The Oakland Temple is as beautiful as it looks in photos. Moreso, even. I had long dreamed of visiting this unique temple- ever since I saw pictures of it when I was a kid. It did not disappoint. (As if a temple ever could!) In fact, it was breathtaking when we drove around the corner and I saw those spires. Even while under an extensive renovation, it’s beauty surpasses expectation. I really look forward to visiting it again when the renovation is complete.. a year or so from now.
We stopped by the grounds on our drive from Portland to Monterey, giving us some much needed time out of our van. Though the temple is closed, the grounds and the Visitor’s Center are still open, so we got to explore a little.
There are only a handful of temple visitor’s centers around the world – I think maybe 11 or 12. We’ve got one here in Portland, and we’ve been to the visitor’s centers at the Idaho Falls Temple and in Salt Lake City. Each is unique but brings the same feeling and serves the same purpose. But the visitor’s center at the Oakland Temple is my favorite so far.
It has this amazing view of the bay and San Francisco, which can be seen through a giant, full-wall window inside, as well as from other areas outside. There was a room where we watched stories about missionaries, where the front wall was covered with missionary tags from all over the world.
In the areas not blocked off for construction, the grounds of the temple were full of flowers and palm trees. I am still amazed each time I experience it at the spirit and peace that can be felt just by walking the temple grounds. Even here, where it was closed and had many areas fenced off, the spirit of peace was felt. How cool is it that anybody can go and feel that! You don’t have to be inside to know it’s a special place.
Date Visited: March 25, 2018
Miles From Home: 627
Location: Oakland, California
Dedication: November 17, 1964 by David O. McKay
From the Dedicatory Prayer: We are grateful for this land of America, “choice above all other lands.” The freedom vouchsafed by the Constitution of the United States which guarantees to every man the right to worship Thee in accordance with the dictates of his own conscience, made possible the establishment of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. O Father, may the American people not forget Thee! Help us to see the greatness of this country. We express gratitude for the right of the people to resort to the ballot, and for freedom to meet in legislative halls to settle problems and disputes without fear or coercion of dictators, secret police, or slave camps. Help people everywhere to sense more clearly that government exists for the protection of the individual—not the individual for the government.