Church History

Liberty Jail | Missouri

(Last Updated On: July 15, 2022)

Liberty Jail is an important LDS Church Historical site located in Liberty, Missouri. This reconstructed prison was the holding cell for Church leaders, including Joseph Smith, for five months during the winter of 1838-1839.

This jail is operated by missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Though it is built on the exact site of the original, there is nothing original about this building. In fact, it is housed in a Visitor Center. As you enter, you will watch a short video of the arrest of Smith and his followers. Then you will be directed into a large amphitheater. The replica of the jail is in the amphitheater.

The jail is inside the Visitor Center.
There are a few displays about the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

The reconstruction has an open front so you can see the inside of the jail including the thickness of the walls, the three stories of the jail, and the dim living conditions. You’ll walk around the jail to see the front door, and go below to get up close to the underground cell where the prisoners were held.

Liberty Jail is reconstructed on the original site.
The front door where the prisoners enter.
These were the windows of the jail.

During your visit to Liberty Jail, the lights are dim, and the missionaries share stories of the jail and the time that Joseph Smith spent there. It takes 30-60 minutes to visit depending on when you arrive and how long the telling takes.

We enjoyed the tour of Liberty Jail.

Visiting this Church History site is a powerful reminder for Latter Day Saints of a dark chapter in the history of the Church. If you are planning a Church History tour or trip, Liberty Jail is an essential stop near Independence, Missouri. For other Church History sites, use this link.

Leave a Comment