In 1847, Brigham Young and the first party of Mormon emigrants reached the desolate Salt Lake Valley. Since that day, Mormon cultural and heritage has made Utah a unique place to visit, today LDS Church memberscomprise about 60% of the state's population. LDS members live in accordance with standards and ideals of their spiritual beliefs. The result is a state known for citizens who believe in community and familyvalues, volunteerism, civic pride and strong sense of history.
Many important LDS historic sites and buildings are open to the public. Each of Utah's many LDS Temples has an adjacent visitor centers or immaculately landscaped grounds surrounding these houses of worship, which non-members are welcome to visit and enjoy (only church members are permitted to enter LDS temples).
The headquarters of the church and its most visited location is Historic Temple Square, located within three city blocks in downtown Salt Lake City. The site contains nearly 35 acres of attractions including the Salt Lake Temple, the Tabernacle, and the Family History Library. Tourists from all over the world include a visit to the world-renowned Mormon Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square on their Salt Lake City itinerary. Rehearsals and performances are free of charge and open to the public every Thursday night from 8:00 to 9:30 PM, and Sundays from 9:30 to 10:00 AM.
Throughout Utah, most cities and towns have Mormon heritage sites. It is common to find historic tabernacles, chapels, or mercantile cooperative buildings that are still utilized. Many of these locations offer tours that inform visitors about their historical significance. Daughters of Utah Pioneer museums are an excellent way to discover more about the Mormon Pioneer story, they can be found in many Utah towns.
The Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area is a region within Central and Southern Utah, established by the U.S. Congress to commemorate the sacrifices and triumphs of the Mormon pioneers who settled the region. The towns feature pioneer-era architecture and preserved Main Streets. Many settlements were originally settled by pioneers from specific European countries, and this lineage is celebrated today through unique festivals and events.