My name is Elder Kyle Rasmussen. I'm a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The message of the Church is one of joy and happiness. This message has given me this great joy and happiness in my life and now I want to share that same joy with everyone else. I know it can bless everyone's life and that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Salt Lake Tabernacle

Inside the Salt Lake Tabernacle
Temple Square has been one of my reoccurring themes lately for this blog.  So to continue on with that theme, I thought it would be nice to share a little information about the Salt Lake Tabernacle.

Old Bowery and Tabernacle
From Early Beginnings

Shortly after the first group of Saints arrived in the Salt Lake valley in 1847, one of their first objectives was to build a place where they could all gather together to worship and be instructed.  The first structure built was a large bowery consisting of logs and branches.  Simple yet it served it's purpose.  By 1857 though the Saints built what was called Old Tabernacle next to the bowery.  However by 1861 Old Tabernacle was to small to meet the needs of the Saints.  President Brigham Young then directed that a new, larger meeting hall be built.  In 1863, construction began on the Salt Lake Tabernacle under the direction of Church architect William H. Folsom.

Tabernacle under construction
So construction began.  The main egg-shaped roof was built entirely of wood out of a unique and unusual design.  The early Saints were very limited in available resources and had to use a lot of ingenuity to take on the project.  Since nails were so scarce wooden pegs were used instead and beams were wrapped with boiled animal skins.

Salt Lake Tabernacle in 1869
The Tabernacle was finished enough to hold October conference in 1867 and by 1870 all the organ fixtures were in place.  By 1875 the entire building was complete including the gallery and was dedicated by President John Taylor in the October conference of that year.  The organ at first contained only 700 pipes but over the years it was expanded to contain now 11,623 pipes.  Despite conditions of poverty, the Saints were able to build one of the most amazing structures of our day. 
Salt Lake Tabernacle Today

The Tabernacle Today
Today the Tabernacle still stands.  From 2005 to 2007, she underwent major renovations to improve seismic strength and renovate the aging building.  New pews were put in place and an overall restoration project with new state of the art equipment and a new aluminum roof.  She was rededicated in the April conference of 2007 and has continued to serve as a meeting hall for various events and as the home of the world renowned Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

It amazes me how much the early pioneers sacrificed to build such an amazing building.  It tells me that they really loved their Lord and Savior to build for Him from very limited means a meeting hall so they could worship Him.  I'm so thankful for all those early Saints who gave of their time and means to provide us in today's world something to look back on and cherish.  From the Tabernacle, many amazing talks and revelations have been given for our day.  Some of the most amazing music comes from this building.  Without it, the Church and the world would never be the same.  I know this Church is true and that my Savior lives.  I'm always fascinated with the amazing pioneer buildings on Temple Square, but I need to remember the fact that they are there to bring me and many others closer to our Savior.  May we take courage from the example of these early Saints and do the best we can to love our Savior.

Refering sites: 

More Photos of the Salt Lake Tabernacle
Tabernacle Today on Temple Square
Survey of the Tabernacle Roof Arches

Early Tabernacle Organ before addition

Tabernacle Organ and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir

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