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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 May 26, 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 May 26, 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 navigation landmark.
The Oakland California Temple was open to the public for tours October 5-31, 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 November 17-19, 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 Cristus, 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 preformed at the multi stake center on the temple grounds. The pageant includes hundreds of actors, dancers, singers, tech crewmembers, and a balcony choir which consist mostly of members living near the temple. For many years it was preformed every 4 years, until it was preformed yearly beginning in 1998. In 2008 it was discontinued.
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