SALT LAKE CITY -- A first-of-its-kind interactive exhibit just opened at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Museum of History and Art. It tells the stories of cultures and the heritage of some contemporary members, and it's called "Mi Vida, Mi Historia."
"This is Ruth Lopez Anderson. She was born and raised in Guatemala," exhibit coordinator Ray Halls said, describing a photograph of a regal- looking woman wearing a gardening hat and holding hoe.Every photograph tells a story, but this exhibit allows the subjects to literally speak for themselves. These Latter-day Saints from Central or South America share their faith. "We don't just focus on conversion stories and history. This is the story of an individual and their connection with spiritual things," Hall said.
Touch-screen kiosks allow visitors to watch and listen to the stories in English.
Their stories of faith are about overcoming poverty, sickness or, in some cases, life-threatening danger.
Elmer and Georgina Barrientos, born and raised in El Salvador, became Latter-day Saints as teenagers. In the 1980s, during the civil war, they were returning from visiting missionaries and saw a roadblock that anti- government rebels had made.
Ray Halls described their situation: "Elmer knew if they stopped the car, they would be killed because they belonged to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was mission president. He had American connections. So, they pressed on the gas, went through the roadblock, and the rebels opened fire with machine guns."
They were spared, and so was their car.
Millions of Latter-day Saints live in Latin America. Curators say the exhibit show that each modern member has a story of discovering faith.
The exhibit will remain at the Museum of Church History and Art on West Temple through Jan. 16, 2012.