120-year-old sacrament bread on display in Daughters of the Utah Pioneers Museum

Published: Thursday, Sept. 26 2013 3:30 p.m. MDT

This 120-year-old sacrament bread from the dedication of the Salt Lake Temple in 1893 is on display in the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers Museum.

Photo Courtesy of Daughters of the Utah Pioneers

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While at the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers Museum in Salt Lake City, independent historian Kris Wright found something she “never imagined still existed”: sacrament bread from the 1893 LDS Salt Lake Temple dedication.

“This blew my mind — bread that was 120 years old!” Wright wrote in her article “Food as Relic? Sacrament Bread as Material Culture” for the Juvenile Instructor.

“Living with the humidity that exists in the Great Lakes Basin, I see bread go moldy all the time, so I was amazed at the longevity of this bread and even more amazed that someone had thought to save it (for decades!) before donating it to a museum.”

But the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers Museum is not the only museum to own century-old sacrament bread. The Church History Museum also has sacrament bread from 1893.

Although food is not a common artifact because it usually does not preserve well, Wright’s article elaborates on how the sacrament bread pieces on display help capture what members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the 19th century, as well as members today, valued.

“When combined with the prominent themes of the dedicatory services — forgiveness, the millennial reign and unity, one could argue that bread was a perfect keepsake from the dedication — a physical reminder of the sacramental meals which facilitated the forgiveness of sin, salvation through community and the Pentecostal possibilities of temple dedications.”

Read more about Wright's full article on The Juvenile Instructor.

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