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7 things to see in the Conference Center while Temple Square is under construction

Since renovations on the Salt Lake Temple and Temple Square began several years ago, our family’s visits to downtown Salt Lake City have been few and far between—often driven more by our toddler’s love of construction vehicles than our desire to navigate temporary walkways and construction sites. But recently when we were trying to find a last-minute fun-but-inexpensive family outing, we decided to give the Conference Center a try.

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I had heard that there were some exhibits related to the Salt Lake Temple, but I was not expecting some of the exciting artifacts displayed on several floors of the Conference Center. Here are just a few of the artifacts you can find, as well as the history behind them.


A replica of the Tabernacle pulpit
1st floor, east side

Before the Conference Center was completed in 2000, general conferences of the Church were held in the Tabernacle. A replica of the 19th-century pulpit that was used in the Tabernacle can be found on the main floor of the Conference Center, and it’s a great photo op with a backdrop of the famous Tabernacle organ behind it. The Tabernacle is one of only a few buildings still open for visitors on Temple Square.

Click here to learn more about the history of general conference.

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Come Unto Jesus by Michael Malm.
Come Unto Jesus by Michael Malm.

Come Unto Jesus Mural
2nd floor, in between the Book of Mormon gallery and Christus statue

This massive painting spans an entire wall and depicts the Second Coming. Installed earlier this year, Come Unto Jesus brings images of modern saints together with Christ, allowing the viewer to envision themselves at that meeting with Christ. The soft colors seem to glow from inside the painting itself, making this a must-see item in the Conference Center.

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Stereoscopic photos of the construction of the Salt Lake Temple
1st floor, west side

Before the days of 3D imaging, stereoscopic photos were the closest a person could get to seeing lifelike photos. Take a close look at the 3D scene made by the double image, and see if you can spot some neat historic details in the background as well.

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Key to the Salt Lake Temple’s front door
3rd floor, east side

I love picturing the early Latter-day Saints bringing this massive key to unlock the front doors of the Salt Lake Temple!

Bonus: Check out the modern keyhole on the door handle displayed across the room to see the evolution of locks on the temple’s front door.

► You may also like: Take a photo walk through Temple Square's changes from 1855 to today

3D model of the SLC temple.
3D model of the SLC temple.
Ellie Smith

Model of the Salt Lake City Temple
3rd floor

This tiny replica of the interior of the Salt Lake Temple is more than just adorable, it was also really informative! Each mini room is decorated and furnished to match the real life version, so you can figure out exactly where inside the temple they are. It helps orient you for future temple visits, and it can help your kids understand what each of the different rooms are for!

Painting of the woman at the well.
Painting of the woman at the well.

New Testament Gallery
3rd floor

Don’t miss the beautiful New Testament Gallery, which features paintings based on scriptures and parables from the New Testament. This gallery is another new one which means the art will likely be a unique treat. And after studying the New Testament in Come Follow Me this year, you might even recognize a few of the more obscure stories.


Replica Christus
1st floor, west side

With the demolition of the North Visitors’ Center and the removal of the familiar Thorvaldsen Christus statue it housed, a smaller 8-foot replica installed in the Conference Center in 2019 might be a good alternative to visit. Since this smaller version is constructed of fiberglass it's safe (and accepted) for visitors to touch the statue, which is sure to make younger visitors smile.

These are only a few of the many things to see in the Conference Center—you can also take a tour of the auditorium and the roof gardens, see more artifacts from Temple Square and the Salt Lake Temple, stroll through galleries featuring Arnold Friberg’s Book of Mormon paintings and temple art, stop to look at other sculptures and art placed throughout the hallways and alcoves, or step out on the upper balcony to survey the construction work surrounding the temple.

Maps and locations of displays are found at the main entrances, or you can ask the sister missionaries stationed throughout the building if you are looking for something specific. Also note that with the construction work around Temple Square, it is easiest to park under the Conference Center (there is an entrance on West Temple) and then ask the sister missionaries for parking validation before you head out. I hope you will take the time to see some of these unique displays and share your favorite parts!

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