Temple Square
September 1997

“Temple Square,” Liahona, Sept. 1997, 35

Temple Square

Four days after the pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley in July 1847, President Brigham Young selected the site for the Salt Lake Temple. Those four hectares became Temple Square, the hub not only of Salt Lake City but also of the Church.

Today, Temple Square offers millions of visitors much to see and do. Well-tended flower beds, trees, and shrubs create a beautiful setting for the Salt Lake Temple, the Tabernacle, the Assembly Hall, two visitors’ centers, and many Church-related monuments and statues. Visitors may choose a leisurely walk around the Square or learn of Church history and beliefs from the full-time sister missionaries.

The beauty of Temple Square extends westward to encompass the Family History Library and the Museum of Church History and Art. Eastward is the plaza linking the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, the Relief Society Building, the Church Administration Building, the Church Office Building, and Brigham Young’s historic homes, the Lion and Beehive Houses.

In marked contrast to today’s architecture, the first structure built on the Square was the open-sided, brush-roofed bowery that provided assembled Saints shelter from the sun. As the Church population increased, so did the size and the number of the buildings. That continuing growth is reflected in President Gordon B. Hinckley’s April 1996 general conference announcement of a “great hall,” to be constructed on a site immediately north of Temple Square. A “dedicated house of worship,” the hall will accommodate many thousands attending general conference and other appropriate functions.

Since many of our readers have never visited Salt Lake City, we offer you here a photographic tour of Temple Square and related sites.



Temple Square: A Walking Tour

Map of Temple Square

Dimensional map by Gordon Smart; based on electronic rendering by Kerri Nielsen, Church Architectural Services

  1. Family History Library

  2. Museum of Church History and Art

  3. ssembly Hall

  4. Salt Lake Tabernacle

  5. North Visitors’ Center

  6. South Visitors’ Center

  7. Salt Lake Temple and temple annex

  8. Joseph Smith Memorial Building

  9. Relief Society Building

  10. Church Office Building

  11. Church Administration Building

  12. Lion House

  13. Beehive House



Left: Some 30,000 Dutch tulip bulbs are planted for spring flowering; Sister Magsariin Batchimeg of Mongolia bears testimony of Jesus Christ. Above: The Salt Lake Temple and the Tabernacle.

The gardens are designed to “lead men to God,” says head Church gardener Peter Lassig. Above: The Assembly Hall. Right: Sister Jennifer Yun Jung of British Columbia, Canada; the Temple at sunset.

Far left, from top: Columns of the Church Administration Building; Temple Square gate detail; 300 varieties of flowers are planted annually. Left: A horse chestnut tree outside the Tabernacle. Top: South side of the Church Office Building. Above, right: Detail of a monument to the restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood; Temple Square visitors. Right: Sister Iréne Bencze of Hungary. Below: Sister Sherry L. Boardman of Vermont, USA.

A. Salt Lake Temple. B. Log Cabin outside the Church museum. (Photograph by Bryant Livingston.) C. Lion and Beehive Houses. (Photograph by Bryant Livingston.) D. Base of the Christus, by Bertel Thorvaldsen, North Visitors’ Center. (Photograph by Tamra Hamblin.) E. Joseph Smith Memorial Building lobby. (Photograph by Bryant Livingston.) F. Detail of Monument to the Three Witnesses. (Photograph by Welden Andersen.) G. Assembly Hall. (Photograph by Welden Andersen.)

Left, from top: Fall foliage; entrance to the Relief Society Building; Sister Najet Rahou of France. Above, from left: The Church Office Building, the Salt Lake Temple, the top of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building seen beyond the domed Tabernacle, and two commercial buildings. Below: The Seagull Monument.

Below: Frosted reminder of summer’s glory. Right: Winter view of the Salt Lake Temple; the base of the Seagull Monument with the South Visitors’ Center in the background; a wintry sunrise greeted by the moon; and sunlight caught in a net of frosty branches.

Photography by Craig Dimond unless otherwise noted.