It’s the final day of our SLC visit and we are surprised in the morning with a few rain drops and a view of the mountains – no more smoke!
It’s a short drive from our hotel to the Natural History Museum of Utah. The architecture is worth coming to enjoy. The building blends into the mountainside and the inside is laid out in such a way you elevator to the top floor and then walk down through Earth’s natural world, from top to bottom, today to yesteryear.
The top floor is Native American stories and displays – quite impressive relative to the many we’ve in our travels. This is an extremely well curated museum.
Next is highly structured/more easily understood information about DNA, cell structures and then evolution of birds, animals and humans within their environments.
Next we learn about the Land. The geology in Utah is diverse and the exhibits communicate the variety and development over the millions of years.
The most amazing exhibit in the museum is the dinosaurs floor. Utah is one of the most noted places for dinosaur finds because of the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry where 100’s of fossils were found. There is even a Paleontology Preparation Lab with people working away. This is the most reassembled dinosaur skeletons we’ve ever seen!
With our Readers’ Digest study of the natural world complete, our next stop is a short course in the world of religion by visiting the Church History Museum (the “church” being The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints). Steve and I have different levels of knowledge about this religion. Steve has dipped into LDS theology and beliefs at various times in his life; I know that the Broadway play “Book of Mormon” is probably not factual.
Right across the way is the Family History Library. Anyone can go in and research their ancestry for FREE. People visit here for days/weeks to study their ancestry because the records are so complete. Some of Steve’s relatives, married into his family, made contributions to the Library by dictating and recording the stones in small cemeteries in Oklahoma and other locations.
Inside the Church History Museum are exhibits in chronological order recounting the life of Joseph Smith, other founders and the founding of the church. Their struggle to find their Zion and how the church leadership and dogma evolved as more revelations came to Joseph Smith. The most important piece of the history is the Book of Mormon; how it came from a messenger from God, how a stone led to its translation and why the original is no longer available. A replica of the original, provided by Moroni, Son of Mormon, to Joseph Smith, is on display in the museum.
From the time Brigham Young led the church to ‘Zion’ or “This is the Right Place,” many more followers came from all over the world. In 1890, Brigham Young finally told people to stay in their own countries and establish their own Zion, following the precepts of the Book of Mormon and of the Latter-Day Saints.
After this museum, we were museum-ed out for the day. Off to the beautiful City Creek Mall for Cheesecake Factory lunch to celebrate the end of our Salt Lake City visit. All in all, a beautiful city rising out of an arid and challenging environment. This IS the place!