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Church History Museum, Salt Lake City

4.7
#5 of 14 in Museums in Salt Lake City
Specialty Museum Museum
The Church History Museum is the premier museum operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). It is located in Salt Lake City, Utah, and is opposite the west gates of the church's Temple Square. Until November 2008, it was called the Museum of Church History and Art. The museum closed in October 2014 for a year-long refurbishment and remodeling of the first-floor exhibits; it is expected to reopen in the fall of 2015.Programs and featuresThe museum contains collections of art, artifacts, documents, photographs, tools, clothing and furniture from the almost two-century history of the LDS Church.International Art CompetitionThe Church History Museum also initiated and hosts an "International Art Competition", usually once every three years, where LDS and affiliated artists worldwide submit works of art in assorted mediums around specific church and gospel themes.Volunteer workforceOutside of the curators, administrative and other staff, tours of the museum's exhibits and many of the museum programs are conducted by a large volunteer workforce of Latter-day Saints from the surrounding communities who begin serving in the museum on a rotational basis following a 16 consecutive week training.Museum storeThe Museum Store was founded along with the museum to support the many exhibits and programs. Over 200 works of reproduced art have been made available to the general public from the Museum's and Church's extensive collections by prominent historical LDS artists such as C. C. A. Christensen, John Hafen, and Minerva Teichert, in addition to contemporary LDS artists such as Clark Kelly Price, Walter Rane, Robert Barrett, Harry Anderson, and Arnold Friberg. The Store also sells historical toys, literature, statuary, and pioneer-era clothing, such as bonnets.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
264 reviews
Google
4.9
  • After a less-than-pleasant visit to Temple Square, I would never go here :-( At the Temple Square VC, I stopped to watch a video that I found very moving & soon found to "guards" standing behind me???...  more »
  • I loved the "First Vision" movie. It was only 6 minutes, so I watched it a second time. So realistic, I felt like I was there! I also enjoyed the "Saints at Devil's Gate" art exhibit with about 60 or ...  more »
  • What an informative and fun stop. I thought I knew my LDS Church history but I learned MORE here. Very good guides can answer questions and the displays are user friendly and invite interaction.  more »
Google
  • First time we have been back since it was remodeled. It is beautiful!! Entertaining for the kids as well because there is a lot of interactive displays. They've made it easy to go through, the flow is nice and you learn a lot more about the history of the church than before. 7 minute video on the First Vision was breathtaking and tender. They've added new displays, including the clothing Hyrum Smith was wearing when he was killed. The new children's center has many fun activities to do and they have updated the store with many souvenirs and Utah/Pioneer items. The missionaries serving there were kind, informative and helpful. Usually you'd think a museum wouldn't be able to hold the attention of kids, but my kids loved it! Definitely take the time to visit if you are in Salt Lake. It's free to the public!
  • Wonderful new building which adds so much more to the existing artifacts, including lots of things for very small children. Kids can now interact with new things, like crawl through a log in the forest are where Joseph Smith found the plates. They can interact on touch screens, as well as adults. Complete tour would take about 3-4 hours if you did everything and did a thorough tour. Otherwise, you can spend an hour or two and be done. I like the more recent prophet pictures and information as well as their history and many places to take pictures with items and artifacts. Wheelchair accessible with elevators. Any age group are welcome. All indoors and climate controlled. No admission fees whatsoever. If special needs or wheel-chair there's plenty of room to be mobile without disturbing others. Very well lit. There seemed to be plenty of staff on hand to answer any questions as well. Good times.
  • It was nice. A very helpful woman followed us a bit and told us stories about a couple of the artifacts. They were interesting stories. Looked like the were many fun things for kids to do; dress up, crawl into little niches, interactive displays, etc. I didn't like feeling pressured to watch a proselyting film. Other than that, it was interesting to see 150+ year old American artifacts.
  • We loved the Museum, and especially the newly remodeled theater with the immersive movie showing Joseph Smith's first vision. The Kimball organ was so cool too. We spent well over 3 hours and could have stayed more if not for the 2 hour maximum curbside parking available in downtown Salt Lake.
  • I'm not Mormon, so my experience was probably a little different than others. The Zionist military info was way crazy scary. The highlight was absolutely the small 180 cinema with surround sound. Rather exciting experience if you don't mind the "Jesus suddenly appearing in front of Joseph Smith in the woods" type of thing. I didn't visit the upstairs so I can't speak to that. The enjoyably creepy death masks of Joseph Smith and his brother are near the gift shop (where they sell Mormon missionary action figures). Everyone who worked/volunteered at the museum seemed kind and helpful. I would visit again.

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Where to stay in Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City offers an array of diverse accommodations, from big downtown hotels to rustic bed and breakfasts. Vacation homes and condos in residential areas are ideal if you’re planning a longer stay, providing conveniences such as kitchens and laundry facilities. Those most interested in the area’s natural delights can book a lodge or cabin in the city outskirts, bordering the nearby wilderness. Campsites and RV parks are a budget-friendly option for nature lovers.
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