Sold out exhibit gives access to ABC 4 Utah

- SALT LAKE CITY, (ABC 4 Utah) – A sold out exhibit titled “Independence through History” at the Grand America Hotel is a collection unlike any other in the world, which is why ABC 4 Utah is giving you a look at some of the historical items on display.

Click on the picture slide show to view pieces in the collection not seen on television.

The exhibit is curated by Glenn Beck, who asked a handful of collectors to participate in the museum. The exhibit also features artifacts from Beck’s personal collection. In all, the items are estimated at $50 million.

“It brings history right to life in our generation,” Brent Ashworth, a collector from Provo, said.

Ashworth brought several historical pieces to the exhibit, including the bible that belonged to pilgrim leader William Bradford. It was the first bible carried across the ocean on the Mayflower in 1620.

“I think [that bible] is priceless,” Ashworth said. “That is what Glenn said about it and I happen to agree with him.”

The same can be said for the two bibles that belonged to Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism. Antiquarian book collector Reid Moon of Dallas owns the thumb bible on display. It sits next to the Smith family bible.

“Emma Smith recorded the births and deaths of the children and there’s also a personal bible carried by Joseph Smith,” he said.

Moon said the thumb bible is the only bible ever signed by Smith. He also showed ABC 4 Utah Smith’s gold pocket watch with the initials J.S.J. engraved on the back.

“This is probably the most spectacular Joseph Smith exhibition ever,” Moon said.

Bibles are in most of the exhibit tables showing a history rooted in faith, from our founding fathers to Billy Graham.

But with the good, there is the bad and even the ugly.

The exhibit also features things like a Ku Klux Klan robe and a Mein Kampf book signed by Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.

David Barton of WallBuilders in Dallas said Beck wanted to show the contrast between light and dark and good and evil.

“God gives you light and if you walk in that light things work well, if you leave that light things go really bad,” Barton said.

The items are symbolic of our struggle for independence, which is why the collectors believe the more we know about history, the freer we are.

“There are a lot of things we don’t get told about our history,” Barton added. “It really gives a lot of freedom to know who we are as a people.”

The exhibit is part of Independence Week, which also features lectures and speakers before Beck’s final event called Man in the Moon at Usana Amphitheater on Saturday.

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