to Music and the Spoken Word is free, but space is limited and demand will be high, so come early. Doors open at 8:30am

  • Choose What Competitions You Want to Attend & Get Tickets (remember, Utah residents get free tickets to some of the events!)

Wednesday, July 3rd – Saturday, July 6th

Conference Center

Besides the thrilling shows, there are multiple contests throughout the week you can attend. You can come to everything or just pick and choose what you’d like to see. During competitions, you can come when you’d like and leave when you’d like. Just make note that doors will be closed while competitors are performing, but will reopen in-between each performance. If your little ones get restless, you can head to the ‘Barbertots’ room, located in the Conference Center Media room. Contest performances can be seen and heard from the room. Here’s an overview of the contests.

Source: barbershop.org

CONTESTS: Wednesday, July 3 | 5:00-10:00pm  Next Generation Varsity Quartet Contest and Chorus Invitational

For singers 18-25 years old, these quartets and choruses are the future of barbershop music.

Thursday, July 4 | 10:45am-3:30pm  Quartet Semifinals

The top 20 quartets all chasing the remaining 10 spots for the Finals.

Each quartet will sing two songs — usually the most inventive and exciting round of the entire contest!

Friday, July 5 | 10:00am-2:30pm, 4:00-9:00pm  Chorus Sessions 1 and 2

Come and see some of the best barbershop choruses in the world, ranging in size from a few dozen to more than one hundred singers.

Saturday, July 6 | 5:00-10:00pm  Saturday Night Spectacular and Quartet Finals  **a show and then final competition**

The Saturday Night Spectacular show features stories of friendship, family, and the power of community impact. Several of the best barbershop singers come together in this inspiring show. Immediately after the show is the Quartet Finals. This is where the remaining 10 quartets battle for gold medals!

Background The Conference Center

The Temple Square Conference Center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has an enormous 21,000 seat auditorium (the biggest of its kind in the world) with no visible support columns. This is ideal for large indoor events. The Church typically hosts religious events in this venue, but you might not know that occasionally other events are hosted here, such as this BHS International Convention and the AIC show. In fact, in 2005, we hosted this same convention in the Conference Center for the first time and we’re looking forward to hosting it again this year.

Photo & Design by Lorin May

Barbershop Music and the Barbershop Harmony Society (BHS)

When you hear “Barbershop” you might think of men in striped hats singing a cappella. Though the a capella part is still correct, Barbershop music is so much more! It’s roots lie in African-American communities in the south, especially New Orleans, and it really was sung in barbershops. The music originates from improvisation and European harmony traditions.

Founded in 1938, the Barbershop Harmony Society is a non-profit organization that strives to preserve and extend the reach of this uniquely American close harmony musical art form through music education programs and resources, publishing, performance, and community outreach. With approximately 20,000 members and associates, they actively welcome all people: men and women, young and old, of increasingly diverse backgrounds and beliefs, united in a love of harmony. They host their annual Barbershop International Convention and Contests each year in a different location. Salt Lake City has previously hosted it in 1980, 1986, 1996, and 2005.

Association of International Champions (AIC)

The AIC is an affiliate of the Barbershop Harmony Society. They have an exclusive membership that is only open to winning quartets of  the annual BHS International Quartet Contest. They aim to produce the finest barbershop quartet shows in the world and focus on quartet development, education, promotion and financial support within the Barbershop Harmony Society. They host their annual AIC show in conjunction with the BHS International Convention.

Come and experience these exciting a cappella competitions and shows with us. You’ll love every minute of it! And while you’re here at Temple Square, enjoy some of the other attractions on these beautiful 35-acres. See you soon!  

The post World A Cappella Competition at Temple Square’s Conference Center appeared first on Temple Square.

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Many Christians believe Christianity, at its core, is a religion of love. And to many, there’s no better expression of love than getting married. So as you plan your Catholic wedding and ensuing wedding reception, may we suggest two stunning and historic venues to hold each in downtown Salt Lake City: The Cathedral of the Madeleine and Temple Square.

History of The Cathedral of the Madeleine

Image: utcotm.org

The Cathedral of the Madeleine is included on the Utah Register of Historic Sites, as well as the National Register of Historic Places. And the history of this beautiful cathedral dates back to the late 1800s.

The Right Reverend Lawrence Scanlan bought the land in 1890 for $35,000, even before he was consecrated as the bishop of the Diocese of Salt Lake. The cathedral’s groundbreaking was on July 4, 1899, and construction started in 1900 with the laying of the cathedral’s cornerstone on the Feast of St. Mary Magdelene. The cathedral wasn’t completed until 1909, though, because Bishop Scanlan didn’t want to build until he could raise the needed funds. On August 15, 1909, the cathedral was dedicated by Cardinal James Gibbons of Baltimore, who was the highest-ranking Catholic during that time.

The cost of construction was $344,000, and it was designed by architects Carl M. Newhausen and Bernard O. Mecklenburg, combining a mostly Romanesque exterior with a Gothic interior.


Image: The Cathedral of the Madeleine – Facebook

The cathedral was first renovated in 1917, under the direction of Right Reverend Joseph S. Glass, who wanted to completely revamp the interior of the cathedral. Numerous adornments, like mural paintings and wooden statues, were added in 1918. Then, in 1924, Bishop Glass (he became the bishop in 1915) traveled to Rome and returned with rare paintings and antique religious art to put up in the cathedral.

Bishop Glass is credited with creating the interior of the cathedral. Known as the Comes interior, as Glass got the aid of a superior American architect at the time, John Theodore Comes, the interior was inspired by the Spanish Gothic of the late Middle Ages. Bishop Glass was a man of refined taste who had a strong artistic sense. This caused him to spend more than the resources he had, and it took two bishops after him and nearly two decades to pay off his renovation debt, as the cathedral was consecrated on November 28, 1936.

More work was done between 1975-80, under The Most Reverend Joseph Lennox Federal, who was the sixth bishop of Salt Lake City, due to deterioration: replacing pinnacles, putting on a new copper roof, reinforcing concrete, and restoring the four gargoyles, whose spiritual meaning is to ward off any evil spirits.

Between 1991-93, the most extensive interior renovation and restoration of the cathedral took place. It cost $9.7 million and affected every aspect of the cathedral’s interior: building a new altar, adding a larger baptismal font, rebuilding the cathedral’s lower level, creating a new annex entrance, putting a seismic retrofit to help strengthen the building against earthquakes, among other things. The cathedral was formally rededicated on February 21, 1993.

Name Change

Image: The Cathedral of the Madeleine – Facebook

Besides renovating the cathedral’s interior, Bishop Glass also renamed the cathedral during his time from Cathedral of St. Mary Magdalene to The Cathedral of the Madeleine to give it a more European feel.

Weddings at The Cathedral of the Madeleine

According to The Cathedral of the Madeleine’s website, it is “the mother church for Roman Catholics in the state of Utah.” The cathedral holds daily Roman Catholic Mass—with both English and Spanish services on Saturdays and Sundays. It also hosts tours, other religious and cultural events, as well as weddings.

Before you can get married at The Cathedral of the Madeleine, couples are asked to:

  • Read the cathedral’s guidelines and agree with them.
  • Give a six-month notice to the parish.
  • Be a resident of this parish or be a non-resident who is registered and active at this cathedral for at least 18 months. If you aren’t a parishioner of this cathedral, you have to ask your parish church to get a priest or deacon to prepare you for marriage and perform the marriage rite at this cathedral.
  • Obtain the proper documents: marriage license, Pre-Nuptial Questionnaire, Freedom Affidavits, and baptismal certificates.
  • Attend the Engaged Encounter Weekend and Natural Family Planning Class (need to submit certificates received from these along with previously mentioned documents).
  • Sign and mail the scheduling form and pay a deposit to reserve your wedding date (50% of the wedding fee). The rest of the fee and forms are due a month before your wedding date.
  • Select approved music.

You should also note that weddings are only performed on Saturdays at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Weddings aren’t performed during Advent and Lent or during weekends when the cathedral has concerts. And if you are using a wedding coordinator, they can’t perform their duties inside the cathedral. The Cathedral of the Madeleine has a coordinator who will assist with your wedding rehearsal and wedding day professional.

Wedding Receptions at Temple Square

Located just 0.6 miles (a 3-minute drive or 9-minute walk) from the cathedral is Temple Square, another downtown location with historical and religious significance. A 35-acre property owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Temple Square is a National Historic Landmark that draws people from all over the world each year because of its beautiful grounds, cultural activities, research libraries, and historic buildings. People come to take tours of Temple Square, learn about family history, attend concerts and other community events, eat at one of the restaurants, see the holiday lights and decorations, get married in the Salt Lake Temple, and host their wedding reception.

Wedding Venues

Temple Square is home to two wedding venues: The Joseph Smith Memorial Building and The Lion House and Outdoor Garden.

If you want a wedding reception as elegant as your ethereal cathedral wedding, hold your celebration in one of the banquet rooms at The Joseph Smith Memorial Building. Beautiful architecture and surroundings and rooms able to accommodate 20 to 1,200 guests, you’ll have the layout and ambiance to hold a dinner, dancing, socializing or all of the above.

Not lacking in elegance, the rooms at The Lion House are elegantly enchanting and full of cozy history. It was built in 1856 as a family home of a Church prophet. If you want an outdoor reception or luncheon, the outdoor garden is as charming as it is spacious.

Even though the Joseph Smith Memorial Building and the Lion House venues are owned by the Church, we welcome people of other faiths to enjoy the facilities and make their Salt Lake City wedding event a most remarkable and memorable experience.

Contact our events team if you’re interested in holding your wedding reception or luncheon at Temple Square or if you have any questions about the venue.

The post The Religion of Love: Wed & Celebrate at 2 Historic SLC Venues appeared first on Temple Square.

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Another inspiring General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gave motivation to those who watched and insight to all on how to be better and do better. Here’s our list of several April 2019 general conference quotes from each talk to help you reflect on the words you heard and the feelings you felt. And as always, enjoy a few designed quotes for printing or sharing online.

Saturday Morning Session How Can I Understand? | Elder Ulisses Soares

“It is hard to understand all the reasons why some people take another path. The best we can do in these circumstances is just to love and embrace them, pray for their well-being, and seek for the Lord’s help to know what to do and say. Sincerely rejoice with them in their successes; be their friends and look for the good in them. We should never give up on them but preserve our relationships. Never reject or misjudge them. Just love them!”

Careful versus Casual | Becky Craven

“Although we may not be perfect, brothers and sisters, we can be worthy: worthy to partake of the sacrament, worthy of temple blessings, and worthy to receive personal revelation.”

“If we are not careful in living our covenants with exactness, our casual efforts may eventually lead us into forbidden paths…”

“We can rationalize all we want, but the fact is, there is not a right way to do the wrong thing!

Answers to Prayer | Brook P. Hales

“When we honor our covenants and strive to be more like our Savior, we are entitled to a constant stream of divine guidance through the influence and inspiration of the Holy Ghost.”

“The Father is aware of us, knows our needs, and will help us perfectly.”

Missionary Work: Sharing What is in Your Heart | Dieter F. Uchtdorf

“…wherever you are on this earth, there are plenty of opportunities to share the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ with people you meet, study with, and live with or work and socialize with.”

“The closer you draw to our Heavenly Father, the more His light and joy will shine from within you. Others will notice that there is something unique and special about you. And they will ask about it.”

“The important thing is that you don’t give up; keep trying to get it right. You will eventually become better, happier, and more authentic. Talking with others about your faith will become normal and natural. In fact, the gospel will be such an essential, precious part of your lives that it would feel unnatural not to talk about it with others. That may not happen immediately—it is a lifelong effort. But it will happen.”

“I am asking that you ‘stand as witnesses’ of the power of the gospel at all times—and when necessary, use words.”

Just as He Did | W. Christopher Waddell

“As we seek the guidance of the Spirit and trust the Lord, we will be placed in situations and circumstances where we can act and bless—in other words, minister.”

“Although we may feel that our efforts are inadequate, President Dallin H. Oaks shared an important principle regarding ‘small and simple.’ He taught that small and simple acts are powerful because they invite ‘the companionship of the Holy Ghost,’ a companion who blesses both the giver and the receiver.”

A Home Where the Spirit of the Lord Dwells | Henry B. Eyring

“You will find some of your greatest joys in your efforts to make your home a place of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and a place that is permeated with love, the pure love of Christ.”

“So building faith in Jesus Christ is the beginning of reversing spiritual decline in your family and in your home. That faith is more likely to bring repentance than your preaching against each symptom of spiritual decline.”

“You will best lead by example. Family members and others must see you growing in your own faith in Jesus Christ and in His gospel.”

“Even when family members are not living in the home, prayer can build bonds of love. Prayer in the family can reach across the world. More than once I have learned that a family member far away was praying at the same moment for the same thing as I was. For me, the old saying “The family that prays together stays together” could be expanded to “The family that prays together is together, even when they are far apart.”

Saturday Afternoon Session The True, Pure, and Simple Gospel of Jesus Christ | M. Russell Ballard

“…as we strive to become faithful disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, we can find peace, joy, and happiness despite the worldly troubles that swirl around us.”

“…do the best you can do day after day, and before you know it, you will come to realize that your Heavenly Father knows you and that He loves you. And when you know that—really know it—your life will have real purpose and meaning and you will be filled with joy and peace.”

“When we love and serve the Lord and love and serve our neighbors, we will naturally feel more happiness that comes to us in no better way.”

“Living the true, pure, and simple gospel plan will allow us more time to visit the widows, widowers, orphans, lonely, sick, and poor. We will find peace, joy, and happiness in our life when serving the Lord and our neighbors.”

“Let’s not complicate things with additional meetings, expectations, or requirements. Keep it simple. It is in that simplicity that you will find the peace, joy, and happiness I have been talking about.”

Seeking Knowledge by the Spirit | Mathias Held

“We should learn to discern the truth not only through our rational minds but also through the very still and small voice of the Spirit.”

“Likewise, we have been given two sources of information, through our physical and spiritual capacities. Our mind produces one perception through our physical senses and through our reasoning. But through the gift of the Holy Ghost, the Father has also provided us with a second perspective, which is really the most important and true one because it comes directly from Him.”

The Eye of Faith | Neil L. Andersen

“Some will say, ‘You don’t understand my situation.’ I may not, but I testify there is One who does understand. There is One who knows your burdens because of His sacrifice made in the garden and on the cross. As you seek Him and keep His commandments, I promise you that He will bless you and lift the burdens too heavy to bear alone.”

“No choice, no alternative that denies the companionship of the Holy Ghost or the blessings of eternity is worthy of our consideration.”

“He is the source of all truth that really matters”

Feasting Upon the Words of Christ | Takashi Wada

“Our Heavenly Father loves us. He has provided a perfect plan for us to enjoy His blessings.”

“…feasting upon the words of Christ can happen at any time and on any occasion if we prepare our hearts to receive them.”

“Feasting upon the words of Christ will bring life-sustaining revelation, reaffirm our true identity and worth before God as His child, and lead our friends unto Christ and everlasting life.”

Hearing His Voice | David P. Homer

“Convenience rarely leads to things that matter.”

“…in a world with so many competing voices, I testify that our Heavenly Father has made it possible for us to hear and follow His. If we are diligent, He and His Son will give us the direction we seek, the strength we need, and the happiness we all desire.”

Behold the Lamb of God | Jeffrey R. Holland

“There is no shortage of suffering in this world… One way to “always remember him” would be to join the Great Physician in His never-ending task of lifting the load from those who are burdened and relieving the pain of those who are distraught.”

“As for punctuality, a late pass will always be lovingly granted to those blessed mothers who, with children and Cheerios and diaper bags trailing in marvelous disarray, are lucky to have made it to church at all.”

General Priesthood Session Your Priesthood Playbook | Gary E. Stevenson

“You know what temptations you are most vulnerable to, and you can predict how the adversary will try to derail and dishearten you. Have you created a personal game plan and playbook so that you will know how to respond when faced with opposition?”

“You might be thinking that you are no one special, that you are not all-star material. But that is not true. Don’t you know that God has proclaimed, ‘The weak things of the world shall come forth and break down the mighty and strong ones’? So, do you feel weak? insignificant? Congratulations, you just made the lineup! Do you feel unimportant? inferior? You may be just who God needs.”

The Quorum: A Place of Belonging | Carl B. Cook

“The Lord would have you establish a strong quorum… As He gathers His children, they need a place to belong and grow.”

“We, as priesthood holders, are the Lord’s hands. We are the Church support to home-centered efforts.”

Look Unto Jesus Christ | Kim B. Clark

“When the Lord calls the elders in Israel to “look unto me in every thought” and “behold the wounds” in His resurrected body, it is a call to turn away from sin and the world and to turn to Him and love and obey Him. It is a call to teach His doctrine and do His work in His way. It is, therefore, a call to trust Him completely, surrender our will and yield our hearts to Him, and through His redeeming power become like Him.”

“We are not alone. The Lord Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father love us, and They are with us.”

“None of us are perfect. Sometimes we get stuck. We get distracted or discouraged. We stumble. But if we look to Jesus Christ with a repentant heart, He will lift us up, cleanse us from sin, forgive us, and heal our hearts. He is patient and kind; His redeeming love never ends and never fails.”

The Power of Sustaining Faith | Henry B. Eyring

“The fact that you are in mortality now assures us that you sustained the Father and the Savior. It took faith in Jesus Christ to sustain the plan of happiness and Jesus Christ’s place in it when you knew so little of the challenges that you would face in mortality.”

“increased faith to sustain each other is the way we build the Zion the Lord wants us to create. With His help, we can and we will. It will take learning to love the Lord with all our heart, might, mind, and strength and to love each other as we love ourselves.”

Where Will This Lead | Dallin H. Oaks

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The recent announcement of a 4-year renovation of The Salt Lake Temple has created a lot of excitement, and possibly a little nervousness as well. There may be some uncertainty as to what is actually changing with the Temple, its grounds and if you’ll still be able to visit any part of Temple Square during the process. Let us help you rest easy by sharing everything you can expect to see and still do during the Salt Lake Temple renovation.

Salt Lake Temple Renovation Dates

Starting on December 29, 2019, the Salt Lake Temple will close for approximately four years and it is planned to reopen in 2024 with an open house to the public. This open house will be especially exciting for many people who have always wanted to see inside the temple but never have. It will be a wonderful opportunity for all!

Photo Credit: Scott Jarvie

Why are Changes Being Made?

One of the main reasons for this Salt Lake Temple renovation is for structural, seismic and other safety upgrades. President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said, “To some extent, buildings are like people. Not only is the aging process inevitable, but it can also be unkind. The good news is that buildings can be renovated. The bad news is that needed renovations takes time.”

President Nelson described some of the needed renovations due to this aging process. He said, “Obsolete systems within the building will be replaced. Safety and seismic concerns will be addressed. Accessibility will be enhanced so that members with limited mobility can be better accommodated.”

Another main reason for this major renovation is to enhance the visitor experience and better showcase what Temple Square represents. President Russell M. Nelson said, “This project will enhance, refresh, and beautify the temple and its surrounding grounds…We promise that you will love the results…They will emphasize and highlight the life, ministry, and mission of Jesus Christ in His desire to bless every nation, kindred, tongue and people.”

What Changes are Being Made?

For the Salt Lake Temple itself, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems will be replaced. A major seismic upgrade will take place which includes a base isolation system. Brent Roberts, managing director of the Church’s Special Projects Department, said, “This unique system is one of the most effective means of protecting a structure against earthquake forces.” This will not only better protect the Temple, but also the people who visit. Installing this system will entail work around the footing of the temple, the walls and stone spires.

Other significant changes to the Temple include the removal of the current temple entry with two new temple entry pavilions and guest waiting areas to be built on the north side of the temple. The formal temple entry or recommend desk will have large skylights above it to provide natural light and a beautiful view of the outside temple above. A new guest access underground tunnel will be built under North Temple Street for temple patrons coming from the Conference Center parking area. The temple will also gain the ability to serve members in more than 86 different languages.

View of the north side of the Temple with the two new entry pavilions. Source: mormonnewsroom.org

View of the north side of the Temple, one of the new entry pavilions, and the new skylights above the recommend desk.
Source: mormonnewsroom.org

View of the new recommend desk area with the above skylights and view of the Temple.
Source: mormonnewsroom.org

The rest of Temple Square has its fair share of exciting upgrades as well. The South Visitors’ Center will be removed and two new visitor’s pavilions will be built just south of the temple.

The east plaza, including landscapes, from State Street to the Main Street Plaza will be repaired and refreshed to enhance the visitor experience and emphasize the Savior.

View of the south side of the Temple with the two new visitor’s pavilions.
Source: mormonnewsroom.org

Bird’s eye view of the new layout of Temple Square.
Source: mormonnewsroom.org

Watch this wonderful video from the Church Newsroom for more information:

Plans Unveiled for Salt Lake Temple Renovation - YouTube

Will the Historic Elements of the Temple be Preserved?

Absolutely! President Nelson said, “Every reasonable effort will be made to honor and maintain the temple’s historic beauty. We will strive to preserve its reverent setting and character as originally directed by President Brigham Young.”

What Attractions and Buildings Will Remain Open During the Renovation?

There will still be plenty to do at Temple Square during the renovation!

It’s expected that the following attractions will remain open to the public throughout the 4-year construction period:

You can also expect many events and performances to still take place at Temple Square during this time. Make sure to check our events page for all of the details.

You can even still plan to see the Christmas lights at Temple Square during the renovation! Though the lights will obviously be limited due to the construction sights, you can still enjoy the magic of Christmas time at Temple Square.

As you can see, there’s no shortage of excitement to participate in throughout this renovation process!

What Other Temples Can Salt Lake Temple Patrons Attend During This Closure?

During the 4-year Salt Lake Temple renovation, those in the Salt Lake Temple district are invited to attend other nearby temples that are making preparations to accommodate more patrons.

Elder Larry Y. Wilson, General Authority Seventy and Executive Director of the Temple Department, said “There are no plans to formally re-assign any stakes to other temple districts during the closure. Youth and adult Church members are invited to attend any temple of their choosing.”

Some of the nearby temples preparing to accommodate more patrons include Ogden, Bountiful, Jordan River, Draper, and Oquirrh Mountain Utah. Elder Wilson said, “These temples are making preparations to welcome additional patrons, although we expect there may be occasions when they experience increased waiting.”

We’re excited to continue providing a special Temple Square experience for all our guests during this renovation process. And to echo what President Nelson said, we’re sure you’ll love all of the new changes! For continual, quick updates throughout the process, stay connected with us on Twitter.

The post Salt Lake Temple Renovation – What to Expect appeared first on Temple Square.

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July 24, 1847

Salt Lake City was founded on July 24, 1847, by a group of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Pioneers, led by Brigham Young, and were the first non-Native Americans to settle permanently in the Salt Lake Valley. The founding group numbered 148, consisting of 143 men, three women, and two children. The Church came to the valley in search of a region where they could practice their religion free from hostile mobs and persecution. When Brigham Young first saw the valley he said, “This is the right place”. By the end of 1847, nearly 2,000 Saints had moved to the Great Salt Lake Valley. The day they arrived is still celebrated today. Every 24th of July, people in Utah and several other Western states celebrate Pioneer Day!

May 10, 1869

“It happened on the 10th of May in 1869, a wedding sealed with gold and silver nails, the place was promontory and the sun began to shine, for the setting of the wedding of the rails! The Central Pacific and Union Pacific, a hugging and a chugging down their trails, they set a heavy pacing while a racing to the place, for setting of the wedding of the rails” Thus goes the official National Golden Spike song “Wedding of the Rails” written by Lorraine S. Wilkinson.

Under the direction of President Abraham Lincoln, Congress passed the Pacific Railway Act with the goal of building a railroad that would connect East to West. The Union Pacific railroad would build west from the Missouri River, and the Central Pacific would build east through the Sierra Nevada mountains. Promontory Utah was the agreed upon a point where the two railheads would officially meet and following decisions from Washington, D.C. Promontory would also be where the ceremony would be held to drive the last spike. 100 years later and 150 years later celebrations would take place to recreate the eventful day!!!


April 6, 1893

On July 28, 1847, Brigham Young saw the Salt Lake Temple in a vision four days after the Saints arrived in the Salt Lake Valley, and selected the site. Truman O. Angell was the architect selected and the site was dedicated on February 14, 1853.  The cornerstones were laid on April 6, 1853, and forty years later to the day the Salt Lake Temple was completed and dedicated on April 6, 1893.

The Salt Lake Temple is reportedly the single visual symbol that most quickly communicated “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” to others. It stands as a symbol of the pioneers and also of Salt Lake City, Utah.

It is a visual used for broadcasted events in Salt Lake City from the Church of Jesus Christ’s annual and semi-annual conferences to sporting events such as the Utah Jazz and was center stage in the world during the Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Olympic games. The city itself is laid out in a grid from East, West, South and North from Temple Square where the Temple stands as a triumphant centerpiece placed by pioneer fortitude and faith.

Announced on April 19, 2019, The Salt Lake Temple will close on December 29, 2019, for renovations, and will remain closed for four years. President Russell M. Nelson said: “We promise you that you will love the results.”

June 4, 1903

Bingham Canyon was settled in 1848 shortly after the pioneers arrived in the valley by the Bingham Brothers. In 1863 Daniel Jackling and Robert Gemmell studied the deposits and recommended developing the ore through a revolutionary open-pit mining method.

On June 4, 1903, the Utah Copper Company was formed to develop the mine, based on the recommendations of Mr. Jackling and Mr. Gemmell. In 1906 the first steam shovels began mining.

Today the Rio Tinto Kennecott Mine has produced more copper than any mine in history — about 18.1 Million Tons!! The mine is 2 ¾ miles across at the top and ¾ of a mile deep! The mine is so big it can be seen by space shuttle astronauts as they pass over the United States.

A fun fact is that the Salt Lake City 2002 Olympic Medals were made from gold, silver and copper from the Bingham Canyon Mine!!

February 8, 2002

The 2002 Winter Olympics, officially the XIX Olympic Winter Games, and commonly known as Salt Lake 2002, was a multi-sport event that was celebrated from February 8, 2002 – February 24, 2002 in and around Salt Lake City.

The opening ceremony was held at Rice-Eccles Stadium. The games consisted of 2,399 athletes, 77 countries and 80 events with 22,000 volunteers.

The 2002 Olympic emblem is a stylized snow crystal with bright colors, yellow-orange and blue, which represent the colors found in the Utah landscape. This emblem also has graphic elements that are threefold: Contrast, Culture, and Courage. Contrast symbolized the Utah landscape, Culture represented the different cultures and their heritage, and Courage reflected the spirit of the athletes.

Since hosting the games Salt Lake City has enjoyed a number of benefits including our reputation as a winter sports hub, and venues that are still in use today for training athletes and hosting world competitions.

I hope you will be able to visit Salt Lake City in the future because the next date that will shape Salt Lake City’s history is your visit!

The post Five Dates That Shaped Salt Lake City’s History appeared first on Temple Square.

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Utah is arguably the most photogenic state in the U.S. (we are sure there is a ranking out there). Millions of years of wind, water and volcanic activity shaped its breathtaking landscapes. From north to south and east to west, these are the most Instagram worthy spots in Utah that are not national parks! So get your camera or phone ready because this is the list you’ve be waiting for.

Monument Valley

Made famous by Westerns, Monument Valley is one of Utah’s most unique postcards. It is located in the southeastern Utah/Arizona border, about 380 miles from Salt Lake City. You can see the major monuments driving down the road or hike around the area to explore more. Plan being there to watch the sunset for the best pictures.



Zebra Canyon

This fun slot canyon is located inside the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument near Escalante, Utah. The hike is 5.3 miles roundtrip and  is considered easy to moderate. Before heading out that way, stop by the BLM Visitor Center in town to get directions and information about water levels inside the canyon.

Dead Horse Point State Park

One of Utah’s most popular state parks, Dead Horse Point attracts visitors from all over the world. The breathtaking views are a product of millions of years of geologic activity. The park is located 32 miles from Moab, Utah and is open year round.

Factory Butte

Factory Butte is as close as you get to visiting another planet without leaving Utah. This remote cathedral-like sandstone hill is located just east of Capitol Reef National Park. According to the BLM, this is a popular recreation site for OHV users and the perfect place to see desert flowers and blooming cacti.


Bonneville Salt Flats

Imagine 40 square miles of salt surrounded by low mountains and hills. To get to the Salt Flats, get on I-80 West from Salt Lake City towards Wendover, Nevada. There is a rest stop where you can get the best views of the flats.




Temple Square

Temple Square is Utah’s most visited attraction and is beautiful to visit in every season. With historic buildings, water features and intricate gardens, you won’t run out of backdrops for your photos. Check out the best Temple Square photo ops here.


Goblin Valley State Park

Nested between Canyonlands National Park and Capitol Reef National Park, Goblin Valley State Park offers awe-inspiring landscapes of goblin-like hoodoos. It is very hot to visit in the summer so consider planning your trip in the spring or fall.


High Uintas

Now, if you can only visit Utah in the summer, you should definitely check out the High Uintas. It’s a popular place for backpacking, fishing and hiking in general. You’ll be surrounded by hundreds of lakes, lush pine trees and impressive mountains.



Little Cottonwood Canyon

A great ski destination in the winter and awesome hiking trails for the warmer months, you can enjoy Little Cottonwood Canyon every season. It’s also the perfect place for those just looking for a scenic drive.

Utah State Capitol

The breathtaking architectural features of the Utah State Capitol attracts many brides and brides-to-be, so it definitely deserves a spot on your Instagram feed. The building inside has many great options for pictures, and the gardens are particularly gorgeous during the spring when all the cherry blossoms are in full bloom.

Gunlock State Park

Located just 15 miles northwest of St. George, Gunlock State Park is a reservoir open year round. You’ll find beautiful red rocks contrasting with water, and if you visit in the spring, you’ll even see waterfalls.




There are many more places to explore in Utah. Check out our 101 Things to Do in Utah for the ultimate guide!

The post Instagram Worthy Spots in Utah That Are Not National Parks appeared first on Temple Square.

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Valentine’s is a day full of romance and love. And although we each have our own way of celebrating Valentine’s Day, one thing’s for sure: it’s a day worth celebrating! Here are our favorite places to celebrate love in Utah.

More Than Just Dinner and a Show

If you and your love are movie fanatics, then this event is for you. Larry H. Miller Theaters around Utah are providing an especially sweet night for couples on Valentine’s Day. Enjoy a romantic buffet style dinner, delicious desserts, two movie tickets, popcorn, soda, couples activity, a take home rose and more. They even have an option to add on a hotel stay at a SpringHill Suites, if you’d like. You’ll definitely enjoy this unique opportunity to enjoy all a movie theater has to offer.

[Source: Megaplex Theatres At Jordan Commons Facebook]

Enjoy Dinner and a View

For an elevated restaurant experience on Valentine’s Day, The Roof Restaurant is the place to be. Located on Temple Square, it’s perfect for creating romance. Dinner at The Roof includes Utah’s premier gourmet dining buffet and an unforgettable view of the Salt Lake Temple you won’t find anywhere else. As you bite into their award-winning cuisine (especially the heavenly desserts) and the glowing sun sets behind the beautiful temple, you’ll see why it has won Best of State for several years.

Adventure Around Town

Most of us have heard of Up, a favorite Disney movie depicting the tender love story of Carl and Ellie. The real life Up House in Herriman is a great place to visit for some Disney-inspired fun. Take a stroll with your sweetheart and make sure to snap a few cute pictures while there! The inside of the house isn’t open for public tours anymore, but the UP House is an ideal location to find inspiration for creating your own love story. And bonus, it’s a free date that will create a memory the two of you will share for years down the road.

[Source: therealuphouse.com]

Dance the Night Away

If music gets your feet moving and heart pumping, win over your date with a passionate dance class. DF Dance Studio offers three fun couples dance classes on Valentine’s Day. Whether you sign up to learn the waltz, salsa, or swing dance, you’ll be entertained all night as you enjoy dancing together. The best part? No prior experience is necessary to participate. Just bring yourself, your significant other, and your dancin’ shoes!

[Source: snippetandink.com]

Kiss the Chef

This year, rather than going to the same restaurant you go to every year, spice things up and go on an alternative Valentine’s Day date by taking a cooking class with your S.O. There are a variety of Valentine’s Day cooking classes in Salt Lake City—from French and Italian-inspired menus to a chocoholic class. Each class is offered on different days during the week so you’re not forced to go out on the actual holiday and deal with the crowds of couples. Cooking may not be your first idea of fun, but all your hard work in the kitchen will be paid off once you eat your delicious creations!

[Source: storiesofworld.com]

So whether you’re going out or staying in, sticking to old traditions or starting new ones, make this Valentine’s Day celebration one to remember! For more date ideas, check out our 10 best Valentine’s Day dates.

The post Best Places to Celebrate Valentine’s Day in Utah appeared first on Temple Square.

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Whether you work from home or in an office, having a dedicated and personalized workspace can help you tackle even the most tedious of tasks. These tips are designed to help you establish a creative environment and develop habits to take control of your workday.


Infographic 6 tips to create the perfect workspace


Need help staying focused? Read 5 Simple Ways to Keep You Motivated during your workday. Or keep up your New Year’s Goals For Professional Development.

The post 6 Tips to Create the Perfect Workspace (Infographic) appeared first on Temple Square.

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Many of us have heard or even seen the 11,623 beautiful pipes of the world-famous Tabernacle Organ at Temple Square but did you know there are nine more organs at Temple Square? Besides the iconic Tabernacle organ, there are three more organs in public view and another six below the surface of the square! Let’s explore some information about each of the ten organs of Temple Square.

Public View Temple Square Organs 1. The Tabernacle Organ (11,623 pipes)

This organ has its pioneer roots with Joseph H. Ridges. Following his conversion to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1853, Ridges and his family chose to join the main body of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City in 1856. Ridges brought both his family and an organ he built in Australia with him to the Salt Lake valley in a two-month journey. After a stop to winter in California, they finally reached the Salt Lake Valley in June of 1957.

As plans for the tabernacle were being considered, Brigham Young turned to Ridges regarding the feasibility of building an organ for the imposing edifice—an instrument that would be commensurate in size and grandeur to the building itself. Ridges felt that such an instrument could be built by using native resources, insofar as possible, and by obtaining other parts and materials from an established organ builder on the east coast. Native pine was used for the wood portions of the organ. Suitable lumber for the large façade pipes was found in Pine Valley, some three hundred miles south of Salt Lake City. Cowhides were boiled down to make glue and calfskin was used to hinge the ribs of the bellows.

Today the Salt Lake Tabernacle Organ is one of the most notable instruments in America, not only because of its size, but also because of the success of its tonal design. Aided by the unique acoustical properties of the Tabernacle, the organ’s warmth and richness are immediately recognizable. It is perhaps more widely heard and enjoyed than any other organ in America.

Source: The Tabernacle Choir

2. The Conference Center Organ (7,708 pipes)

On April 6, 1996, President Gordon B. Hinckley announced the Church’s plans to construct “another dedicated house of worship on a much larger scale that would accommodate three or four times the seat capacity who can be seated in [the Tabernacle].” The Tabernacle organists went to work to find the right type of instrument and the right company to build it for this large new auditorium that would be known as the Conference Center. Schoenstein & Co. of San Francisco, California were awarded the contract—by that time, the building’s target date for completion had been announced as April 2000, leaving approximately three years for the design, construction, and installation of the organ.

Source: The Tabernacle Choir

3. The Assembly Hall Organ (3,489 pipes)

The original Assembly Hall organ remained in use until 1913, when it was removed to make room for a new three-manual organ of 35 ranks. In preparation for the Assembly Hall’s centennial in 1980, funds for a new organ were raised privately. The new organ was completed in the spring of 1983 despite a delay due to structural challenges.

Source: The Tabernacle Choir

4. The Joseph Smith Memorial Building Organ (2,484 pipes)

On March 12, 1987, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced plans to close and renovate the 76-year-old Church-owned Hotel Utah at the corner of Main and South Temple Streets, transforming the entire building into a memorial to Joseph Smith. As part of the renovation, the Lafayette Ballroom was converted into a chapel that would serve as a place of worship for Church members living in the downtown area. The section that formerly served as a bandstand for the ballroom now houses a two-manual pipe organ of 45 ranks and 2,484 pipes spread across three divisions, built by Casavant Frères of Ste. Hyacinthe, Québec, Canada. The organ speaks with a French accent, yet, like all the organs on Temple Square, it has the versatility to render a wide range of repertoire convincingly.

Source: The Tabernacle Choir

Underground Practice Organs

Tabernacle organist Andrew Unsworth took the time to show us around and share insights about the three practice organs: The Austin, Casavant, and Kenneth Coulter. Each organ is located in its own enclosed room for optimal sound quality, since the organists can hear the clarity and rhythm of the notes better than in the performing venues. It is interesting to note that each of these practice organ rooms is kept at a precise humidity and temperature—72 degrees with a thermometer in each room!

Source: The Tabernacle Choir

Andrew and the other talented Temple Square organists prefer using these instruments for practicing. He says he practices on all of these organs down under to prove himself worthy to play above ground on the Tabernacle, Conference Center, and Assembly Hall organs!

5. The Austin Organ (built in 1963)

This organ is one of the most popular for the Tabernacle organists to practice on. It contains 10 stops on three manuals and pedal. Founded in 1893, Austin Organs, Inc. builds pipe organs using the universal airchest system developed by John T. Austin.

6. The Casavant Organ (built in 1979)

This organ is a two-manual mechanical key and stop action instrument of 8 stops.

7. The Kenneth Coulter Organ (built in 1985)

This organ is the only practice organ with a hand or foot air pump to operate without power.

Three additional organs round out our Ten 8. The Portative Organ (built in 2004)

With the formation of the Temple Square Chorale in 1999 came the need for a small, specialized organ that could be used as a continuo instrument for works such as Bach’s St. Matthew Passion or The Creation by Haydn.

Source: The Tabernacle Choir

9. The Demonstration Organ (built in 1990)

In 1990, the Tabernacle organists commissioned the construction of a unique “demonstration organ” that could serve as a functioning model of how pipe organs work.The key action is mechanical, and the wind is pumped by hand.

Source: The Tabernacle Choir

10. The Tour Organ

The aptly named Tour Organ travels with the Tabernacle Choir on its out of town performances. This organ has the capability to be programed to be another organ (a recording of the pipes at least) like the organ in the Salisbury Cathedral in England. It is self-contained and custom built in such a way that it can be packaged for shipping in the very box it sits on. “It’s pretty slick actually,” according to Andrew.

Have you listened to all the public view organs at Temple Square? Make sure you check out our events calendar frequently for all upcoming live performances. Organ recitals at the Tabernacle happen daily at 12:00 p.m. Monday-Saturday and at 2:00 p.m. on Sundays

The post The Ten Organs of Temple Square appeared first on Temple Square.

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Going out and exploring new activities with our families is a great part of life, but sometimes the price of a fun adventure prohibits us from taking the leap. But don’t fret. If there’s an activity you really want to do with your family, save up for it – even get the little ones involved in saving for it. This can help create a great unity in your family as you’re all focused on the same goal. But in the meantime, realize you CAN have fun WITHOUT spending a lot of money!

Check out our list of the best low cost activities for families in winter in Salt Lake City.

Wheeler Historic Farm 
  • Free to $  
  • Open daily from dawn to dusk

Source: Wheeler Historic Farm

You can visit this working farm, see the animals and explore the woods for no charge! It’s a fun thing to do in Utah in winter for anyone. If you choose to do any of the activities available at Wheeler Historic Farm, such and milking cows or going on a wagon ride (weather permitting in the winter), there is a very small fee ($1 to $3).

Clark Planetarium
  • Free to $
  • Open daily at 10:30 am. Closes at 7:00 pm Sunday – Wednesday, 10:00 pm on Thursdays and 11:00 pm Friday – Saturday

Source: Clark Planetarium

If you want to stay warm indoors, but experience the world and galaxy, gather your family together and visit the Clark Planetarium. Admission to the planetarium is free! With plenty of free exhibits and interactive stations, you’ll explore space and science in a whole new way. If you’d like to experience one of their other low cost activities for families, such as the Hansen Dome, IMAX movies, or cosmic light shows, tickets are between $7 and $9. Visit the Clark Planetarium website for more information.

Natural History Museum of Utah
  • Free to $$
  • Open daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm (last admission is 4:30 pm)

Source: Natural History Museum of Utah

This museum is jam-packed with family things to do in Salt Lake City, Utah, from exploring interactive exhibits to discovering dinosaurs and playing to your heart’s content. And did you know this amazing museum offers four free days each year? Two of the free days are normally in the winter. Check out their website for more information.

Utah Museum of Fine Art
  • Free to $$
  • Open Tuesday – Friday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, Wednesday 10:00 am to 8:00 pm, Saturday – Sunday 11 am to 5 pm

Source: Utah Museum of Fine Art

Get in touch with your artsy side as you view dynamic collections of world-class art along with many adult and children’s programs. The days to come are the first Wednesday and third Saturday of each month when the general admission is free for everyone! On other days, children 5 years old and younger are free, youth 6 to 18 years old are $7, and adults 19 and older are $9. Visit their website for more information.

Utah Olympic Park
  • Free to $$$
  • Open daily from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm

Source: Utah Olympic Park

This is the perfect place to be in the winter! And the park and museums are FREE! Remember the 2002 Winter Olympics as you explore the Alf Engen Ski Museum, the Eccles Salt Lake 2002 Winter Olympic Games Museum, Discovery Zone, hiking trails and the Mountain Challenge all for no charge! If you’re looking for other adventures at the Olympic Park, there are tours for $5.00 to $10.00 or extreme tubing for $15.00 to $20.00. There are more activities to choose from that will be a little more expensive, so check them out if it’s something your family wants to do. Visit the Utah Olympic Park website to find out more.


Midway Ice Castles
  • $$
  • Open Monday – Thursday 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm, Friday 3:00pm – 11:00pm, Saturday 12pm – 11pm, Closed Sunday

Source: Midway Ice Castles

Another fun thing to do in Utah in winter, if you don’t mind spending a little bit for one of the most unique experiences, is visiting the gorgeous Midway Ice Castles! On weekdays, children up to 3 years old are free, 4-11 years old are $7.95, and 12 years old and up are $10.95. These are the prices when you book online, so make sure you go that route – it will be more expensive at the door, and weekends prices go up as well. The beautiful Midway marvel will post their 2019 dates and times soon.

Temple Square
  • Free
  • Open daily from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm

We’re a little partial to this one, but there are 35 acres and 13 buildings full of history, learning, beauty and family-fun on Temple Square, all free of charge (excluding restaurants). You can see live performances from the Tabernacle Choir and other groups year-round on certain days of the week, see the amazing structure of the Salt Lake Temple, enjoy family history at the interactive Discovery Center, and more.

There are plenty of inexpensive family things to do in Salt Lake City, Utah, that are calling your name this winter. Pick one of the above or go find something else on your own. Either way, we want to hear about your experience. Tell us your favorite family winter activities in the comments below. Happy winter!

The post Best Inexpensive Family Winter Activities in Salt Lake appeared first on Temple Square.

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