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Tabernacle was built as St. George sprang up
MR says: Great photo gallery.It seemed at first an unlikely locale for a tabernacle.
But as early as 1862 — a year after St. George was settled — Brigham Young directed Latter-day Saints in St. George to construct the edifice, "a building designed not only for Church services but that would also serve as a cultural and social center for the entire community," said Michael N. Landon, an archivist in the Libraries Division of the Church History Library, at his May 27 presentation for the Mormon History Association Conference in St. George.
"In a letter to Erastus Snow, Brigham Young clearly noted that the tabernacle would be more than a place of worship," Brother Landon said.
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