• Deborah Kade

Salt Lake City, Utah

Michael helped a customer with an install of new software so I went with him to Salt Lake City.

Salt Lake City is the capital and most populous city in Utah.

The city was founded in 1847 by Brigham Young, Isaac Morley, George Washington Bradley and other Mormon followers. Due to its proximity to the Great Salt Lake, the city was originally named "Great Salt Lake City. The word "great" was dropped from the official name in 1868 by the 17th Utah Territorial Legislature.

Salt Lake City is home to the headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) and Temple Square. Salt Lake City was historically considered a holy city by members of the LDS church. Brigham Young called it a "Kingdom of Heaven on Earth". Today, however, less than half the population of Salt Lake City proper are members of the LDS Church.

Immigration of international LDS members, mining booms, and the construction of the first transcontinental railroad initially brought economic growth to this once arid valley. The city was nicknamed the Crossroads of the West. It was traversed by the Lincoln Highway, the first transcontinental highway, in 1913. Today two major cross-country freeways, I-15 and I-80, intersect in the city. Salt Lake City has since developed a strong outdoor recreation tourist industry based primarily on skiing. The city hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics.

Also, it is the industrial banking center of the United States.

A trip to Salt Lake City would not be complete without a visit to Temple Square. Temple Square is a 35 acre complex owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint.

Salt Lake Temple is used by church members for marriages and other sacred ordinances designed to strengthen families, both now and for eternity. Begun in 1853, it was completed 40 years later. Granite rock used in its construction was hauled 23 miles by ox drawn wagons from Cottonwood Canyon. The walls are nine feet thick at the ground level and narrow to six feet thick at the top. The east center tower is 210 feet high and is topped by the statue of an angel heralding the restoration to earth of the gospel of Jesus Christ in the latter days.

The Tabernacle, completed in 1867, was built as a place for Church members to gather and hear the words of their leaders. Brigham Young directed the building should be designed so people could see and hear the speaker without impediment. To do this successfully, bridge-building techniques were used to construct the Tabernacle roof so that support pillars were not needed. The Tabernacle is home to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. "The Mormon Tabernacle Choir traces its roots to a small choir which performed for the first time in August 1847, just one month after the first Mormon pioneers arrived in the Salt Lake Valley. Since then, the Choir has grown to be one of the world’s most recognized and revered musical organizations. The Choir is composed of 360 volunteers and has performed across the country and in 28 foreign countries, from acclaimed concert halls to inaugurations of U.S. presidents. It has earned many awards, including a Grammy Award for the rendition of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” and three Emmy Awards. The Orchestra at Temple Square, an all-volunteer symphony orchestra organized in 1999, performs with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Each week up to 85 musicians, drawn from a roster of more than 200 volunteers, provide instrumental support to the Choir in the weekly broadcast of Music and the Spoken Word. The Orchestra also performs with the Choir in the annual Christmas concert, Pioneer Day celebration and other special events. Since 2005 the orchestra has participated in biennial concert tours with the Choir across North America as well as presenting its own fall and spring symphonic concerts in the Tabernacle. In 1929, the Choir began its weekly live broadcast, Music and the Spoken Word, on the radio, and in the early 1960s made its way to television. Today this program stands as the longest running continuous network broadcast in America."

We did not get the chance to hear the choir but we did get to hear the organist practicing. The acoustics are amazing!!!

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