Salt Lake City ~ Temple Square, MCO, Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Hill Aerospace Museum

June 22nd and 23rd ~ Salt Lake City and Ogden, Utah

The Temple, Salt Lake City

In 1847, Brigham Young led members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, (also known as “Mormons” because of the Book of Mormon), to the Salt Lake Valley where they established the church headquarters. 

Today the city is neatly organized with a grid system where the Temple is at ground zero, and the blocks radiate out symmetrically. The street numbers become larger as you move out from Temple Square in each direction. Each block increases numerically by 100 and eight city blocks equals one mile.

This well laid out city is easy to navigate, but we did not need to…

Our KOA campground arranged a free shuttle service, provided by the church, that ran every half hour that would take us the 14 blocks to Temple Square, which is where we wanted to start our sightseeing.

Temple Square covers several city blocks, about 35 acres of land. Free tours are led by members of the church. We started out with a group of about 30 people, but jumped ship after a few minutes as the microphone battery died and we could not hear our guides.

One of the buildings that stood out, was the stately Assembly Hall.

Assembly Hall

But of course the center point was the enormous and impressive Temple.

The Temple with evening sunlight shining on the towers

And I should also mention the gorgeous grounds. Every flower and leaf were perfection. Not an easy task to maintain on a campus of this size, but the mainly volunteer staff have done an outstanding job.

The flowers were perfection

Another place of interest for us to check out was the Family History Library which is the largest genealogical library in the world.

Family History Library

Tim had already done some research on, but I wanted to start fresh. I was assigned a “helper” who got me started. I was able to find information on my paternal side going back to the 1600’s in Prussia and Germany which I loved.

We happened to arrive on the perfect date to attend the Millennial Choir and Orchestra performance inside the Tabernacle. This was their 10th Anniversary Tour, so they were performing some of their greatest hits. All performances were sold out, but we showed up early at the standby sign, and were granted some tickets that had been turned in. Lucky Day!

Inside the Tabernacle before the MCO performance

No photography or recording was allowed during the performance, but I was allowed to snap a shot as they were setting up. The choir filled in greatly after this shot was taken, but it will at least give some idea of the setting. The ages of the choir member ranged from four years up to senior citizens who can still sing!

I found this clip on YouTube of the group performing Amazing Grace which will give you an idea of how special this performance was to attend. Click here for clip.

But our day was still not over, as on Thursday evenings, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir rehearses. It is free to the public. Since the MCO were performing in the Tabernacle, the practice was conducted across the street in the 21,000 seat Conference Center. I was glad that we got to see and experience both.

Inside the Conference Center which seats 21,000 people

I loved simply closing my eyes and letting the music embrace me.

On Friday, we once again picked up stakes and moved on. We were headed toward Bear Lake and on the way I had marked two possible diversions – the George S Eccles Dinosaur Park or the Hill Aerospace Museum. Tim voted for the museum, so off we went.

Admission was free, and we wandered around this well laid out complex for a couple of hours. It was primarily about the aircraft, but stories of how they were used in different conflicts was documented as well. I found the section about the Vietnam War especially of interest since that hit closest to home for me and my classmates.

For any war history buff, lover of airplanes, pilots, military or ex Air Force, you might find this collection fascinating. Here are just a few of the many aircraft on display that caught my attention:

1911 Burgess-Wright Model F Flyer

B-17G Flying Fortress

North American P-51D Mustang


F-86F Sabre

Ejection Seat

Fairchild-Republic A-10 (GYA) “Thunderbolt II”

Sikorsky MH-53M Pave Low IV “Super Jolly”

Air Force One

I was curious about this tiny version of Air Force One and when it was used, as there was no placard telling about it. We asked at the information desk, and were told that President Kennedy had it built, but they were not sure if he ever flew in it. President Johnson would take it to his ranch in Texas, as the larger Airforce One was too big to land at the nearby airport. He also shared that the person rumored to have used it the most (according to one of their pilots) was Lady Bird Johnson who would use it to fly to New York for shopping.

B-1 Lancer

B-52 Stratofortress

GRATITUDE MOMENT: I am grateful to have been able to experience such a large number of beautiful voices gathered together to sing in praise. It was a special treat! Then the next day we had an extreme contrast – walking amongst huge aircraft, many that had carried weapons of mass destruction. What complicated times we live in. But I am thankful that at least for today I am safe, well and living life to the fullest.

As a side note, we would have LOVED to been able to share the Aerospace Museum with our 93 years-young friend, Rod Rodriguez, who has an incredible history with aviation. He was the youngest ever Latin aviator admitted into the Navy and enjoyed a long and successful career with Beechcraft out of the Van Nuys airport.

Dear friends, Rod and Alice, from a dinner we shared a few months ago.

I’m confident he would have loved seeing this collection and been able to share some incredible and fascinating stories.

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About Tim and Joanne Joseph

Hi and welcome! We are Tim and Joanne Joseph and we have just embarked on our latest adventure. We hope you will join us!
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32 Responses to Salt Lake City ~ Temple Square, MCO, Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Hill Aerospace Museum

  1. lulu says:

    There’s a lot to see in this country of ours, and the two of you are doing it in a just right way.


  2. joliesattic says:

    Sounds like you are having a great time. We seem to always hit the aerospace museums most.


  3. mike alesko says:

    Fascinating entry, you guys. Loved the airplanes,. My son is with the Air Force and got to help service Air Force One last year in Portland when President Obama visited here.


  4. Love the aviation museum! I’m so glad to see the B-24. My father flew one from a base in Italy during World War II.


  5. Glad you got to attend the concert. What a treat! We were only able to hear a bit of the organist practice when we were there. Lovely photos! Enjoying your blog.


  6. LTodd says:

    Great pics of the temple and planes. We were in SLC the week before.


  7. Terry says:

    Wonderful, we got to experience the Tabernacle with a Mormon friend. It was a personal tour and was great. Did not know of the Aero museum, taking notes. Oh boy more adventures.


  8. I was in SLC back in 1999…yes so long ago. They were getting ready for the Olympics. It was in the February and we had the pleasure of a blizzard or two while staying with friends in Alpine. They took me into SLC and we did a personal tour of Temple Square etc. My friends are of the Morman Faith. I have many wonderful memories and you brought it all back to me thank you xx (Bree the youngest of 3 sisters )


  9. So where’s the Vietnam Era Huey? That’s what I want to know. 😂 There’s an old joke about flying. If you really want fly, join the army. Army aviators (me) really did get to fly. Those Jolly Greens (what the army called them) really were life savers.


    • Ray, I only showed a small portion of the planes and helicopters that were on display. But, they did not have all of the different types, just ones that had been associated in some way with Hill Air Force Base. I’m guessing you would have gotten much more out of seeing all of this than I did with your Army Aviator experience 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I thought because they are really part of the USAF collection they move them around a little. Yes and no. I really only know about helos from my era. I like WW II era planes, but they are different.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. The Chaos Realm says:

    Record his/her stories! #oralhistory


  11. Asif says:

    Fantastic pictures Joanne, I particularly like the pictures of the airplanes at Hill Aerospace Museum (good choice Tim :)) As an aviation enthusiast myself I loved seeing the old planes – the B1B has such great lines!

    I could not help but notice how well preserved the planes were, and the B-52 Stratofortress caught my eye, this plane has 8(!) engines, but look at the diameter of the engines on it – very small compared to what you would see on modern passenger aircraft like say a Boeing 777.

    The engines have become so much larger as aerospace engineers have discovered that having 2 very large engines are far more fuel efficient than having 4 small ones. Just to illustrate how big they become, the _engine_ on a Boeing 777 is almost as wide as the fuselage (body) of a Boeing 737 – that just blows me away.



    • I’m so glad you enjoyed seeing the pictures of the airplanes. Thank you for your insights. That was very interesting about the changes in engine diameters. I still think that the dinosaurs would have been interesting too though 😬😬


  12. tippysmom2 says:

    Another fantastic couple of days. The gardens at Temple Square look amazing – esp. since they are maintained by mostly volunteers. I have seen the Temple from afar, but have never had the privilege to go inside or to hear the choir. It sounds like it is really something that needs to be experienced. The Aerospace Museum looks like fun. Have you ever been to the one in Dayton, OH? It is a bigger version of this one, it looks like.


    • No, we have not been to the Aerospace Museum in Dayton, but I’m sure if we get out that way that my hubby would love to see it. Yes, the grounds at Temple Square were fabulously maintained. Seeing BOTH the MCO and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir were a treat.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Ginny Schaw says:

    Hi Joanne, I’d love to learn what you discovered about our family…Prussia and Germany? I had no idea!


  14. Pingback: Month of June Travels in our National Parks ~ Highlight Moments in Pictures | A Note From Abroad

  15. curvyroads says:

    Great report of an area we didn’t see on our trip!


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