If it’s within your means or not too far away and you sincerely want to know more about the Mormons and Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, one of the best ways is to go to the historic (and modern) heart of the church, the LDS church headquarters, located in Salt Lake City, Utah. I had the opportunity to visit Salt Lake last fall with a friend and it was a wonderful experience. We went again just last month to complete a little business and also to visit my dad for Father’s Day. Both trips were great. It’s always nice to go home (and we got to do a little fishing as well which is always fun).
I say that you should go visit for yourself, and I wrote about the reasons in my earlier post, “The Spirituality of Mormon Historic Sites” (Click Here to read the post). There are many great sites, like Nauvoo IL, Palmyra NY, etc., but Salt Lake City is the biggest and probably the most impactful of them all. It’s kind of like going to Mecca if you’re a Muslim or Rome if you’re a Catholic. It’s hard to explain but there is a spirit present that you can almost cut with a knife. It’s hard to deny … in just a few days of roaming the historical sites, talking with the people, and coming to know who we truly are in a way that very little else can provide, if you try it you’ll see what I mean. I encourage you to experience for yourself
If you do nothing else, visit Historic Temple Square and the two visitor centers there. You
can tour the beautiful Mormon Tabernacle, the new Conference Center (the largest freestanding indoor auditorium of its kind in the world), and the Church Museum. My kids and I like going up to the Church Office Building observation deck on the 21st floor. Don’t forget to visit The Joseph Smith Building and take in a free movie there. They always teach something good about the Church and our beliefs. Welfare Square is also a really neat tour you can take if you’d like where you’ll learn about the worldwide philanthropic efforts of the Church as we help victims of natural disasters, wars, and other types of tragedies all over the world.
Last but not least, one of the most popular sites is the world famous LDS Family History Library and Discovery Center where you can research and learn all about your ancestors. Both places are free, as all the Church sites are, and just incredible.
No trip to Utah would be complete without driving up into the Rocky mountains for a day or two (or even down to Zion’s National Park, Bryce Canyon, etc.) and seeing the grandeur of the area. Park City is only about 45 minutes from Salt Lake City and is a really fun place to go for dinner or an afternoon.
I could go on and on but this is probably enough of a quick glimpse for now. If you’re in
town on a Thursday night you can catch the Mo-Tab Choir’s rehearsal and every Sunday morning they do the live televised worldwide broadcast of their program, “Music and the Spoken Word,” which is absolutely outstanding. This picture on the right is of my good friend and co-worker, Shayne Miles, and my parents, while we were visiting over Father’s Day weekend. It was a fun trip.
I hope you can make it there someday.
Maybe I’ll see you there…! 🙂
Patrick Laing – Portland, Oregon USA
Click Below to view a short overview of life in Salt Lake City, Utah:
And Click Below for a short video tour, set-to-music, of Salt Lake City’s historical area: