“Church History Library Ground Is Broken,” Ensign, Dec. 2005, 68
On Friday, October 7, the First Presidency and members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, as well as members of the Quorums of the Seventy, missionaries, and others, gathered for the groundbreaking for the new Church History Library. The building will serve as a mark of the significance of maintaining a connection to past and future generations through record keeping in the Church.
Work will begin later this year on the 250,000 square-foot building, much of which will be underground. It will be built on a plot of land that is presently a parking lot, on the intersection of North Temple and Main Streets, northeast of Temple Square in Salt Lake City. The new building, just east of the Conference Center, will be similar in design to the Conference Center. The building’s architects and specialists from the Family and Church History Department have consulted with experts in record preservation to ensure that the interior temperature, humidity, and lighting best favor the preservation of Church records.
President Hinckley expressed gratitude that records had been so dutifully kept. “I wish to say with gratitude and appreciation that the custodians of the records of the Church through all of the years of its existence have been so conscientious and dutiful, helpful and devoted, in every respect to the duties that devolved upon them.”
In the prayer President Hinckley offered before the groundbreaking portion of the ceremony, he said, “As we look to the past and are reminded of the past, to that which has been preserved in history, our hearts are filled with gratitude and appreciation and love and respect for those that have gone before. Great was their work, tremendous their sacrifice. We thank thee for them.”
In his remarks about the Church History Library, President Thomas S. Monson, First Counselor in the First Presidency, said, “We benefit from what our fathers did for us, and we have the privilege, through sacred records to be maintained here, to provide a legacy for those who follow.”
President James E. Faust, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, said, “I believe that the principle benefit for the making and the keeping of records is to strengthen faith in those who make the history, and those who record the history, and those in the future who read of that history.”
Elder Marlin K. Jensen of the Seventy, who serves as Church Historian and Recorder, said the current location of the library, in the Church Office Building across the street from the new location, has outgrown its capacity. He noted that Church membership has increased from about 5 million when the Church Office Building was completed in the 1970s to over 12 million today.