SL09215 Church Historical Sites and the Construction of Testimony

I embarked on my own Mormon pilgrimage in an effort to understand religious declarations of faith as expressed in Church historical sites, particularly in Vermont, New York, and Missouri. First, I will examine how, in their attempt to restore Mormon historical sites, the LDS Church creates simulacra, sites where the representations have only a tangential relationship to reality. However, despite the “constructedness” of these historical restorations, these fabrications have real effects. Second, I also discuss how the tours construct testimony, especially evident in their three-step presentations that move from historical context, to didactic moral lesson, to spiritual declarations.

Barry Laga