News Story

President Thomas S. Monson Dedicates Church History Library

President Thomas S. Monson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, dedicated the new Church History Library today after 15 years of planning and four years of construction. He was joined by his counselors in the First Presidency and members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles at today’s event, which was attended by hundreds of community leaders and Church History Department employees.

In his dedicatory prayer, President Monson described the purpose of the facility, saying, “In this beautiful structure we have the legacy of the past, the opportunities of the present and the brightness of the future.”

President Monson spoke from the very same pulpit at which he gave his first two-and-a-half-minute talk as a youth and at which he later spoke as a bishop of a local congregation of the Church. “Every bishop needs a sacred grove to which he can retire to meditate and pray for guidance,” President Monson said. “Mine, as a very young bishop, was beside this pulpit in our ward chapel. I could not begin to count the occasions when on a dark night at a late hour, I would make my way to the stand.” Tapping the pulpit he said, “I would kneel and share with my Heavenly Father my thoughts, my concerns, my problems. Those prayers were always answered in one way of another. This pulpit is, to me, a cherished remembrance of sacred experiences.”

President Monson told those gathered that everyone has his or her own story or similar ones from ancestors which speak to the importance of keeping records.

Today’s dedication was the culmination of a week of open house tours during which nearly 12,000 Church employees, VIPs and members of the public saw priceless Church artifacts temporarily on display and passed through areas such as the conservation lab and sub-zero vaults.

The Church History Department today employs 234 people, compared to just 10 employed by the Historian’s Office in 1900. The land on which the library now sits has had an equally impressive transformation. Heber C. Kimball, first counselor to President Brigham Young, was its original owner. Over the years it has been occupied by homes, a school, a mill, a blacksmith shop, a pharmacy, a café, an ice cream shop, a dance academy, a bowling alley, an advertising agency and a Church missionary training center.

The new Church History Library will have expanded hours of operation to allow more access to the public.  It will be open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. The library will also be open Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.