Los Angeles California Temple
The First Presidency of the Mormon Church announced on March 6, 1937 that a temple would be built in Los Angeles, California. On March 23, 1937 a site was found and purchased from the Harold Lloyd Motion Picture Company by President of the Mormon Church at the time Heber J. Grant. However, the onset of World War II and financial difficulties caused by the Great Depression stopped construction. During this time modifications were made to the plans of the temple, a Priesthood room was added as well as a spire with an angel Moroni statue. These modifications made the Los Angeles Temple more like the Salt Lake Temple. With its completion, the Los Angeles Temple was the first of seven temples to be built in California.
A groundbreaking ceremony and site dedication were held on September 22, 1951. David O. McKay presided at the ceremony. The site of the temple is thirteen acres overlooking Santa Monica Boulevard in West Los Angeles. The exterior finish of the temple is Mo-Sai stone facing, which is a mixture of crushed quartz and cement. The wainscot of the exterior is Rockville granite quarried in Minnesota. The temple grounds are beautifully landscaped with rare trees and plants. The grounds also feature two fountains, a reflection pool, and numerous statues. Also located on the site are other Church facilities such as a meetinghouse, a baseball field, a Family History library, apartments for missionaries, and the headquarters for the Los Angeles Mission.
In October of 1954, a fifteen and a half foot angel Moroni statue was placed on top of the temple. During a visit to the temple, President David O. McKay noticed that the statue faced southeast. He informed the architect that the angel should be facing due east, and the statue was turned.
The temple was open to the public December 19, 1955 through February 18, 1956. Those who attended the open house were taken on tours of the 190,614 square foot temple. Following its construction, the Los Angeles temple was the largest temple of the Church, but the Salt Lake Temple has since had additions making it the largest Mormon temple in the world. The Los Angeles temple is so large that it is able to accommodate 300 people per session. On the open house tour patrons were able to see the ten sealing rooms, four ordinance rooms, Celestial room, baptistry, and other facilities used for carrying out Mormon beliefs associated with the temple. The Celestial room of the temple features murals on the walls, making it one of only two Mormon temples that have murals in the Celestial room; the other is the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple.
The dedication of the Los Angeles California Temple was held March 11-14, 1956. David O. McKay gave the dedicatory prayer.
The temple has seen various changes since it was dedicated 50 years ago. Originally, patrons progressed through each ordinance room as part of one session. This was later changed to have patrons remain in one ordinance room for the entire session. As part of this, one ordinance room was split and it's beautiful murals removed. As part of renovation in the 1990's, the split room was reunited and patrons again moved from room to room.
In 2005 the temple closed for major renovations. The temple required seismic retrofitting for current earthquake standards. As part of the renovation, the 50 year old ventilation systems were updated and the entrance foyer interior was completely remodeled. It was hoped that the temple would be open in March of 2006 for the 50th anniversary, but due to construction delays the temple was not reopened until July 2006.
In 2010 a two-year renovation and update for the Los Angeles Temple visitor's center was completed.  The renovation includes the latest technology in interactive media. One new exhibit takes visitors to the Holy Land in a 2-D presentation. "The center was expanded by about 20 percent to 12,817 square feet. The renovation includes a 180-seat theater, complete with a multipurpose space for films, cultural performances and traveling exhibits." The Savior is the focus of the exhibit. The center re-opened to the public on August 7, 2010, and has added some historical exhibits. There are a history of the Los Angeles Temple, including previously unseen video, interviews from President David O. McKay and a “testimonial from the first June bride,” as well as artifacts from the 1956 dedication.
Temples in California
- Fresno California Temple
- Los Angeles California Temple
- Newport Beach California Temple
- Oakland California Temple
- Redlands California Temple
- Sacramento California Temple
- San Diego California Temple