The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints began with six members in upstate New York in April 1830. Persecutions took the Church to Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois before its massive exodus, led by Brigham Young, to the Salt Lake Valley in 1847. At the Museum of Church History and Art, relive the fascinating story of the Mormon pioneers, who suffered through tremendous difficulties to establish their religion here in the Rocky Mountains.
The museum features numerous hands-on exhibits to enhance your experience, such as covered wagons like those used by the original pioneers. A model log home demonstrates the look and feel of some of the first houses in Salt Lake City. Visitors can also see an 1830 edition of The Book of Mormon, as well as historical actors, films, and demonstrations.
In addition to Mormon history, the museum offers an extensive art collection, plus special exhibits dealing with a variety of religious topics. For example, in 2005 the museum featured an exhibit of Rembrandt's biblical etchings, as well as an exhibit on Joseph Smith, founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, whose 200th birthday was celebrated in December of that year. In 2006 the museum will hold its seventh International Art Competition, which showcases the best in Mormon artwork.
The Museum of Church History and Art is designed to be a fun, educational experience for the entire family. It is located at 45 North West Temple and is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., and on Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The museum is closed on New Year's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Admission is free. The museum is directly across the street from the west entrance of Temple Square and one-half block north of the Temple Square TRAX station in downtown Salt Lake City. Nearby public parking lots are available within one-half block of the museum. Patrons can use all public parking facilities for a fee. Metered parking is available on the street and is free for two hours on Saturday and all day Sunday and holidays.