Saints Temporarily Open Temple

Photos courtesy Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints    Oxen support Oakland temple’s baptismal font. These animals symbolize the tribes of Israel and the strength upon which God’s work rests.

Alamedan is Key Figure in Church of Latter-Day Saints

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has opened its Oakland temple, 4770 Lincoln Ave. in Oakland, to visitors. This marks a once-in-a-generation opportunity for the public to visit the temple, which is one of seven in California and one of 209 throughout the world. The Church’s other California temples are located in Fresno, Los Angeles, Newport Beach, Redlands, Sacramento and San Diego. Last October, the Church announced that it will open an eighth California temple in Yuba City. 

The Church dedicated the temple in the Oakland hills on Nov. 19, 1964. That year marked the last time the Church opened the temple to visitors. In February 2018, the temple closed for renovations. Now that the temple is ready for its re-dedication, the Church decided to open it to the public for a short time. 

The Church traces its roots to the “Church of Christ,” which Joseph Smith organized on April 6, 1830, near Manchester, New York. Smith later changed the name to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints after he stated he had received a revelation to do so.

Longtime Alameda resident, Jay Pimentel is serving as chair of the open houses. He will also chair the Sunday, June 16, temple dedication. A corporate lawyer by profession, Pimentel has been active in the lay ministry of the Church in this area. In the 1980s the Church asked him to lead its congregation in Alameda. Later he received responsibility to oversee the work of the Church in several additional congregations in Alameda County. He currently serves the Church as the responsible authority for some 200 congregations throughout the Bay Area.

The Pimentels have lived in Alameda since 1979. They attend services at the Church’s chapel on the corner of Grand Street and Encinal Avenue. 

“A temple is for mid-week worship services. Regular worship services are held every Sunday here in Alameda,” Pimentel said. 

“The residents of Alameda have the best views of the temple,” Pimentel said. “I love that I can see it as a beacon on the hill as I walk near my home here.” He recalls that the traffic controllers at the Naval Air Station (NAS) Alameda used the temple as a landing landmark. “Navy pilots included finding the Oakland Temple and then navigating to their landing strip at NAS from there.” 

The open house runs through Sunday, June 1. To obtain tickets for the free tours visit www.templeopenhouse.lds.org and scroll down to Oakland, California, Temple. There will be no tours on Sunday, May 19, or Sunday, May 26.

Alameda resident Jay Pimentel serves as the responsible authority for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ 200 Bay Area congregations.