“Special Displays Planned at New York Center,” Ensign, Jan. 1975, 75
A new visitors center, with displays, tapes, films, a diorama, and a robot, is expected to be completed in March as part of the New York City complex of facilities being built in Manhattan across from the Lincoln Center.
Upon entering the new center, visitors will first see a wall mural of Harry Anderson’s “Sermon on the Mount.” Guides will explain that the Savior taught of “other sheep,” as recorded in John 10:14–16.
Visitors will then be led to the second room of the center, where they will learn who the “other sheep” were and where they lived. The display in this room consists of a diorama of the Hill Cumorah, where a modern Latter-day Saint family from Manhattan is having a picnic. It is their family home evening and the father, a talking mannequin, explains early events that occurred near the hill. While he speaks, scenes of the Nephites and their early wars and history are projected on a rock behind the family.
As soon as this father finishes speaking, another family, early Nephites, appears in the background. The father of this family (also a talking mannequin) takes up the dialogue, telling how they are part of the 24 surviving Nephites at the end of the Book of Mormon, and that they expect to be killed soon by Lamanites. The father expresses gratitude for their faith and the assurance it gives them. They hear the Lamanites coming, the father begins to pray, and, as he prays, the scene changes to a pioneer family.
This family represents the 1830 period during which the Church was organized. The father expresses gratitude for the way membership in the Church has enriched their lives.
Focus then returns to the modern New York family, and the father relates Church history from 1831 to the present worldwide expansion. The presentation ends with all three families singing “Come, Come, Ye Saints.”
The third room of the center has a three-screen, multi-media film and slide presentation of Church activities in New York today. Included on film are nine testimonies of recently converted New York families, who tell how programs such as family home evening have improved their lives.
The fourth room is a learning center and has three “learning modules” (booths with pushbutton controls) where visitors can select from six tape presentations explaining the Book of Mormon, activities of single Church members, the plan of salvation, family home evening, fellowshiping, and Church programs.
This room also includes a robot who shakes hands with children and tells them about family home evening and how much they’d enjoy it. A videotape player in this room enables the family to select from several standard Church films and view them together. Film selections include “Man’s Search for Happiness,” “In This Holy Place,” and “Ancient America Speaks.”
The object of the presentations is for visitors to leave a missionary referral which also specifies what particular concept sparked their interest.