Most visitors to Salt Lake City and those who heard of it are oblivious of the fact that it happens to be located in Utah. Geometrically laid out, the city was settled by Mormons under the guidance of Brigham Young. The head office of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, with a count of eleven million worldwide followers, employs some 2000 volunteers and salaried clerks,
Thirty-five acres of Salt Lake City’s downtown are occupied by the Temple Square consisting of (Salt Lake temple, Tabernacle, Conference Centre, North Visitor Centre, Museum of Church History and Art, Family History Library, relief Society Building, Joseph Smith Memorial Building, Church Office Building, Church Administration Building, Lion House, Bellevue House and Brigham Young Historic Park).
In 1847 Brigham Young decided to lead his flock from New York State to the Valley where Salt Lake City now stands.
Settlers learned a great deal from local Indians and fur trappers who had been living periodically for centuries in the area. Life was tough and living meagre, but frugality and persistence made survival possible. Between the Family History Research Centre and Museum of Church History an original settler’s hut depicts how a family with two children lived. Today some doghouses are bigger than this dwelling. One can instantly imagine how difficult it was to eke out a living from the arid soil, and the difficulties settlers encountered.
Mormons are hard working and devoted people who religiously follow the rules set by Brigham Young. Each Mormon supports his/her church and fulfils the obligations to the letter, including volunteering to increase the popularity and membership of the church.
Mormon Church architecture prefers clear unadorned lines and seeks to exude purity through simplicity and practicality. Young Mormon sisters travel from all over the world to Salt Lake City, six months at a time, largely at their expense, to become more familiar with the inner workings of their church institutions and history.
The temples, except the Salt Lake City Temple, are open to visitors and explain, albeit superficially, how the Mormon Church is organized and the function of each building within the complex.
Gardens are meticulously maintained by a score of gardeners under the guidance of a chief horticulturist on the payroll.
Today alt Lake City is a vibrant city mainly due to the hard work and devotion of Brigham Young’s followers.
A few kilometres from the city centre, the desert takes over and continues for untold miles. Going west, you come across the location where world land speed records are set, a windy desolate place, flat as a pancake, and dry.