Oakland California Temple
The Oakland California Temple is the 13th operating temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The building of the Oakland California Temple was announced on 26 May 1962. With its completion, the Oakland Temple was the second of seven temples in California.
The temple in Oakland had been long awaited. In 1924, George Albert Smith, then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles saw a vision. In the vision, a great white temple stood in the Oakland hills. Land for the temple was purchased as early as 1943, but construction did not start until 1962.
David O. McKay held a groundbreaking ceremony and site dedication on 26 May 1962. The site of the temple is 18.3 acres and is so prominent that ships entering San Francisco Bay, use the temple as a navigational landmark.
The Oakland California Temple was open to the public for tours 5-31 October 1954. Those who attended the open house, toured the 95,000 square foot temple and were able to see the four ordinance rooms, seven sealing rooms, Celestial room, baptistery, and other facilities needed to accommodate ordinances according to Mormon beliefs. The temple was dedicated in multiple sessions held during 17-19 November 1964. President of the Church at the time, David O. McKay gave the dedicatory prayer.
The design of the temple is modern with five spires (the only temple with five spires) and Oriental influence, which is designed to reflect the large Asian population in Northern California. The exterior features decorative friezes including one of the Savior. There is a small creek lined with palm trees and bushes leading to the front of the temple from the front gate. In the front, just inside the temple walls, there are two staircases that lead to the roof of the lower part of the temple. This area provides visitors a good view of the temple grounds as well as the part of the San Francisco Bay. Between the temple and the front gate is a multi-stake center that is used for many activities. The Temple Hill orchestra and the Temple Hill dancers are two such groups. Opposite the multi-stake center is the Oakland temple Visitor's center. In the front lobby is a duplicate statue of the Christus, similar to the one in the visitors center of the Salt Lake temple. The visitors center has a section dedicated to family history. It is embodied by missionaries.
The Oakland Temple Pageant is one of many events that was performed at the multi-stake center on the temple grounds. The pageant includes hundreds of actors, dancers, singers, tech crew members, and a balcony choir which consist mostly of members living near the temple. For many years it was performed every 4 years until it was performed yearly beginning in 1998. In 2008 it was discontinued.
Oakland California Temple Updates
The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced that the Oakland California Temple will close in February 2018 for extensive renovation. The temple is expected to be closed for a period of at least a year. Per Mormon Newsroom, as part of the renovation, the mechanical systems will be upgraded and the finish and furnishings will be refreshed.
Following the completion of the Oakland California Temple renovation in 2019, the temple will be rededicated. Public open house and rededication information will be provided as the renovations near completion.
The visitors' center will remain open throughout the renovation. According to the East Bay Times, "This means that while visitors can’t enjoy the sweeping view of the Bay Area from the temple terrace, they can still stroll the grounds, take a look inside the visitor’s center and attend the many public events held in the compound. These include performances by the Temple Hill Symphony Orchestra, the Temple Hill Choir, and the Temple Hill Dance Company. Many of these events are free and open to the public, taking place in the Temple Hill Auditorium."
This is at least the second closure in the more than 50 years the temple has existed. It closed for nearly two years in the late 1980s for renovation, reopening in October 1990.
A Look Inside the Newly Renovated Oakland California Temple
The following pictures are from the Newsroom ©2019 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc.
Public Open House and Youth Devotional
A public open house for the newly renovated Oakland California Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was held from Saturday, 11 May 2019, through Saturday, 1 June 2019. An open house was not held on 12, 19, and 26 May 2019. The tours were held between 9 am and 8 pm PDT daily at 4770 Lincoln Avenue, Oakland, California.
A youth devotional was held at the auditorium of the Interstake Center located on the Oakland California Temple grounds on Saturday evening, 15 June 2019. President Dallin H. Oaks, second counselor in the First Presidency presided. He was joined by his wife, Sister Kristen Oaks; Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Sister Susan Bednar; and Elder Kevin W. Pearson, a General Authority Seventy and president of the Church's California Area, and his wife, Sister June Pearson.
Elder Bednar and his wife arrived ahead of the 3:00 pm temple walkthrough and spent the extra time visiting the youth who were already lining up, including the first few who had been there since 8:30 am, more than 10 hours before the devotional's 7 pm start. Elder Bednar commented, "Because I remember what it was like to be one of the young people in the congregation, we went down to shake all of their hands and to say 'hi.' It is just so hard to believe that at one point in your life, you're standing in that line. And then at another point, they're in that line to see President Oaks — and I'm with him. It is just a surreal and stunning kind of experience."
President Oaks and his wife, Sister Kristen Oaks, spoke in the devotional, while Elder and Sister Bednar led a panel discussion with a half-dozen young people. A pair of local youth, Ezra Vavao of Fremont, California, and Mason Ellis of Napa, California, also spoke at the devotional.
During his remarks, President Oaks admonished the youth, "Don’t lose your vision of eternal life and the priority it assigns to marriage and child-rearing. In these days — as in many stressful times of the past — young people should go forward with optimism and prepare for a long and productive life. Keep the commandments. Serve missions. Get an education. Have children. Have faith."
Sister Kristen Oaks spoke on "Becoming a Light." She remarked:
- I am so thankful for my Savior, Jesus Christ, who is the life and light of the world. He is the light of the Atonement, who took upon Himself the sins of the world and provided all mankind with the opportunity for eternal salvation.
- He is the light in our temples that connects heaven with earth and the living with those on the other side of the veil. He is the light that leads and directs this church today through a living prophet, his counselors and the Twelve Apostles.
- And He is the light that will lead you personally back to your Heavenly Father.
Youth from all over the 25-stake Northern California temple district came in cars, vans, and buses to attend the youth devotional. The Church News reports that by the time doors opened just after 5 pm, the line stretched from the auditorium end of the massive multi-level meetinghouse on the north point of the 18.5-acre temple grounds all the way to the gates of the temple on the south, then back to the north and around the temple visitors' center on the opposite side of the Interstake Center.
The broadcast was relayed to stake centers in the outlying areas of the temple district.
The Oakland California Temple is Rededicated
The Oakland California Temple will be formally rededicated on Sunday, 16 June 2019, in three sessions at 9 am, 12 pm, and 3 pm. After the temple is formally dedicated, entrance is reserved for faithful members of the Church. Prior to the rededication of the temple, a youth devotional will be held on Saturday, 15 June 2019.
The Oakland California Temple is one of seven temples in the state with an eighth announced in Yuba City. There are currently 209 temples operating, announced or under construction throughout the world.
- Oakland California Temple open house guests see community, diversity reflected in the renovated temple
Videos of the Oakland California Temple
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