Mormon Pavilion at New York World’s Fair in 1964
Jay and I attended the World’s Fair in 1964 in New York City. This was where “Man’s Search for Happiness” was first shown and was the theme of the pavilion focusing on the plan of salvation. The film begins, “Sometimes in your search for happiness you ponder the meaning of your life. You sift your memory for beginnings. You send your mind ahead for directions. But all you really know is now and you are lost in the present.”
I remember how visible the Mormon Pavilion was and how we enjoyed being there. The Christus Statue was displayed in the Pavilion for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and later used in Visitor Centers around the world. The pavilion was beautiful. I still remember how grateful I was to be a member of the Church that presented itself so attractively at the world’s fair. The façade inside the Mormon Pavilion at the World’s Fair replicated the three east spires of the Salt Lake Temple. Full time missionaries were tour guides. Depicted in art and dioramas was Church Doctrine pertaining to Christ organizing the Church and calling His apostles, the apostasy and latter-day restoration, the events pertaining to the organization of The Church, the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph Smith, the westward trek of the Mormon pioneers, and the commission to take the gospel to all the world. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir performed at the pavilion which stood next to the Catholic pavilion. Interesting the “It’s a Small World” ride that I enjoy at Disneyland was first in traduced at this fair.
I think attendance at this World’s Fair made such an impression on both Jay and I as we went on to serve as Nauvoo Missionaries serving as tour guides at Carthage and the historic homes in Nauvoo. I am now enjoying serving as a hosting missionary at the Conference Center and having the great opportunity to give tours to those that come from all over the world. I am grateful for the missionary experiences that I have each week and grateful to be able to share my testimony with those that come.