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Kanesville Tabernacle

Council Bluffs, Iowa

The reconstructed Kanesville Tabernacle and the visitors’ center in Council Bluffs, Iowa, is a historic site that commemorates the reorganization of the First Presidency in 1847. The visitors’ center also includes exhibits, historical artifacts, and a film about the Mormon Battalion, whose members enlisted about 10 miles south of the tabernacle. The Mormon Battalion was a group of about 500 Latter-day Saints who joined the United States Army in 1846, during the Mexican-American War, to help provide financial support for their families and other Mormon pioneers. For information about visiting the Kanesville Tabernacle, click or tap here.

The original tabernacle was built in December 1847 in the Council Bluffs area of Iowa, which was later renamed Kanesville by the Latter-day Saints. On December 27, many Saints attended a meeting in the tabernacle during which they sustained Brigham Young as President of the Church and Heber C. Kimball and Willard Richards as counselors in the First Presidency. This marked the first time that the First Presidency had been organized since the deaths of Joseph and Hyrum Smith. The process of sustaining a new President helped establish the pattern of succession that continues in the Church today.

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Why We Remember the Kanesville Tabernacle: Sustaining a New First Presidency in 1847

Discover how a meeting in the Kanesville Tabernacle in 1847 established a pattern for Church leadership today.

Time Line: Winter Quarters and Kanesville (Council Bluffs), 1804–1854

Learn about the Middle Missouri River Valley, where the Saints established Winter Quarters, Kanesville, and other temporary settlements. Gain a sense of the activity in the area before, during, and after the time the Saints lived there.

Interactive Map: LDS Places of Interest, Council Bluffs, Iowa (1846–1854)

Investigate the places of interest around the Middle Missouri River Valley, where the Saints established Winter Quarters, Kanesville, and other temporary settlements. Discover monuments, historical markers, and visitors’ centers in those places today.

Keeping Covenants in Kanesville: Stories of Latter-day Saint Communities in Iowa and Nebraska, 1846–1853

Explore four principles of covenant keeping in the lives of early Latter-day Saints. The Saints worked to follow these principles in their temporary communities in Iowa and Nebraska.

Four Things to Know about the Journey of the Mormon Battalion

Find answers to questions people might have asked when the Mormon Battalion arrived in San Diego in January 1847. Who were they? How did they get to San Diego? What would they do next?

What to Expect When You Visit the Church’s Historic Sites in Nebraska and Iowa

Find information that can help you plan a visit to the Mormon Trail Center at Historic Winter Quarters.