Public invited to discussion about Salt Lake Temple

Friday , March 17, 2017 - 1:54 PM

JANAE FRANCIS, Standard-Examiner Staff

OGDEN — Myths and facts about the Salt Lake Temple will be the subject of a free public meeting of the Weber Historical Society lecture series Monday.

Jacob W. Olmstead, curator of historic sites with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints church history department, will discuss myths and facts about the Salt Lake Temple. His talk is set for 7 p.m. Monday, March 20, at Weber State University’s Hurst Center Dumke Legacy Hall, 3848 Harrison Blvd., Ogden.

As a building, the Salt Lake Temple is a paradox in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, according to a news release from the Weber Historical Society.

“On one hand, it has become an icon both inside and outside the church — a symbol of Mormonism to believers and nonbelievers alike,” said the news release. “On the other, it is probably the least understood structure in the contemporary church. As a result, the Salt Lake Temple has become the subject of legends.”

Many of these stories originate from misunderstandings about the building’s construction, according to the news release. “Olmstead will present some new findings that tell a far different and more interesting history than those spun from myths and tales.”

“I hope attendees might gain a greater appreciation and understanding of the meaning and significance of Mormonism’s most sacred historical site — the Salt Lake Temple and its surrounding landscape,” Olmstead said.

Olmstead received his doctorate degree in American history from Texas Christian University in 2011, where he studied civic memory and identity in the American West. In 2007, he was awarded the J. Talmage Jones Award by the Mormon History Association for his article “The Mormon Hierarchy and the MX,” published in Journal of Mormon History. He has served as book review editor for the Mormon Historical Studies since 2007.

The Weber Historical Society Lecture Series is sponsored by the WSU Alumni Association, the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences, WSU’s Department of History and Stewart Library. 

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