In the late 1870s, many assembly halls were built throughout the community as places to worship God. They were a statement of permanence and refinement for the Church and the community. The Assembly Hall on Temple Square was announced in 1877 to replace an older adobe tabernacle that had not been in use due to the increasing complexity of keeping it in good repair. The Assembly Hall was used at various times to host stake conferences and other meetings for the Salt Lake Stake. It was also used for many years during general conference for stake and mission leaders to report on their service while Apostles of the Church spoke in the Salt Lake Tabernacle. It is still used today as an overflow for general conference and other Temple Square meetings.
The building is decorated with original stained glass windows using common designs and symbols of the late nineteenth century. The interior of the building was originally finished in rich detail, including murals on the ceiling depicting scenes and places important in the history of the Church, wood painted to look like marble and fine woods, and new (at the time) electrical lighting. The current interior finishes are from twentieth-century renovations to the building.
Like the Salt Lake Tabernacle and the Conference Center, the Assembly Hall features an impressive organ. The 3,489-pipe organ, built in 1980 to replace an older organ, is decorated with Latter-day Saint symbols such as beehives, sheaves of wheat, and sego lilies. Hundreds of small speakers to aid acoustics are hidden under benches to preserve the historic appearance of the building.
Today, the Assembly Hall is used for lectures, recitals, and free weekend concerts featuring international artists. Its benches accommodate about 1,200 guests. Admission is free to the public for guided and self-guided tours. The building is handicap accessible.