“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

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

Kirtland TempleKirtland Temple Courtesy of Church Archives


Plans for a canvas tabernacle in Nauvoo


Saints leave Nauvoo before canvas tabernacle can be erected


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

Adobe TabernacleOld Adobe Tabernacle Courtesy of Church Archives

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


Third Bowery reconstructed, though slightly smaller than previous boweries


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

Wooden BridgeBridge built by Henry Grow Courtesy of Church Archives


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


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

Tabernacle under constructionTabernacle under construction Courtesy of Church Archives

January 1866

Preliminary work begins on Tabernacle organ

April 1867

Truman Angell replaces William Folsom as Church Architect

Summer 1867

Base laid for organ

Base for organTabernacle organ Courtesy of Church Archives

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


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


Tabernacle rostrum remodeled

January 8, 1882

Assembly Hall dedicated by President Joseph F. Smith


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


Gas lighting and heat first used in Tabernacle

April 1, 1884

Concert by Adelina Patti, first operatic performance in Tabernacle


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

Tabernacle baptismal fontTabernacle baptismal font Courtesy of Richard Crookston

October 6, 1890

Manifesto ending plural marriage sustained in general conference


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

tabernacle decorated for statehood celebrationThe Tabernacle interior decorated for the statehood celebration, 1896. Courtesy of Church Archives


Tabernacle organ rebuilt

February 11, 1900

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


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


Rostrum remodeled a second time


Tabernacle roof reinforced

October 1942

Special sacrament and testimony meeting held as part of general conference

Special Sacrament CupSacrament cup Courtesy of Scott C. Esplin


Shingle roof replaced with aluminum

July 1947

Hundredth-anniversary pioneer commemoration held in the Tabernacle


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


Organ rebuilt by Aeolian-Skinner Company

October 1948

General conference first broadcast on television


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


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


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

President John F. Kennedy speaking in the TabernaclePresident John F. Kennedy speaking at the Tabernacle pulpit, 1963 Courtesy of Church Archives

April 3, 1976

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


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


General conference first broadcast in color television


Basement added


Tabernacle designated as National Historic Landmark

April 3, 1971

Tabernacle designated as National Civil Engineering Landmark


First satellite transmission of general conference

Newly Restored TabernacleNewly restored Tabernacle Courtesy of Richard Crookston

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


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

March 31, 2007

Tabernacle rededicated by President Gordon B. Hinckley