A Look Inside the Renovated Oakland California Temple



it's a gleaming landmark in daylight or darkness from any vantage point of the San Francisco Bay Area we take the precaution of actually notifying the FAA when we're going to have the lights out because they have used it as a beacon for landing patterns the 13th temple constructed by the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day saints perched in the Oakland Hills serves as a beacon to all it's not a warning foghorn to stay away it is in fact a beacon to draw people here the iconic 95,000 square foot structure underwent phases of temporary closures for renovation over the past few years most recently for nearly a year and a half I've completely missed the temple being here because for me this is my source of strength every week now for the first time since its original open house in 1964 the public will have a chance to experience the unique beauty of the Oakland California temple before being rededicated for its sacred purpose you know it's different you know that it's sacred and you can feel that there's a different spirit here yeah we get to have an open house because our our neighbors everybody gets to see what's inside that it eliminates the feeling well is this what is going on in there and they learn about it latter-day saints were some of the first settlers in the Bay Area more than 170 years later the temple serves tens of thousands of members and dozens of congregations before serving as an apostle elder Quentin I'll cook called the Bay Area home for 33 years it's a real thrill to see it rededicated to see it be refurbished and and has it has a place in my heart that's very very special the project manager over the renovation has his own special connection when I was a young man living in Sacramento California this was my temple I have a picture of me staying on very steps I just renovated three years ago with my grandmother and my father and this young kid skinny hey kid ready to go on his mission land was purchased by the church in 1943 a large multifunction meeting house was built in the 50s and construction started on the temple in 1962 with each reinforced concrete layer the vision of architect Harold W Burton began to take shape he wanted to celebrate seems like air-conditioning so he incorporated a windowless building Burton also added towers the center reaching 170 feet uncharacteristic of modern design but appropriate for the look of a temple freestyle reliefs reminiscent of more classical motifs depicting the Savior in different scenes were added to the front and back of the temple people first glance think oh this must be Christ in his 12 apostles but a closer look shows that there are women and children there these are his disciples these are his followers and all of us as we approach the front door of the temple can look up consider ourselves among the group assembled there as his disciples what may be considered even more unique is the subtle Asian influence found in the temples exterior spires upturned roof caps and railing it's completely in tune with its location with the San Francisco Bay Area adding more distinction a one-of-a-kind water feature that cascaded down from the second level garden terrace into a courtyard reflection pool but removed in 1969 because of irreparable leaks with modern day materials and technology the leaking problem was rectified and the aesthetically pleasing waterfall feature restored so now to enter the building you walk under the waterfall to get to the front door other technological improvements include seismic updates and converting steam boilers to more energy-efficient natural gas but great effort was made to stay true to Burton's original design every time we got to this design and we thought we could maybe do better than Burton had done we were at into problems when we followed Burton's original designs it worked those efforts evident in the restored entrance of white oak paneling and finishes marble flooring and relief artwork this piece depicting the savior in the garden of gethsemane the main floor includes a new waiting area in one of the only areas with windows added in the latest remodeling to pick up the natural light and view of the courtyards reflection pool in the morning of the sunrise and no way through the windows and it's like they've never had that in this building before now it's kind of back to what we thought if Burton had these features of this opportunity and I think he'd find that quite acceptable the bridal room also on the main floor features elegant full-length mirrors opulent crystal sconces and refined oriental designed seating Jesus by his own example taught that all must be baptized to enter the kingdom of heaven in the temples baptistry directly beneath the celestial room devout latter-day saints are baptized for their departed ancestors who did not have the opportunity in this life that doesn't make them members of the church but they will have the right to accept those sacred ordinances the oriental motif is highlighted throughout the baptistry goldleaf decorates the high ceiling marbled columns accentuate the rooms corners refinished bronze railings to complement the deeper bronze colored oxen that represent the 12 tribes of Israel and shoulder the baptismal font the second floor of the temple contains instruction rooms where temple patrons learn about God's creation love and purpose of life and receive the most sacred sacraments of their faith this was one of the first temples to employ film instead of a live presentation that enables more patrons to participate in one session Burton believed a windowless design and theater esque setting would enhance the viewing experience sealing rooms are located on the third level adorned with dark cherry wood paneling and backlit marble altars this is where families can be joined together forever the mirrors remind patrons of that blessing a seemingly endless reflections that symbolize eternity more intimate seeing rooms include another unique feature barrel vaulted ceilings artwork from a variety of artists fill the halls of the Oakland temple from beautiful landscapes to images of Christ the celestial room represents the progression to heaven itself wood marble and elegant furnishings reflect modernism's vintage color palette while the continuing oriental theme is present down to painstaking detail in the sculpted carpet design mirrored on the ceiling in gold leaf we hope that when you walk into this temple now it will still feel very much like a 1960s modern building it will feel spruced up that will feel cleaned renovated updated but it will still feel like Burton had designed this building we want people who are not of our faith to have an understanding of what we believe and who we are what's the purpose of the temple it isn't just building something magnificent it has a purpose to bring us closer to heaven bring us closer to Jesus Christ who we worship you you

31 thoughts on “A Look Inside the Renovated Oakland California Temple

  1. This Temple is quite beautiful. Christmas is very decorated in the outside front areas with lights. And the view on the top of the hill is just spectacular especially at night. You can see across the bay to SF and the Bay and Golden Gate Bridges.

  2. I never knew that this was an LDS church. I'm truly shocked, but not really. It's beautiful. I remember watching it glow as a child going to my grandma's house nearly every Friday night traveling on 580.

  3. This must certainly be one of the most wonderful and magical buildings in the Bay Area. I hope I get to see it.

  4. I was sealed with my husband in this temple 2013. Can’t wait to tour the temple. And continue the temple work for my ancestors.

  5. Hello it's fake everybody. You can now stop lying to yourself and everyone around you. Indoctrinating children so that they pretend that something is true is evil. To get people to do awful evil things it takes religion.

  6. Is it true that mormons do spirit rituals for dead people in there and that they aren’t supposed to talk about it outside?

  7. Just a beautiful temple, I miss it a lot, I hope one  Day  be able to return to this heavenly temple

  8. Our great Uncle Arthur Price would take us through the building area (early 1960) as he was the attending church architect in his older age. He was very very exact on having us understand that if one would take a plumb bob from the very top of the center spire, it would land right in the center of the baptismal font (which is below ground). Also the exactness of the center of Jesus Christ on the granite sculpture goes right down the cascading waterfall (which has been restored again thankfully!) representing the flowing life of our faith in Jesus Christ. All the beautiful granite is from Raymond quarry in the foothills of CA near me. I look forward to walking through this temple next week! Thank you for the preview here.

  9. Sure there are 10,000 people living and pooping on the streets as long as you have a pretty building you're good. WWJD?

  10. +Antonina MacNeish..the "church" is Your personal relationship with Jesus. He is the Only One Who Knows what is Right for you. If you start listening to your family and friends gods..you will Lose your own. Jesus put it Well.."You will Gain the whole world and lose your own soul.". It is alright to have friends and family but beware listening to them..or you can lose your own soul. What you say is a romantic idea that does not work well. I had the same Notion.. Followed my friends and family..lost My soul and missed most of my life. Be Careful!

  11. I joined the LdS church in 1973 in Hayward, CA. This temple was were I participated in baptisms for the dead as a teenage LdS convert in the 1970s. I also received my own washing, anointing, and endowment in 1977 before my mission to Germany. I am no longer a member of your church. I no longer believe in the temple's rituals as I have been now a long time member of Community of Christ, but it is a great experience to see the renovated building inside and out here in this video. I have lived away from the Bay Area for many years. This wonderful video made me so homesick!

  12. I find it interesting that mormons don't let every mormon into the temple. One year you can be temple worthy, the next you are not. Can't wrap my mind around how the church can say you are an upstanding member then change their mind.

  13. This was my first temple as a youth, and I got to sing in the Temple Pageant angel choir when I was 15. Amazing experience! I went back to the pageant in 2005 with my family !

  14. The ceiling of my church is the open sky , the walls of my church are the trees the wind , the ground of my church is the soil of the earth under my feet . . .
    No need of anything else to come in touch with the divine 🌹🌿🌸

  15. +machupicchushow..Jesus definition of "church" is Revelation to each and every person who Seeks HIM. That is how Peter knew that Jesus was the Christ. Paul's definition of "church" is the hierarchy of titled men. They are NOT the same! Jesus Gives us Personal Direct revelation when we Seek Him..he Never meant for us to be following titled men in a building. Jesus said Our "body" is the Temple. You are NOT understanding what Jesus Said at all. When you listen to your titled men..you Replace Your relationship with Jesus..For them. When they tell you what to Do..they Usurp Jesus Place in your life. I do not care if you follow your titled men in their church. I Seek Jesus and Only Him. This is what God Intended.

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