In 1847, Brigham Young and the first party of Latter-day Saint (known as Mormon) emigrants reached the desolate Salt Lake Valley. Since that day, Mormon cultural and heritage has made Utah a unique place to visit, today, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints members comprise about 60 percent of the state's population. Latter-day Saints live in accordance with standards and ideals of their spiritual beliefs. The result is a state known for citizens who believe in community and family values, volunteerism, civic pride and strong sense of history.
Many important Latter-day Saint historic sites and buildings are open to the public. Each of Utah's many Latter-day Saint 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 the temples).
Top Salt Lake City Latter-day Saint Attractions
- Historic Temple Square, covers three city blocks in downtown Salt Lake City. The site contains nearly 35 acres of attractions.
- Family History Library offers experienced guides and genealogists to help with your family history research.
- The Tabernacle, home to the world-renowned The Tabernacle Choir which offers weekly performances.
- Church History Museum, the best place to understand the historic story of The Church of Jesus Christ, it also includes frequently rotating art exhibits.
- This is The Place Heritage Park, a 450-acre Living History site that offers visitors a look at life in 19th Century Utah from the Mormon arrival in 1847 to statehood
- Ensign Peak, a family-friendly hike that early pioneers used to scout their development plans for the Salt Lake valley
Outside of Salt Lake City
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. There's also the Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail.