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Davis Journal

Old Testament Tabernacle traveling replica opens in Bountiful

Apr 08, 2022 09:29AM ● By Becky Ginos

Michael Coles of Layton works with volunteers to position the drapes on the entrance to the Tabernacle of the Old Testament. The traveling replica sits on the grounds of the Bountiful Tabernacle and is open to public tours. Photo by Roger V. Tuttle

BOUNTIFUL—Families and individuals from all faiths will have the opportunity to go back to Old Testament times as a traveling life-size replica of an ancient Tabernacle dating back 400 years to Moses’ time makes its way through Bountiful. The building sits on the grounds of the Bountiful Tabernacle at 55 S. Main Street and will be open for tours starting April 4.

“It’s going to be a fabulous event,” said Craig Brown, who is overseeing the event. “It’s built to scale using the best information to create an authentic Old Testament Tabernacle.”

There are eight stations where participants can learn about the symbolism and how it points to Jesus Christ, he said. “I get my own impressions as I read the Old Testament and this brings it to life. There are also ties to modern day temples as well.”

The eight stations cover the following topics:

• Overview – Camp of Israel. The pattern of the Tabernacle taught holiness, cleanliness, and the pathway back to the Lord’s presence.

• The Gate. It was the only entrance to the Courtyard of the Tabernacle located on the East, as was the entrance to the Garden of Eden.

• Altar of Sacrifice. Made of brass, for burnt, peace, sin and trespass offerings.

• Laver of Water. The Laver was made of brass and from the mirrors of the Israelites. It was located before the Tabernacle entrance called the Door.

• Holy Place. The first room of the Tabernacle tent, which was only entered into by the High Priest or assigned priest.

• Holy of Holies. The last room, only half the size of the Holy Place.

• Tabernacle Coverings – in the Visitor’s Center. The Tabernacle building had four coverings that testified how the Lord protects and saves his people.

• High Priest Clothing – in the Visitor’s Center. Sacred clothing is worn to set the wearer apart and symbolically gives reminders and protections.

“There’s a tremendous amount of information to see and learn,” said Brown. “The tours will be about an hour long. It starts out with a 10 minute video and ends in the cultural hall of the Bountiful Tabernacle with displays of ancient and modern temples.”

The replica started in California, he said. “The Layton mission president was the stake president in Huntington Beach and he’s the one who had contacts there and made connections to have it here.”

The tours are staffed by volunteers and run April 4 – May 5 from 9 a.m – 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. on Sundays, where a Spanish speaking tour will also be available. “We’ll have six missionaries who can speak with our Spanish speaking brothers and sisters,” said Brown. Tickets are free but required and can be found at

“We expect 30,000-50,000 people,” he said. “We’ll manage the line and keep it flowing so there’s not an hour long wait.”

In conjunction with the Tabernacle tour, organizers are hosting an interfaith fireside on April 24 at the Bountiful Regional Center 835 N. 400 East, North Salt Lake from 6-8 p.m. “It will also be broadcast like (General) Conference,” Brown said. “There are only 2,200 seats and 17,000 people participated in our fireside on March 20 that was also broadcast.”

At the April 24 fireside, people from different faiths will tell what the Tabernacle means to them, he said. “We’ll have a Muslim leader, a Jewish rabbi, a Catholic priest, a Protestant minister and Dr. Donald Parry, a professor from BYU. They’ll take 10 minutes a piece to talk about why we need to be unified instead of fighting against each other and show that we all share common beliefs about this sacred building.”

After it leaves Bountiful it will move to Layton and Syracuse. “This will be a great experience for families.” l