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Picturing history: Kanesville Tabernacle

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In late 1847, a 60-by-40-foot log tabernacle was constructed by the Latter-day Saints in Kanesville, Iowa. The 200 pioneers who built it did so in just two and a half weeks.

That December, a conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was held in that structure. Brigham Young, who had been leading the church as president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, was sustained as president of the church on that occasion. Heber C. Kimball and Willard Richards were sustained as his counselors.

This general area was called “Council Bluffs” because of a council held between Lewis and Clark and chiefs of the Oto and Missouri tribes on Aug. 3, 1804. The Saints changed the name to Kanesville in honor of Thomas L. Kane, who had befriended the Saints during the exodus from Nauvoo and the period of early Utah history. The name was changed back to Council Bluffs in 1853.

This replica log tabernacle was erected in downtown Council Bluffs near the original site with donated funds. It was dedicated by President Gordon B. Hinckley on July 13, 1996.