Browsing articles tagged with "Church History People Archives - BYU Virtual Tours"

The Kearns Building

Oct 27, 2010   //   by BYU Journeys   //   Salt Lake City  //  No Comments
The Kearns Building was named after a former U.S. senator from Utah named Thomas Kearns (1862–1918). Kearns worked his way up from the low-labor position of “mucker” in the Park City mines, finally striking it rich in his Silver King mine. Active in politics, he ran a successful bid for the U.S. Senate. Read more >>

Orson Pratt Homesite

Sep 15, 2010   //   by BYU Journeys   //   Salt Lake City  //  No Comments

The original homesite of Elder Orson Pratt, a member of the original Quorum of the Twelve; over the years, other homes and businesses were built here. As the number of tourists visiting Salt Lake City increased in the early 1900s, additional lodging was needed. In 1930 the Inn at Temple Square was constructed across the street from the site it was named after. It was later renovated after Hotel Utah was closed. The inn offered a sense of 1930s grandeur, and its central location allowed easy access to Salt Lake City’s many sites. The structure was composed of ninety spacious rooms that offered comfort to the weary traveler. Guests were also offered access to the inn’s library and the Passages Restaurant. The inn closed in April 2006 to accommodate Church development of the property.

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A photo of the original Orson Pratt home which faced west on West Temple Street. Daughters of Utah Pioneers

Until its demolition in 2007 the Inn at Temple Square sat on the site of Orson Pratt’s home. The inn faced north on South Temple Street. David M. Whitchurch

A portrait of Orson Pratt during his younger years. Utah State Historical Society

Parley taught his younger brother, Orson, of the restored gospel. Utah State Historical Society

Orson Pratt was one of the first converts to the restored gospel; he was also one of the most influential. He was baptized by his brother Parley on his nineteenth birthday, on September 19, 1830, almost six months after the organization of the Church. He was ordained an Apostle at the age of twenty-three and served in this capacity for over forty-five years.

Following the Martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Orson came west with President Brigham Young and the Saints. As he journeyed, he took note of the latitude, longitude, and altitude of prominent points, as well as a description of the geological structure of the country in great detail. Years later, while assisting in the construction of the Salt Lake Temple, a small observatory was erected on Temple Square, where the South Visitors’ Center now stands. From this location Orson charted the heavens.

As the original pioneer company neared the Great Basin, Orson formed an advance party of twenty-three wagons and forty-two men. On July 21, 1847, Orson Pratt and Erastus Snow became the first Latter-day Saints to enter the Great Salt Lake Valley. Orson recorded, “We could not refrain from a shout of joy.” On July 23, he dedicated the camp and the land to the Lord. Perhaps B. H. Roberts said it best when he described Orson as “Pioneer of the Pioneers.” While laying the foundations for the new city in the West, President Brigham Young recognized Orson’s skills and requested his help to plat and survey the city of the Great Salt Lake. Elder Pratt filled at least eleven missions to the Eastern States and crossed the Atlantic Ocean to Great Britain and the European continent sixteen times to preach the gospel. He was a tireless writer and defender of the faith. President Young paid this tribute to Orson Pratt: “If Brother Orson were chopped up in inch pieces, each piece would cry out Mormonism was true.”


In the late 1870s, he arranged the Doctrine and Covenants and the Book of Mormon into chapters and verses with footnotes and references and prepared the first American edition of the Pearl of Great Price. In 1874 he was appointed historian and general Church recorder, a position he held until the time of his death. Orson also dedicated his time to civil service, presiding over the territorial legislature and serving as the regent of the University of Deseret.

After suffering severely from diabetes, Orson Pratt passed away on October 3, 1881. His dying words, spoken to President Joseph F. Smith and forming his epitaph, were: “My body sleeps for a moment, but my testimony lives and shall endure forever.”

Charles R . Savage Photography

Aug 25, 2010   //   by BYU Journeys   //   Blog, Salt Lake City  //  1 Comment

Charles R. Savage (1832–1909) was born in Southampton, England. When he was nearly fifteen, Charles received his first introduction to the Church and was baptized soon afterward. Read more >>

Joseph L . Heywood Homesite

Aug 11, 2010   //   by BYU Journeys   //   Blog, Salt Lake City  //  No Comments
The Joseph and Serepta Heywood homesite is located approximately at the midblock area between State and Main streets on the north wall of the Conference Center. Joseph was baptized in Read more >>

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir

Jun 23, 2010   //   by BYU Journeys   //   Blog, Salt Lake City  //  No Comments

Known as the Church’s official choir, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir is named for its home in the historic Tabernacle on Temple Square. The more than 350 carefully selected and well trained vocalists come from all walks of life, serve without pay, and demonstrate great commitment in their service to the Church as they rehearse and perform more than 150 days each year.



The choir is seen and heard weekly “from the crossroads of the West” on its broadcast Music and the Spoken Word, carried internationally to some two thousand radio, television, and cable stations. The Tabernacle Choir is known and beloved worldwide for its more than 150 recordings.


The Tabernacle organ is a complex instrument. Organists control over 11,000 pipes and can communicate with technicians during performances, if necessary. Note how the organ sits on a circular platform that may be swiveled to allow audiences to see different views of the organist and the console. © by Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

U.S. presidents have called the Tabernacle Choir “America’s Choir” and “one of America’s greatest treasures.”

The choir has performed at six presidential inaugurations and at other important national occasions, including the opening ceremonies for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games; the bicentennial celebration of the Constitution of the United States (1987); the American Bicentenary in Washington DC (July 4, 1976); nationwide radio memorial services for John F. Kennedy (November 24, 1963) and Franklin D. Roosevelt (April 12, 1945); and the first worldwide television satellite broadcast, transmitted from Mount Rushmore (1962).



Only a few of the gold-leaf organ pipes in the Tabernacle actually “speak.” Regardless, their grandeur adds to the solemn majesty of the Tabernacle. Richard Crookston

The choir has performed extensively in major concert halls throughout the world. Multiple tours have taken the choir to every part of the United States and Canada, Europe, Central America, the Far East, Brazil, Scandinavia, Japan, Australia and New Zealand, Central Europe, Israel, and the former Soviet Union. The choir has also performed at thirteen world’s fairs and expositions.

Five gold and two platinum records have been awarded to the choir, and the recording of “Battle Hymn of the Republic” with the Philadelphia Orchestra won a Grammy Award in 1959. The choir’s first radio broadcast took place July 15, 1929, making Music and the Spoken Word the longest continuous network broadcast in the world.

The choir has also been awarded the Peabody Award for service to American broadcasting (1944, 1962), an Emmy award, and the George Washington Medal of Freedom award from the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge.


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