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The Newport Beach California Temple is the 122nd operating temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The First Presidency of the Mormon Church announced on April 22, 2001 that a temple would be built in Newport Beach, California. It is the sixth of seven Mormon temples in California.
As early as 1846, Mormons played a significant role in the building up of California. A ship of Mormons from New York arrived in what was then known as Yerba Beuna (now San Francisco) On July 31, 1846. Many continued on to Utah to be with the other members of the Mormon Church but some stayed behind and helped in the early building of San Francisco. Early in 1847 members of the Mormon Battalion arrived in Southern California and were released from duty. Many chose to stay and settle in California. Six members of the Mormon Battalion were present when gold was discovered at Sutter's Mill in 1848, which launched the gold rush and an influx of people to California. In 1851 a group of 450 Mormon missionaries were sent by Brigham Young to California. These settlers built up a city in the San Bernadino area. Today there are more than 760,000 Mormons in California, making up more than two percent of the state's population.
A groundbreaking ceremony and site dedication for the Newport Beach Temple were held on August 15, 2003. Duane B. Gerrard, first counselor in the North America West Area Presidency, presided at the ceremony and dedication. Before construction could begin the Church had to work very closely with concerned residents of the area, compromises were made to the original plan that included such things as turning off lighting by 11:00 p.m., changing the exterior finish of the temple from off-white to an earth tone, and reducing the height of the spire from 124 feet to 100 feet. As plans moved forward the spire was reduced by another ten feet. The temple site is 8.8 acres. As construction neared completion an angel Moroni statue was placed on top of the spire of the temple on January 13, 2005.
The Newport Beach Mormon temple was open to the public for tours July 23 through August 20, 2005. Those who attended the open house were able to see the exterior of the temple -- finished with Salisbury pink granite from North Carolina -- the grounds, and the interior including two ordinance rooms, three sealing rooms, the Celestial room, baptistery, and other facilities needed in the temple to carry out ordinances according to Mormon beliefs. The temple has a total floor area of 17,800 square feet.
President of the Church, Gordon B. Hinckley dedicated the temple on August 28, 2005. The Newport Beach California Temple serves 50,000 members in Orange County.
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