A new museum in Provo is designed to provide another way for people to learn about church history.
The Museo de Historia del Mormonismo, or the Mexican Mormon History Museum, opened in Provo earlier this month. It is an extension of the MMMH in Mexico City, established to collect, preserve and exhibit church information for future generations.
Fernando Gomez, president of the Provo museum, said it is not affiliated with BYU but is a private, nongovernmental organization that seeks volunteers in helping out with the daily tasks at the museum.
Gomez said the museum was established in Provo because of the increasing number of Spanish-speaking people in the area, as well as the returned missionaries who served missions in Spanish-speaking areas and attend BYU.
In the museum there are many artifacts, some of which include the first genealogy book, which was created in 1923, newspapers about the activities of the early Mormon Mexicans, sacrament trays and pictures of many pioneers who were involved in Mormon history.
“It is amazing how 30 days after Joseph Smith’s death the Mexicans knew about it,” Gomez said. “The main inspiration for this museum is to make sure people read and learn history.”
For some visitors, the museum represents the diversity of LDS church membership.
“I visited that museum and I think it is so amazing that the church has something for the Mexicans too, because the church does not only have something to do with ‘white,’ but also every other race who got the chance to become members of the church,” said Deborah Wene, a BYU-Idaho student studying accounting, in a facebook post. “It will be one of the things that will help [everyone] realize that they are included and belong in something.”
For other visitors, the museum represents lesser-known knowledge about church history.
“A lot of the time I tend to think of church history just as what happened in New York, Ohio, Missouri, Illinois and the trek across the plains to Utah,” said Alex Seegmiller, a recent BYU graduate. “I think a lot of members look at Church history in a similar way. There are a lot more aspects to church history than this and there is a lot of church history in Mexico. The museum can open up to us that we should look for Church history in other places other than just America.”
The museum is free to the public and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information about the MMMH, visit museomormonmx.com.