Timeline

By Scott C. Esplin

“Time Line,” in The Tabernacle: An Old and Wonderful Friend, ed. Scott C. Esplin (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2007), 1–9

Tim​e Line

Scott C. Esplin

December 1832

Commandment to build Kirtland Temple (first dedicated Latter-day Saint house of worship; see D&C 88)

March 27, 1836

Kirtland Temple dedicated


1845

Plans for a canvas tabernacle in Nauvoo

1846

Saints leave Nauvoo before canvas tabernacle can be erected

1847

Log Tabernacle built at Miller’s Hollow, Kanesville (Council Bluffs), Iowa

July 28, 1847

Brigham Young designates location for Salt Lake Temple Block, future home to Tabernacle

July 31, 1847

First Bowery built on southeast corner of Temple Block

December 24, 1847

Brigham Young sustained as President of the Church in Log Tabernacle at Kanesville (Council Bluffs), Iowa

Spring 1849

Second Bowery built on Temple Square (replacing First Bowery)

Spring 1851

Plans announced for construction of Adobe Tabernacle on Temple Square

August 2, 1851

Ground broken for Adobe Tabernacle

April 6, 1852

Adobe Tabernacle dedicated by President Willard Richards


April 6, 1853

Ground broken for Salt Lake Temple

Summer 1854

Third Bowery built on Temple Square, north of Adobe Tabernacle

Spring 1858

Third Bowery dismantled before arrival of approaching federal army

1860

Third Bowery reconstructed, though slightly smaller than previous boweries

1860

Henry Grow erects wooden bridge over Jordan River, using the design later used in the Great Tabernacle roof


1861

William Folsom named acting Church architect

Summer 1861

Adobe Tabernacle remodeled

August 23, 1862

Wilford Woodruff records Brigham Young’s plans for a 15,000-seat tabernacle on Temple Square

April 6, 1863

Plans announced in general conference for construction of Salt Lake Tabernacle

1863

Third Bowery relocated to south side of Temple Square before construction of Tabernacle; beams used as floor joists for the Tabernacle

April 18, 1863

Survey completed for Tabernacle

Spring 1863

Ground broken for Tabernacle

Summer 1864

Cornerstones laid for Tabernacle piers

September 1, 1865

Work begins on Tabernacle roof


January 1866

Preliminary work begins on Tabernacle organ

April 1867

Truman Angell replaces William Folsom as Church Architect

Summer 1867

Base laid for organ


August 1867

Work completed and scaffolding removed from roof

October 7, 1867

First meeting held in Tabernacle

June 24, 1868

Funeral for Heber C. Kimball held in Tabernacle

May 10, 1869

Completion of transcontinental railroad

November 8, 1869

Construction begins on Tabernacle gallery

April 1870

Construction completed on Tabernacle gallery

Summer 1870

Construction completed on Tabernacle organ

August 12–14, 1870

Debate between Orson Pratt and John P. Newman, U.S. Senate chaplain, regarding plural marriage

1875

Ornamental water fountain added to center of Tabernacle for Sunday School Jubilee

October 9, 1875

Tabernacle dedicated by President John Taylor

August 1877

Announcement made to dismantle Adobe Tabernacle and replace it with Assembly Hall

September 2, 1877

Funeral service for Brigham Young held in Tabernacle

August 3, 1879

Funeral service for Joseph Standing, martyred missionary, held in Tabernacle

October 10, 1880

Pearl of Great Price sustained as a standard work by the Church

September 26, 1881

Memorial service for President James A. Garfield held in Tabernacle

1882

Tabernacle rostrum remodeled

January 8, 1882

Assembly Hall dedicated by President Joseph F. Smith

1883

Choir stand enlarged to hold two hundred singers (previously held about seventy-five singers)

1884

Gas lighting and heat first used in Tabernacle

April 1, 1884

Concert by Adelina Patti, first operatic performance in Tabernacle

1890

Baptismal font installed in Tabernacle basement; Tabernacle roof covered in tin


October 6, 1890

Manifesto ending plural marriage sustained in general conference

1894

Weekly sacrament meetings in Tabernacle discontinued

May 12, 1895

Susan B. Anthony speaks in Tabernacle

October 3–5, 1895

Great Eisteddfod, Welsh singing festival, held in Tabernacle

January 6, 1896

Statehood celebration in Tabernacle

1900

Tabernacle organ rebuilt

February 11, 1900

Memorial service for members killed in Philippines during Spanish-American War

1915

Tabernacle organ rebuilt

April 1923

Amplification first used for general conference

August 10, 1923

Memorial service for President Warren G. Harding held in Tabernacle

October 1924

First radio transmission of general conference

October 18, 1927

John Philip Sousa performs in the Tabernacle

July 15, 1929

First Mormon Tabernacle Choir radio broadcast

April 1930

The Message of the Ages pageant held in Tabernacle, commemorating centennial of the Church

1933

Rostrum remodeled a second time

1942

Tabernacle roof reinforced

October 1942

Special sacrament and testimony meeting held as part of general conference


1947

Shingle roof replaced with aluminum

July 1947

Hundredth-anniversary pioneer commemoration held in the Tabernacle

1947

Stewart L. Grow finishes thesis, “A Historical Study of the Construction of the Salt Lake Tabernacle”

1948

Organ rebuilt by Aeolian-Skinner Company

October 1948

General conference first broadcast on television

1951

“Quiet room” at the rear of Tabernacle first used during general conference

1954

Architect Frank Lloyd Wright calls Tabernacle “one of the architectural masterpieces of the country and perhaps the world”

1962

General conference first broadcast by shortwave radio; Tabernacle Choir’s Music and the Spoken Word first broadcast on television

September 26, 1963

President John F. Kennedy speaks in Tabernacle


April 3, 1976

Revelations now known as Doctrine and Covenants 137 and 138 (originally placed in the Pearl of Great Price) sustained

1977

Rostrum remodeled a third time

September 30, 1978

Official Declaration 2, extending the priesthood to all worthy males, sustained in general conference

September 23, 1995

“The Family: A Proclamation to the World” read to Church membership by President Gordon B. Hinckley

1967

General conference first broadcast in color television

1968

Basement added

1970

Tabernacle designated as National Historic Landmark

April 3, 1971

Tabernacle designated as National Civil Engineering Landmark

1975

First satellite transmission of general conference

April 2000

General conference first held in Conference Center

September 14, 2001

Memorial service for the National Day of Prayer and Remembrance following terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001

Winter 2002

Special concerts held for Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games

2005–2007

Extensive seismic renovation of Tabernacle stone pillars and roof reinforced; exits reconfigured

March 31, 2007

Tabernacle rededicated by President Gordon B. Hinckley