Earlier today, I visited the Salt Lake Cemetery with my family. We found the graves of all of the Presidents of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who are buried there among over 124,000 other graves.
The other maps I found weren’t clickable, so I thought I’d make this handy version so you can click any name and get directions straight to the grave.
- VIOLET MARKERS – Grave of a president of The Church of Jesus Christ
- BLUE MARKERS – Grave of an apostle
- YELLOW MARKERS – Grave of a famous person
- BLACK MARKERS – Landmarks so you can orient yourself
Tip! Click on a map marker and then press the small “directions” icon in the top of the info panel that pops up. That will get you directions straight to any marker right on your phone!
The cemetery is located at 200 N. Street East Salt Lake City, Utah 84103. It will be easy to find the cemetery by just asking Siri, but many of the directions will take you to Center Street of the cemetery, which is usually gated off. You usually have to enter the cemetery via 200 N Street.
The cemetery is open every day of the week from 8:30AM to 4:30PM. Officially, their website says it’s closed on weekends, but we went on a Sunday and there were many people there and we had no problem driving in.
Prophets Buried at the Salt Lake Cemetery
All but four of the Presidents of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are buried in the Salt Lake City Cemetery–namely Joseph Smith (Nauvoo), Brigham Young (downtown Salt Lake), Lorenzo Snow (Brigham City), and Ezra Taft Benson (Whitney, Idaho).
The following prophets are buried in the Salt Lake City Cemetery. For each one, I’ll give a highlight from their life so that if you’re visiting with kids, you could share one quick thing about each prophet as you visit their grave:
John Taylor – John Taylor’s grave is a 12′ obelisk located near the center of the cemetery. He was the third president of the restored church, and a witness to Joseph Smith’s martyrdom. John Taylor was shot four times in Carthage jail.
Wilford Woodruff – A few large monuments mark the graveside of the fourth president of the church. Wilford Woodruff’s conversion story is depicted in this church video which would be great to watch with your kids while visiting his grave.
Joseph F. Smith – A large flat gravestone mark’s Joseph F. Smith’s grave next to an identical stone for his wife. His grave is right in front of a tall obelisk monument to Hyrum Smith. After suffering the death of his son, he received a vision which became Doctrine and Covenants section 138.
Heber J. Grant – His grave is a tall black obelisk just across the lane from John Taylor. I’ll remember Heber J. Grant for his choice to care for his mother and many others. Read it here under the section “A Titan of Finance and Industry.”
George Albert Smith – The 8th president of The Church of Jesus Christ is buried under a simple ledgerstone. Born one of 19 children to a father who was also an apostle, he suffered depression and anxiety most of his life. He said, “I have been in the valley of the shadow of death in recent years … The nearer I went to the other side, the greater was my assurance that the gospel is true.”
David O. Mckay – His grave is a large granite marker that’s difficult to miss. He served as an apostle for 64 years and greatly contributed to education in the church and in the state of Utah–helping to transfer three universities to the state, and making BYU a four-year university.
Joseph Fielding Smith – The 10th president of The Restored Church was buried in 1972. He was the son of Joseph F Smith and brother to an apostle as well. He was born in a time of horses and buggies, and died in a time of airplanes, cars, air conditioning, and a world that survived two world wars.
Harold B. Lee – While he only served as the president of the church for 18 months, he made a great contribution to the Lord’s kingdom in developing the church’s welfare system during the Great Depression.
Spencer W. Kimball – A tall upright gravestone with petrified wood marks the grave of the 12th president of the church who served as prophet for 12 years. He taught The Miracle of Forgiveness and received a revelation to allow the priesthood to go to all worthy male members of the church.
Howard W. Hunter – This prophet’s grave is an upright monument at the northwest corner of the cemetery that is adorned with rose designs. He was the shortest-tenured prophet who only served for 9 months as president of the church, but he was partially responsible for drafting the Proclamation on the Family which was released after his death.
Gordon B. Hinckley – This beloved prophet served as president of The Church of Jesus Christ for 13 years. President Hinckley dedicated or rededicated 92 temples and did much to expand the church’s media and missionary efforts.
Thomas S. Monson – His gravestone is made from leftover granite from the great Conference Center. President Monson served for 10 years as president of the church and always spoke with tenderness. Read The 14 Miracles of Thomas S. Monson here.
Other Notable People Buried in the Salt Lake City Cemetery
Orrin Porter Rockwell – This protector and friend of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young was once told by Joseph Smith (as recorded by a few sources second-hand), “I prophesy, in the name of the Lord, you—Orrin Porter Rockwell—so long as ye shall remain loyal and true to thy faith, need fear no enemy. Cut not thy hair, and no bullet or blade can harm thee.” He only cut his hair once–to donate it to be a wig for the widow of Don Carlos Smith who lost her hair due to typhoid. Porter Rockwell’s gravestone was damaged due to a windstorm in the fall of 2020.
You’ll find many graves of other notable people buried in the cemetery. Among them W.W. Phelps, business tycoon and philanthropist Larry H. Miller, several senators from Utah, and Lester Wire who invented the traffic signal. You’ll find a more complete list of famous people buried in the Salt Lake Cemetery here.
Unquestionably, the strangest grave in the cemetery is that of Lilly Gray. What was she known for, you ask? Her gravestone. It has the inscription, “Victim of the beast – 666.” It’s an extremely peculiar memorial for a relatively unknown person. It seems the story is that her husband, a criminal, was anti-government and felt it was responsible for her death. More on this story here.
What It’s Like
We were very surprised that the cemetery isn’t better kept. We saw many graves that had tipped over and were lying on the ground, unkempt grass, broken down roads, and a general disorder to the cemetery.
This was a little disappointing, but it was still really cool to see all of the grave sites.