Temple Square has two visitors centers designed to enhance your experience by explaining the history of the temple, as well as various aspects of Mormon and scriptural history and beliefs. The North Visitors Center is larger, and is located northwest of the temple (directly north of the Tabernacle). The South Visitors Center, which offers the best view of the temple, is across the courtyard on the south end of Temple Square. Volunteers are on hand at both locations to answer visitors' questions. Both visitors centers are open daily 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
North Visitors Center
The most popular exhibit at the North Visitors Center is an imposing yet sublime 11-foot statue of Jesus Christ on the top floor rotunda. The statue, called "The Christus," is actually an exact replica of Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen's original in Copenhagen, Denmark. Visitors are invited to enjoy "The Savior's Ministry," an exhibit which features the statue.
The main level of the North Visitors Center features an interactive 14-square foot replica of Jerusalem in New Testament times, boasting more than 4,000 miniature structures. Visitors can press buttons along the perimeter of the model to see important biblical areas spotlighted. Also on display are murals of scenes from the New Testament by Mormon and other Christian artists.
The bottom floor of the North Visitors Center is a multimedia playground. Visitors can hear messages on a variety of topics from the current leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. An hour-long historical drama, Legacy, which depicts the early struggles of the pioneers in the 1830s and 1840s, is shown in two theaters, and is a popular attraction for Temple Square visitors. Additionally, presentations on scriptural stories from teh Bible and the Book of Mormon, as well as the story of Mormon founder Joseph Smith, are available to the public.
South Visitors Center
The exhibits in the South Visitors Center are more focused on the Salt Lake Temple, and presents the history of the temple in an exhibit on the east side of the building. "The Building of the Salt Lake Temple" tells the story of Brigham Young's selection of the temple site almost immediately upon arrival in the Salt Lake Valley, the challenging 40-year construction period, and the temple's dedication in 1893 by then-Church president Wilford Woodruff. Visitors can also see the temple architectural plans, designed by head architect Truman Angell. The exhibit also outlines the church's beliefs about the temple and its role in Mormon worship. The west side of the building presents information on strengthening families, which is one of the important goals of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.