LDS Church’s museum reopens with modern technology alongside historical artifcats

Posted at 10:03 PM, Oct 03, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-04 00:03:20-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reopened its Church History Museum in Salt Lake City, just in time for the October session of their semi-annual General Conference.

The museum was closed for a year so all of the exhibits could be refreshed and brought to life with modern museum technology.

Exhibition Manager Maryanne Andrus says this is their “grand reopening” and visitors will see a fresh take on early LDS Church history.

“We decided that we would take a shorter time frame and really go a little more in-depth,” she said.

Specifically, the exhibits focus on the years of founder Joseph Smith's youth up until the LDS Church's migration to Utah.

“We've really gone in-depth to find the early stories of church history and people who lived this experience,” Andrus said.

The re-imagined space includes some modern touches you can actually touch.

“You can click on here, this is Parley P. Pratt,” said Alan Johnson, Director of the museum. “You can check out the locations he visited. If you want to learn a little bit about what happened in that location, you can open it up and it tells you a story of some of his experiences from his journals.”

An interactive screen allows visitors to pick one of three early missionaries and follow their journey.

“We wanted to help young people understand missionary work has been a part of the church since very early on,” Johnson said.

Andrus said there are real life exhibits to accompany the digital offerings.

“We have some incredible artifacts on view and protected in state of the art cases,” she said.

And there are other items designed for kids..

“We also have sprinkled a lot of fun interactives for children, so that families can come through together,” she said.

In all, 200 artifacts are on display, with some changing, to keep visitors coming back.

“Upstairs we rotate our exhibits every six months, so there's always something new to see here at the museum,” Johnson said.

The museum is open Monday through Saturday, and admission is free. For more information, click here.