The history of Mormon Exhibits in world expositions is an important chapter in the over-all accounting of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints total missionary program. In seeking more proficient means for accomplishing this task, involvement in world expositions offered a fresh opportunity to which the Church quickly responded. Finances, inexperience, non-acceptance by the world religious community and struggle for security appeared to be significant obstacles to extensive activity in early world's fairs.
Eventually as the Church strengthened, it became less the national spectacle and significantly was given its first real world's fair opportunity in an exhibit sponsored by the Smithsonian Institute at the 1909 exposition. The first totally religious Mormon exhibit was at Chicago in 1933 and the first Mormon pavilion was built for the 1935 San Diego Exposition. The Church has since sponsored five pavilions and has noted that from the standpoint of number of people influenced, compared to missionary man-hours expended, there has been no greater success experienced by the Church than in recent world fair involvements.
College and Department
Religious Education; Church History and Doctrine
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Peterson, Gerald Joseph, "History of Mormon Exhibits in World Expositions" (1974). All Theses and Dissertations. 5041.
New York World's Fair, 1964-1965, Mormon Pavilion, Exhibitions, Mormon Church, Missionary system