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Oaktown is back
« on: May 07, 2019, 03:21:07 am »
The Oakland Temple is about to reopen after more than a year of renovation. The public open house starts in a few days, but there have already been special tours for VIPs, the media, youth from around the temple district, etc., & it has been getting some attention in the Bay Area. The center of Left Coast America (the San Francisco-Berkeley-Oakland troika) will probably never be a hotbed of Mormonophilia, but at least folks around here are learning that the Church does have a strong, viable presence in the Bay Area & isn’t going away.

Some gorgeous new photos have been posted in the Church Newsroom. There are also pictures of the press conference that was held to provide true, accurate info about the temple to local journalists.




We locals have been signing up for cleaning, ushering, tour guide, & other roles during the open house, & inviting everyone we know to take a tour. This is my first experience being part of a temple reopening, although I watched with other Church members worldwide when the Nauvoo Temple dedication was broadcast. Folks are really getting into “the Spirit” of it. At least we have a nearby option, Sacramento, but many people just couldn’t get around to driving an extra 60-70 miles to attend. Some have not been since the changes in the endowment, & of course the latest change, the one in sealings, has just come down. I hope people will continue to consider the temple as a foundation for the covenants we make with the Lord & not decide to go just for curiosity about the changes that they may have heard chitchat about.


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Re: Oaktown is back
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2019, 10:37:58 am »
The Oakland Temple was the first temple I ever went to. I was 14 and our Seattle 5th Ward, North Seattle Stake, Seattle WA (it is no longer called that and I don't know it's present name  :(  ) youth (Mutual) went there for proxy baptism & confirmations. We chartered a Greyhound bus, rented motel rooms, had chaperones (parents and adult siblings) and spent 8 days on the road and there in Oakland/San Francisco.

Our bus driver was a catholic, he told us at the dinner we had after our arrival, that he drew the "short" straw BUT he also got "hazard" pay for driving a bus load of coed teenagers.

At the dinner after arriving home, he told us all that we were the most Well Behaved group of teenagers and that he wanted to know more about this Mormon religion that [chuckle, chuckle] spawned us. A year later we ALL were invited to his, his wife and all 10 of his children's baptisms [same night] into this Wonderful Mormon church! They lived in Bothell, WA and we went en-masse to it.
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Re: Oaktown is back
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2019, 12:07:05 pm »
What a lovely story.
Don't ask me, I only live here.
Nauvoodle since March 2005 #1412
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Re: Oaktown is back
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2019, 10:57:34 pm »
There has been quite a lot of media attention to the temple reopening & open house, which is nice considering that this is the San Francisco Bay Area where the Church is not the best-loved institution, & religion itself (at least the more doctrinally traditional ones) isn't always popular.

I took friends (not Church members) last week for the tour & they really enjoyed it. I know many Nauvoodles have been to Oaktown, so you'll know what I mean when I say that the entrance has been put back where it originally was, through the main bronze doors where the waterfall comes down the wall. That was shut down decades ago because of technical difficulties but it has been restored, so we will enter past a water feature like at so many other temples. The former entrance on the west side of the temple is no more. It is now an exit for a large new marriage waiting room that was put in where the foyer & a small waiting room once were.

The baptistery has been totally redone, & it is absolutely spectacular. It was previously totally enclosed in walls & had doors that were always closed, so it wasn't always clear that it was there unless you read the little sign. Now it is the centerpiece of the main floor, & as soon as you walk into the foyer where the recommend desk is, you see it almost in front of you. People who have seen it on the tours, including Church members who saw it before, have been blown away by how magnificent it is.

There are many new artworks, & we were told some were commissioned for the temple. They include California artists, which is evident from paintings that depict redwood forests, the Big Sur coast, & other places in our temple district. None of the ordinance rooms have murals (I love the ones in Sacramento), so the paintings add a local touch. There are many new paintings & sculptures of the Savior, Adam & Eve, or scriptural events.

Because I worked several shifts during the open house in cleaning, ushering, tours, & security, I was able to spend a lot of time inside, including places I wouldn't normally go, like utility closets, the brothers' dressing rooms, & the president's dining room. And I discovered that the brothers have no equivalent of the brides' room in the sisters' dressing room.  :D

Here is one recent media report by KGO-TV, which got permission to fly a drone over the temple & the grounds. If you've never seen it this way, it's a real treat.

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