Oakland California

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Video and Model Details




Varied Thrush · Ixoreus naevius
Denise Wight, XC122156. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/122156.

Song Sparrow · Melospiza melodia
Denise Wight, XC334610. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/334610.

5 Second Audio Sample – Oakland California Temple Reflecting Pool, 5 August 20175
3 Second Audio Sample – Oakland California Temple ?Fountain 5 August 2017



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Oakland California Temple Wiki


The Oakland California Temple is the 13th operating temple.



Before the Temple


The temple in Oakland had been long awaited.  the building of the Oakland Temple, as well as other temples in California was planned as early as 1847. The Mormons who had traveled by ship around Cape Horn to California were told by Brigham Young that “in the process of time, the shores of the Pacific may yet be overlooked from the Temple of the Lord.”[1]


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.


The site where the Oakland Temple now stands was inspected by David O. McKay, then second counselor in the First Presidency, in 1942.


The 14.5 acres (59,000 m2) were purchased by the church on January 28, 1943.[2]


On 20 July 1957 ground was broken for “the East Bay Interstake Center.”  This Multi Stake Center occupies the East side of the property that had already been purchased for the eventual construction of a temple.


The Interstake Center was dedicated by President McKay and opened on 16 October 1959.


On 23 January 1961, President McKay gathered the stake presidents in the area to a special meeting and showed them sketches of a proposed temple. The design was very much like the temple as built but with the wings of the lower portion removed, and with windows that were not included in the final temple. Two two stake presidents, O. Leslie Stone (later called as an assistant to the Twelve) and David B. Haight (later called as an apostle), were appointed to head the temple committee.[3]


David O. McKay performed a groundbreaking ceremony and site dedication on 26 May 1962. Both of His councilors, many general Authorities, and about 7,000 others were in attendance. [4]


The cornerstone of the Oakland California Temple was laid one year after the groundbreaking on 25 May 1963 by President Joseph Fielding Smith of the quorum of the Twelve. The Tabernacle Choir sang at the event, in which an estimated 7,000 people again attended.[3]

Open House

The Oakland California Temple was open to the public for tours 5-91 October 1954.  During the 24 days of the Open House 347,000 people toured the temple, an average of 14,458 per day.[3]


The temple was dedicated over six sessions held during 17-19 November 1964. President David O. McKay gave the dedicatory prayer. At 91 years of Age, President McKay had recently suffered a stroke and was having difficulty speaking and standing. There was much concern from other General Authorities and members of his own Family that he would not be able to dedicate the prayer. At the proper time he was taken to the pulpit in a wheelchair, was assisted in standing, and, gripping the lectern for support, spoke as clearly as he had prior to the stroke. With assistance to stand each time, he was able to clearly deliver both a talk and a the dedicatory prayer at each of the first 4 of the 6 dedicatory sessions .[3]

Dedicatory Prayer

Dedication Order

The Oakland California Temple was the 13th temple built. It was the 2nd in California and the 9th in the United States. At the Time of its dedication there were no other temples under construction or being remodeled.



In the late Eighties the temple closed for a renovation that took almost two years. Systems were updated and the Ordinance rooms were subdivided to make four from two. The temple re-opened on 30 October 1990.[5]


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


President William R. Southwick 2014–
President Richard C. Crockett 2011–2014
President Richard A. Hunter 2008–2011
President Darwin B. Christenson 2005–2008
President Ernest W. Westover 2002–2005
President E. Marshall McCoy 2001–2002
President Kay H. Clifford 1999–2001
President Durrel A. Woolsey 1996–1999
President Orlin C. Munns 1993–1996
President Julius B. Papa 1990–1993
President Lorenzo N. Hoopes 1985–1990
President R. Don Smith 1983–1985
President Richard B. Sonne 1977–1983
President W. Lowell Castleton 1972–1977
President Thomas O. Call 1968–1972
President Delbert F. Wright 1964–1968

Located in the city of Oakland, California, at 4770 Lincoln Ave, the design of the temple is modern with five spires and Oriental influence, which is designed to reflect the large Asian population in Northern California.  Its architect was Harold W. Burton.[6] The exterior of the temple is reinforced concrete faced with sierra white granite from Raymond, California. The exterior features decorative friezes including one of the Savior. The back (south side) is a depiction of Christ descending from heaven to the people of the American continent soon after his resurrection in the Holy Land. The front (north side) illustrates Christ preaching his gospel to the people. The temple was built on an 18.3-acre (74,000 m2) plot, has four ordinance rooms, seven sealing rooms, and has a total floor area of 95,000 square feet (8,800 m2).


With the introduction of the new International temples, the endowment had begun to be presented in film format. This had allowed for a single room for the entire endowment ceremony. In the Oakland Temple this concept was taken one step further, and 2 separate rooms were provided. This allowed for sessions to be started every hour and 15 minutes in alternate rooms, instead of once every 2 and a half hours in a single or series of 4 progressive  rooms. [](These two rooms would later be subdivided into the four separate ordinance rooms the temple now has.)

The increased frequency and capacity provided by these two rooms, plus the work being done at the other temples, (plus the church’s first computerized system for managing names and records) caused a new situation, in that for the first time in the history of temple work members were doing work for more names than they could submit. This led to Employees at Church headquarters being authorized to pull names from vital record that had been microfilmed. This easy and inexpensive method of recording names in turn led to the creation of the Church’s branch Genealogical libraries.[3]


The courtyard of the temple features a large reflecting pool with a waterfall cascading down the side of the temple from an upper level. The temple was originally built to feature both pool and waterfall, but due to leaking from the water fall it was replaced. The pool was filled in and became a planting bed, and the waterfall was covered with a  bronze plaque bearing a scripture from 3 Nephi chapter 17, from the Book of Mormon, relating how Christ blessed the children during his visit to the people of ancient America. In front of the garden plaque there was a statue of children staring at the plaque. The plaque was removed and the waterfall and pool restored in 2012 for the Temples 50th anniversary.

To either side of the waterfall there are two staircases that lead to a terrace on the roof of the lower part of the temple. From the temple grounds and terrace are spectacular views of the Bay Area, including downtown Oakland, the Bay Bridge, Yerba Buena Island, downtown San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge.

There is a small creek lined with palm trees and bushes leading to the front of the temple from the front gate. At either end of the stream are matching fountains.






Spires and Moroni





Individuals and Contractors

Project Manager  W.B. Mendenhall
Architect  Harold W. Burton
Supervising Architect  Arthur Price
Contractor  Leon M. Wheatley Co.
Construction Superintendant Robert C. Loden
Additional Contractor  Jacobsen Construction

Other buildings on site

Interstake Center

The temple is not the oldest building of the LDS Church at the site. Between the temple and the front gate is a multi stake center that is used for many activities, and that dates back to the 1950’s. This building was originally referred to as the Tristake Center, serving the needs of the San Francisco, Oakland, and Berkeley stakes.[7] This building includes two chapels for sacrament meetings, an auditorium, a gymnasium and several classrooms and offices. The auditorium seats 1,600 people and has a 60-foot (18 m) stage. Besides the three resident organizations and the temple pageant, many Brigham Young University performing arts groups have performed in the auditorium.[8]


Visitors Center

The site has a visitors center opposite the multi stake center that was opened in 1992. In the front lobby is a duplicate statue of the Christus, similar to the one in the visitors center of the Salt Lake temple. There is also a Family History Center, an LDS Employment Center, an LDS Distribution Center and the headquarters of the California Oakland–San Francisco Mission.[7] In addition, a small memorial to the Brooklyn is located to the side of the property.

The visitors’ center has free tours around the grounds and atop the temple daily.

And it Came to Pass Pageant

In the nearby Interstake Center, local members performed a Latter-day Saint pageant (an annual theatrical production) for many years. The pageant, commonly known as the “Temple Pageant,” was a musical stage production rehearsing the history and legacy of the LDS Church. It was one of only a few “temple pageants” around the country; others include the Easter Pageant in Mesa, Arizona, and the Mormon Miracle Pageant in Manti, Utah. Until its retirement, it was the only such pageant performed indoors as well as the only one to be fully accompanied by a live orchestra. Initially, the pageant consisted of three acts performed over three consecutive nights; however, it was eventually shortened to an hour and a half.[9][10][11] In November 2007, a letter sent to stake and mission presidents in the region from D. Todd Christofferson, then of the Presidency of the Seventy, indicated that the pageant would no longer be held.



The Temple Hill Symphony Orchestra was formed in 1985. It has 52 members, about a third of whom are not Latter-day Saints. It has other sponsors besides the LDS Church and is a non-profit organization that offers free concerts. It is currently directed by John Pew.[12]

There is also a Temple Hill Public Affairs Council which seeks to use the resources on the location to raise awareness of the LDS Church and its mission. As of 2007, it was directed by Lorenzo Hoopes.[7]

The Temple Hill Choir and Behold Dance Collective—The Temple Hill Dance Company are also based here.[13][14]

Sources and Links

External links

  • Temple at LDS.org(official)
  • Temple at MormonTemples.org (official)
  • Temple at MormonNewsroom.org (official)
  • Temple at LDSChurchTemples.com
  • Temple at LDSChurchNewsArchive.com
  • Temple at Wikipedia

Additional Articles


  1. [1]McKay, David O. (November 17, 1964), “Oakland California Temple: We invoke Thy blessing particularly upon Thy people in this temple district”Church News
  2. [2]LDS Church Almanac: 2008 Edition, 2007, p. 550
  3. [3]Richard O. Cowan and William E. Homer, California Saints: A 150-Year Legacy in the Golden State (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1996), 337–64.
  4. [4]Harold W. Burton and W. Aird Macdonald, “The Oakland Temple,” Improvement Era Vol 67, No. 5, p. 380, May 1964.
  5. [5]“Oakland California Temple”, MormonTemples.org, 15 February 2017. Accessed 27 July 2017.
  6. [6]Candland, Evelyn (1992), An Ensign to the Nations: History of the Oakland Stake, Oakland, CA: Oakland California Stake, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, OCLC 78984818
  7. [7] Hill, Greg (Sep 15, 2007), “Oakland’s Temple Hill—A beacon for members”Church News
  8. [8]“Contact & Temple Grounds”thchoir.org, Temple Hill Choir
  9. [9] Rott, Dale (Summer 2005), “Intersections Between Theatre and the Church in the United States: 1930-1990” (PDF), Journal of Religion and Theatre4 (1)
  10. [10]Ghaznavi, Shanna (July 1999), “Stars under the Sky”New Era
  11. [11]Rees, Bridget (June 5, 2007). “LDS Pageants”LDS Living Magazine. ISSN 1540-9678.
  12. [12]Haddock, Sharon (June 17, 2010), “The 586-mile commute of an orchestra director”Deseret News
  13. [13]About Us”templehillevents.com, Temple Hill Events
  14. [14]“Tapestry Performance”beholddance.org, Behold Dance Collective

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