Church History Museum Re-opens After One Year Closure for Renovations


The Church History Museum on Temple Square officially opens to the public today after a one-year closure for extensive interior renovations.

Renovations to the museum include updating the exhibits with interactive elements and incredible source materials. Visitors to the museum will be able to see multiple accounts of the first vision, and an image of a seer stone, an object Joseph Smith used to translate the golden plates into The Book of Mormon.

The museum exhibits also cover missionary work and the impact women had in the history of the Church, as well as somewhat taboo subjects, like polygamy.

Mormon Newsroom reports that Museum Director Alan Johnson said, “In terms of polygamy, we have firsthand accounts of those impacted by those experiences from their journals, and those are on display here as well.”

Reid Neilson, assistant Church historian and recorder and managing director of the Church History Department, says that he hopes the museum will help inform visitors who are members of the Church, as well as visitors of other faiths. “Every new generation asks different questions of our history,” said Neilson. “The goal of the Church History Museum is to build the faith of the next generation of Latter-day Saints and to help others outside of our faith understand our history.”

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland cut the ribbon on Tuesday, during a ceremony to officially re-open the museum. He told Mormon Newsroom,

I am absolutely thrilled it is open, I love everything about it.

Deseret News reports that the highlight of the renovated museum for Holland is the new 220-degree theater. This theater allows visitors to feel as though they are actually in the Sacred Grove and experience the First Vision with Smith. The film depicting the First Vision lasts about ten minutes, and blends all of the ten accounts of the vision into one.

The Church History Museum is free and open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., on Saturday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m, and is closed on Sunday. For more information on the museum, visit the Church History Museum website.

Kylie is a writer at and graduate of BYU with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. She grew up in a Chicago suburb where she gained a passion for the Chicago Cubs. She enjoys writing and live event video production.