LOCAL NEWS

Time Capsule Found In Salt Lake Temple Capstone Opened After 128 Years

Jul 29, 2020, 12:26 PM | Updated: 12:33 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – A time capsule housed in the Salt Lake Temple capstone on which the Angel Moroni has stood for nearly 130 years has been opened.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Wednesday revealed what historians found inside. 

The capstone was placed on April 6, 1892.

On May 18, 2020, construction workers removed the granite capstone along with the Moroni statue as part of a seismic upgrade that began in January. Two days after the stone was removed, the Church’s First Presidency joined a small group of people at the Church History Library to witness the opening of the capsule.

TIME LAPSE: Here's the moment the Angel Moroni statue was lifted off the spire of the Salt Lake Temple and brought to the ground. It will be refurbished and placed back on the spire at a later date. More: https://ksltv.com/?p=437723

Posted by KSL 5 TV on Monday, May 18, 2020

“We did not expect to find much, because we knew that the contents of the capstone had not been insulated from the weather during the 128 years that had elapsed,” said President Russell M. Nelson. “We wanted to be there anyway, just to be close and to pay tribute to the leaders and courageous pioneer craftsman who against all odds built this magnificent temple.”

Some items found inside were in good condition, including a copper plate and an array of coins and medallions. Approximately 400 coins were found inside the concrete.

These coins were deposited in the capstone of the Salt Lake Temple on April 6, 1892. Some 400 coins—mostly nickels and dimes, some pennies, a few quarters—have been found inside the concrete. (Intellectual Reserve, Inc.)

These coins were deposited in the capstone of the Salt Lake Temple on April 6, 1892. Some 400 coins—mostly nickels and dimes, some pennies, a few quarters—have been found inside the concrete. (Intellectual Reserve, Inc.)

“One of the really delightful things was finding coins that had been engraved,” said Emiline Twitchell, a conservator at the Church History Library. “We have some coins that had been ground down on one side so that a person’s name could be engraved. We have dimes, we have one penny and we have a couple of nickels that were engraved. Some of them appear to have been done professionally and some of them [look] like someone just scratched their name onto a nickel.”

Other items, though, did not make it through the decades intact.

Emiline Twitchell, a conservator at the Church History Library, analyzes the copy of Parley P. Pratt’s "A Voice of Warning" that is fused with a copy of the Book of Mormon. The books were found inside the capstone of the Salt Lake Temple. (Intellectual Reserve, Inc.)

Emiline Twitchell, a conservator at the Church History Library, analyzes the copy of Parley P. Pratt’s “A Voice of Warning” that is fused with a copy of the Book of Mormon. The books were found inside the capstone of the Salt Lake Temple. (Intellectual Reserve, Inc.)

There was a collection of letters, notes, books and photos, all of which suffered significant water damage. Twitchell said since concrete will sweat and leach, the papers housed inside “essentially were sponges.”

The images on the pictures have been completely worn away. However, the photos were likely not originals, Twitchell said.

A list of all the items that were placed inside was published in the April 7, 1892, edition of the Salt Lake Herald-Republican.

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Time Capsule Found In Salt Lake Temple Capstone Opened After 128 Years