Temple Square, Salt Lake City, Utah

10:38:00 AM Brooke Neal 0 Comments

I love Utah!  Every time I go, I am just happy! Perhaps it's because we lived there for 5 and a half years.  It's where I attended university, it's where I met, courted and got engaged to Bob, it's where Eliza was born. As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints I appreciate its pioneer history.  I enjoy the stories and am amazed by the hardships endured by faithful saints who settled the desert land.  My own forebear named what would become Zion National Park.

So, it was with great pleasure that I took the girls to Temple Square in Salt Lake City for an afternoon of Mormon and family history.  We started by taking a tour of the Conference Center.  It's a huge venue for church events including Music and the Spoken Word with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, devotionals and other appropriate cultural events. Capacity of the building is 21,000 and believe it or not, it fills up every 6 months when the church hosts General Conference.
I don't get gaga over modern buildings, but the roof top of the conference center is really cool--they've turned it into a park with water features and lovely landscaping.  On the West facing side they've planted desert flora that grows naturally in the West Valley.  On the East side, facing the mountains, they've planted Conifers, Quaking Aspen and other plants indigenous to the Wasatch Mountains. Instead of planting soil they've used much lighter shale (which is abundant in Utah) in the garden beds.
 Because much of downtown Salt Lake City is owned by the LDS church the area is clean and filled with gorgeous flower beds!

Why so many pictures of the temple?  The temple is the most holy building for Latter Day Saints. Marriages performed here are not "till death do you part," but for "time and all eternity." Central to LDS doctrine is the belief that family units continue after this life.

 This is the Tabernacle, the original meeting house for Latter Day Saints, it was completed in 1867.

This pioneer cabin sits out in front of the Genealogy Center.  We've been researching our Neal family tree  and I wanted to take advantage of the resources found there so the girls and I spend a couple of hours searching data bases.  While I researched Neal's, Eliza read up on Freeman ancestors who crossed the plains with the Mormon pioneers and Eden kept the other patrons entertained with her silly chatting.
The Beehive House, erected in 1852, was not only Brigham Young's home, but served as his office for running the affairs of the church and state.  The beehive is the state emblem signifying industry.
I loved the details carved into the wood. Not only are there bees and hives everywhere, but notice the train track on the stair rail?  Brigham Young was instrumental in encouraging the Saints work on the railroad that would connect the east and west. 



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