Visitors centers on Temple Square reopening to public

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    By Adrianne Barrett

    Always a popular destination for conference-goers, the Temple Square Visitors Centers are finally re-opening to the public on Friday, Oct. 5.

    The renovations, the first major structural changes to the buildings in almost two decades, are nearing completion after almost a year of construction.

    “There was technology available to make the exhibits more interactive,” said Dale Bills, a media relations manager for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

    The new changes include several new exhibits within each building.

    The North Visitors Center, which holds the famous replica of Thorvaldsen”s “Christus,” now contains an interactive, 14-by-14-foot model of Jerusalem at the time of Christ. The mural tracks the last week of Christ”s mortal ministry.

    “There was a need to make the message more cohesive around the Savior,” Bills said. “”The Savior”s Ministry” exhibit is the centerpiece of the visitors” center renovations.”

    Another new exhibit in the north building is dedicated to Joseph Smith and the restoration of the gospel.

    The South Visitors Center now has an exhibit detailing the construction of the Salt Lake Temple, as well as a discussion on the eternal nature of families.

    Both visitors centers will contain new interactive kiosks with presentations about church doctrine, inner peace, families and the scriptures.

    Although missionaries will still be on hand to guide guests through the centers, the kiosks will help visitors perform self-guided tours.

    For returning visitors, a few older exhibits have been restored and moved.

    Murals in the North Visitors Center depicting Old Testament and New Testament scenes, on display since 1966, were restored and moved to the top floor of the building.

    The North Visitors Center was opened in 1963, the South in 1978. Since then, the two buildings have played host to millions of Temple Square visitors every year — half of whom are not members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

    “We are very excited about what visitors will see here,” said Stephen B. Allen, managing director of the church”s missionary department, in a press release from Friday, September 28.

    “Visitors will experience a combination of exhibits which provide an broad overview of the teachings and history of the church, as well as the practical influence it has in the everyday lives of members,” Allen said.

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