Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints purchases Kirtland Temple, other sacred artifacts

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The front of the Kirtland Temple in Kirtland, Ohio. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints bought the historic site on March 5, 2024. (Church Newsroom)

On Tuesday, March 5, the Community of Christ and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints jointly announced the official transfer of ownership for the Kirtland Temple, several historic buildings in Nauvoo, various manuscripts and artifacts. 

The Church of Jesus Christ purchased the historic properties and artifacts for a total of $192.5 million, according to Church Newsroom. 

Both faith communities concluded that this agreement reflects a shared dedication to preserve these sacred sites and artifacts.

“Together we share an interest in the reverence for these historic sites and items and are committed to preserving them for future generations,” the press release said. 

The official ownership of the following assets have moved from the Community of Christ to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: the Kirtland Temple, the Smith Family Homestead, Mansion House, the Nauvoo House and the Red Brick Store. 

Purchased artifacts include the Bible used for the Joseph Smith Translation, seven letters from Joseph Smith to Emma Smith, the original door from Liberty Jail and several other significant artifacts.  

Joseph Smith’s Red Brick Store. The Church bought the historic site from the Community of Christ on March 5, 2024. (Church Newsroom)

“This exchange of assets is significant for our church … We will have greater capacity to pursue our mission priorities around the world.” Stephen M. Veazey, president of the Community of Christ, said. 

President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said the Church is committed to honoring and preserving these sacred sites and artifacts.

“We are deeply honored to assume the stewardship of these sacred places, documents, and artifacts. We thank our friends at Community of Christ for their great care and cooperation in preserving these historical treasures thus far,” President Nelson said.

According to the press release, the Kirtland Temple will remain a historic building. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will reopen it on March 25 for public tours free of charge.

The rest of the newly purchased historic sites will also open their doors on March 25.

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