News Release

Two Rooms Refurbished at Beehive House in Salt Lake City

Church President Joseph F. Smith and wife reflected in rooms

Two rooms at the historic Beehive House, originally built in 1854, have been refurbished to reflect the life of President Joseph F. Smith and his wife Julina Lambson Smith. The historic home, located on Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah, is owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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Beginning September 24, 2021, the new rooms, which were added to the building after the passing of Brigham Young, are part of the public tour of the city landmark.

“The Beehive House housed multiple Church presidents, … Joseph F. Smith [1838–1918], being the last one,” said Andrea Maxfield, curator of Church historic sites.

These two rooms were the bedroom and personal office of the president, which likely were the location where President Smith received a vision, which has been canonized as Section 138 of the Doctrine and Covenants.

“When you step from the hallway into the office you’re transported from the Brigham Young era right into the Joseph F. Smith era, the early 1900s,” Maxfield said.

“[President Smith] received the vision of the redemption of the dead just before he passed away in the Beehive House,” she added. “He actually received that vision in his bedroom there at the Beehive House, so that’s why these two rooms are significant — they’re his bedroom and his office.”

Staff of the Church History Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have studied President Smith’s life and his final months in the Beehive House to better understand the personal significance of this revelation to him and his family.

Maxfield said descendants of the family have donated items for the rooms, including Joseph F. Smith’s personal collection of the “Millennial Star,” and Julina’s copies of “An Author’s Digest” and “Library of Health.”

“We wanted to demonstrate who they were as individuals, and they were both very well read in everything, Church books and lots of famous authors,” Maxfield said. “[Julina] was a licensed obstetrician. She delivered 1,000 babies and only lost one in her time in the [Salt Lake] Valley, so that’s very significant.”

Joseph F. and Julina Smith served a mission in Hawaii together, endured opposition to their plural marriage, suffered the loss of their firstborn child and mourned the loss of many more family members over the years.

Maxfield said receipt of the revelation was the answer to a life of prayer and pondering for President Smith and his family regarding Christ’s ministry to the dead and His redemption for lost loved ones. “In total, he lost 14 children before he passed away,” she noted.

“He was a great champion for missionary work,” Maxfield added. “[Joseph F. Smith] served three missions to England, three missions to the Hawaiian Islands. He served a mission in Provo. He personally signed every mission call.”

In addition to the rooms at the Beehive House, the Church History Library will simultaneously open a temporary exhibit, “Joseph F. Smith’s Vision of the Redemption of the Dead.” This exhibit will give access to little-known documents relating to the revelation and will help visitors understand the process of revelation, both personally and for the Church. The exhibit at the library will be available for viewing on the first floor from September 24, 2021, through November 18, 2022, during regular business hours.

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