The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints dedicated a temple in Philadelphia, but Wednesday another building opened in Philadelphia that was built in part thanks to a donation by the LDS Church. The Museum of the American Revolution (MoAR) stands just blocks away from the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and minutes away from the LDS Temple.
According to The Washington Post, the MoAR is the “first museum devoted to the country’s earliest years.” The Post explains that while other museums explore aspects of the American Revolution, this is the first devoted specifically to the American Revolution.
The MoAR “tells the complete story of the American revolutionary era that dates from 1760 to 1783, when the 13 American colonies broke away from the British Empire and formed the United States of America,” according to Mormon Newsroom.
A “significant portion” of the church’s donation was used to build the museum’s discovery center, which is set to open in the fall of 2017 and is sponsored by FamilySearch.
“The discovery center will include digital interactive exhibits for children and families, as well as tactile exhibits to help individuals connect personally with the Revolutionary War,” Mormon Newsroom reported. “Many people will be able to continue their journey to discovery at FamilySearch.org if they have ancestors who fought for the cause of freedom.”
Stephen Rockwood, managing director of the church’s Family History Department and the CEO of FamilySearch, elaborated on the motivation behind the church’s donation.
“As the patrons immerse themselves in these experiences at the museum, not only will they learn more of what life was like, but their hearts will definitely turn,” he said. “Their hearts will turn to their homeland, whether it’s an ancestral homeland or a brand-new homeland for immigrants. Their hearts will turn to their fathers and their hearts will turn to each other. And that’s why we do this.”
The CEO of the MoAR, Michael Quinn, expressed gratitude for the church’s involvement with the museum.
“We’re very grateful for the support of the LDS Church,” Quinn said. “Their support has come in many ways, and it totals roughly two and a half million dollars. It’s not just financial support. It is lending the expertise, especially in the FamilySearch branch of the church.”