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One of my favorite memories of summer was taking our four children on what we called our "Friday field trips." Every week during the three-month school break, we'd take a few hours to explore what Utah has to offer. Most of the activities were inexpensive—and often free—and, not only were our outings a great time to educate ourselves, bond and have some fun… but we realized the Beehive State really is a great place to live!
You name it, we saw it—the Bingham Copper Mine, Hogle Zoo, the Great Salt Lake, and the University of Utah's Natural History Museum. We drove to gorgeous Park City, roamed the Hill Aerospace Museum, visited Brigham Young University, explored the State Capitol and Wheeler Farm, and dreamed of being astronauts at the old Hansen Planetarium. Oh, and don't leave out the children's museum and Daughters of the Utah Pioneers Museum.
And we always took time to visit several points of interest owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We loved the This Is The Place Heritage Park, the Church History Museum, the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, looking out over Salt Lake City from the overlook atop the Church Office Building and, of course, all that sits on Temple Square. The kids also enjoyed touring Brigham Young's Beehive House. And, now, there are great tours offered at the LDS Conference Center as well.
This Sunday on our June 24 edition of "Mormon Times TV," Church historian Emily Utt will take you on a walking tour of other great places of historic significance to LDS members. You'll see where many of our past church presidents and other important leaders are buried in downtown Salt Lake. You'll also get a look at the new Pioneer Heritage Garden in Manti, honoring those who settled the Sanpete Valley.
We also have stories of two wonderful young artists. One chose to replicate the Christus statue on the sidewalk in chalk. The other is one of the most incredible people I've ever met. Elsha Stockseth uses some amazing technology to help her aid needy children in Africa. She can't use her hands, but she can use her head. And her saintly mother helps make it all possible.
And, with news of the creation of the first stake in India…we'll Skype with a branch president in Bangalore who'll tell us what it's like to be one of the thousands of LDS members who live there.