The First Presidency approved a proposal in 1902 to open a Bureau of Information on Temple Square to provide tourists with accurate information about the Church. The Bureau opened a small kiosk on August 4. A four-person committee under the First Council of Seventy worked with over 100 men and women who served part-time "home missions" at Temple Square. Benjamin Goddard was called to chair the committee. After two years a permanent building was built—the forerunner of all Church visitors’ centers. It was expanded three times before being replaced with the South Visitors’ Center in 1978.
From its beginning both men and women were called to serve in the Bureau of Information. Many of the first guides came from the Young Men and Young Ladies Mutual Improvement Associations.
Monthly training meetings were held at LDS University (now Ensign College). Training consisted of instruction, reports, and "interchange of experiences and ideas."
Temple Square guides wore badges showing a metallic design of the tabernacle and the initials L. D. S. An attached ribbon read, "Bureau of Information and Church Literature." The missionaries were told not to proselytize, but to make friends who could then contact missionaries serving in their home towns to learn more.
Mission Officially Organized
Levi Edgar Young was called to preside over a new Temple Square Mission, with Benjamin Goddard remaining as head of the Bureau of Information. This divided the work of the mission between leading guided tours and curating the growing collection of library and museum materials housed in the building. Although missionaries still served part-time, they were now encouraged to share the gospel as they would in any other mission.
Music and the Spoken Word begins broadcast
A weekly radio broadcast of the Tabernacle Choir and organ called "Music and the Spoken Word" begins. Has been continuously broadcast each week ever since.