Country Profile


When the first company of Latter-day Saint pioneers began to journey westward, they did not know their end destination. But on 24 July 1847, when the wagons rolled out of the canyon into the Salt Lake Valley, their destination became apparent. "It is enough," Church President Brigham Young said as he viewed the valley below. "This is the right place. Drive on." Young named the area "Deseret," meaning honeybee, signifying the hive of activity that would soon inhabit the area. The President stayed only 33 days before returning to Winter Quarters in Nebraska to assist other families on their trek. At least 236 pioneer companies of approximately 60,000 pioneers crossed the plains for Utah. With time, they transformed the desert valley into the bustling and prosperous Salt Lake City.

Several historic sites exist in the state today, including Temple Square, visited by nearly 5 million people annually. The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square performs a weekly broadcast from one of the largest timber-roofed buildings in the world. The broadcast is the longest continuous broadcast program in the United States. In addition to the Salt Lake Temple, which took early members more than 40 years to complete, 16 other temples dot the state. Seven more temples are announced or under construction.


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