FamilySearch Center Serving the Community
By Allison Beckert/The Arizona Beehive
The Mesa Temple is a beautiful landmark and historic spiritual center for Arizona, and with its renovation came the reinvention of the popular Visitors’ Center. One of the most valuable additions to member and community resources is now part of the draw of the visitors’ center. The FamilySearch Center has diverse resources and programming for the community, no matter the size or scope of your project or group.
The FamilySearch Center is located within the temple Visitors’ Center on the corner of Main Street and Mesa Drive, just west of the Mesa Temple. You can find everything you need for doing family history projects up the stairs and to the right.
The center has computers available for research groups and offers free classes on family history. A schedule of upcoming and current classes can be found online at https://mesatemple.org/classes/.
Also available are multiple methods to preserve documents, pictures, and memories – including tools to digitize memories and material like cassette tapes, floppy disks, and whole books of family photos. These tools and the others available are on a first-come first-serve basis and must be reserved if a specific one is needed. To reserve equipment, call the Visitors’ Center at 480-964-7164.
The mission of the family search center is to bring visitors closer to Christ. Its staff and volunteers know the converting and strengthening power that comes from participating in the Gathering of Israel. Hearts can be touched, and minds opened when the powerful touch of the spirit of Elijah turns people toward their ancestors and their posterity.
Some weeks ago, my family arranged to participate in one of the programs there, an Escape Room experience that was both creative and surprisingly immersive. Called Grandmas Attic, groups work to solve puzzles, find clues, and discover the hiding place of a long-lost family heirloom. Our group had three generations of our family participating, and there was something for everyone. The youngest learned about how things were done in the past, while young adults or adult groups would find the puzzles engaging and the clues challenging. It was created with youth in mind, and those who have solved the mystery in Grandmas Attic have come away with an uplifting and inspiring experience.
The center is open to the public, and the resources are first come first serve. If you have a group to bring, you can reserve one of the classrooms or several of the computers. Some courses that have been offered are tutorials on technology use – from the scanners and tools to effectively saving and organizing files. Longer courses can offer more for those interested in multi-day learning, whether linked with events like RootsTech or for specific skills like writing your family’s history. If you have a request, reaching out to the center can point you in the right direction for resources, courses, or experts who are working in the area you’re interested in.
The Visitors’ Center is open 10 am – 9 pm 7 days a week. More information can be found online at Visitors’ Center – MesaTemple.org or by calling 480-964-7164.
Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in the November-December 2023 issue of The Arizona Beehive. Article and photos by Allison Beckert. It has been posted here with permission.