Oakland Temple Tulips
Written By: Yenny Mo
Since ancient times, people have often expressed their feelings through flowers. Floriography, or the language of flowers, refers to the conveying of certain thoughts and feelings through flowers, and originated in ancient Greece. Through floriography, one can convey seasons, personality, religion, characteristics, and colors. Since the beginning of the 19th century, the language of flowers has gradually become more popular. Flowers, other plants, and various parts of the plants, can be attributed with specific symbols and meanings. We see examples of this in the scriptures. The tree of life, lilies, fruit, grass, wheat, and seeds all contain special meanings and teachings. In this spring season, let’s explore the flower language of the “queen of flowers”—tulips.
The tulip is the national flower of the Netherlands and Turkey, and is native to Central Asia near the Himalayas. However, in California, tens of thousands of tulips are beautifully blooming in the Oakland Temple gardens. Li Bai (a great Chinese poet) praised the tulips in his poem, “Great wine and tulips in Lan Ling, the jade bowl is filled with amber light…” The temple gardens are filled with color and light. Tulips also possess the connotation of perfect love and eternity. For many members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, this floriography reminds them of the love of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Their love has driven them to create and implement the Plan of Salvation for all mankind. Under the influence of their example and teachings, believers grow in love for Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, their family, and neighbors.
Different colors of tulips have different meanings. The floriography of red tulips is passion and love, which can represent romantic love, or even a passion for living the Gospel and the blessings that come from it. Purple tulips represent mystery, royalty, and rebirth, and reflect the sanctity of the temple and our own noble status as children of Heavenly Father, as well as spiritual rebirth and resurrection for all mankind through Jesus Christ. The floriography of white tulips is purity, honor, and faith, which reflects the characteristics of the interior of the temple, and the desire of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ for us to be pure. As written on the temple mural of Christ in America, “…Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8) The pink tulips represent happiness, and could symbolize the happiness that comes from living the gospel, being together with family forever, and the opportunity to be with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ forever. Yellow tulips symbolize hope. Through Jesus Christ, believers have hope in resurrection, hope in repentance, and hope in true happiness.
The Oakland Temple garden is 18.1 acres, with 10,000 plants, about 30,000 flowers, and more than 100 different varieties that are planted throughout the year. These beautiful plants are a joyful reminder of the Bible verse that reads, “And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so” (Genesis 1:11).
Each temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is dedicated with a special prayer before it is officially used for sacred ordinances. Interestingly, the plants in the garden were mentioned in the dedicatory prayer of the Oakland Temple. “We dedicate the grounds upon which the temple stands, and by which it is surrounded; the walks, ornamental beds, the trees, plants, flowers, and shrubbery that grow in the soil; may they bloom and blossom and become exceeding beautiful and fragrant, and may Thy Spirit dwell in the midst thereof, that this plot of ground maybe a place of rest and peace for holy meditation and inspired thought.” That’s exactly what it feels like to experience the Spring tulips in the Oakland Temple Garden.
This diversified garden features many annual flowers (which are changed out twice a year), as well as perennial flowers (which come back year after year). Every spring and fall, gardeners plant the best flowers of the season. Tulip bulbs are added in the winter so they will bloom in the spring, which is now! Don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy these beautiful tulips.
Proofread by: Cheng Cao
Original Text In Chinese
不同颜色的郁金香有着不同的花语。红色郁金香的花语是热情和喜爱，会使人想起年轻人的热恋，或者信徒在感受到祝福后对福音生活的热情。紫色的花语是神秘、皇室贵族和重生，同样也体现出圣殿的神圣性和作为神圣天父儿女的高贵身份，还有经由耶稣基督为所有人带来的身体和灵性上的重生。白色郁金香的花语是纯洁无暇，这可以体现出圣殿内部的特征，以及天父和耶稣基督对我们变得纯洁的渴望，正如圣殿壁画上所写到的 “所有进去且心底纯洁的人，必得见神”。（教义和圣约97:16） 粉色郁金香的花语是幸福，象征着福音生活所带来的幸福、与家人能永远在一起的幸福以及有机会与天父和耶稣基督永远在一起的幸福。 黄色郁金香则象征着阳光般的希望。透过耶稣基督，信徒们有了复活的希望、悔改人生的希望、和重获幸福的希望。。。。。。
奥克兰圣殿花园占地面积为18.1英亩。全年种植十万株植物，约三万朵鲜花以及一百多个不同的品种。这里会让信徒们想起圣经中所写到的 “神说，地上要生出草和结种子的蔬菜，并结果子的果树，各从其类，种子在它里面，各从其类。神看着是好的” 。（创世纪1:11）众所周知，每座耶稣基督后期圣徒教会的圣殿在正式被使用前都有一个奉献和祈祷仪式。在奥克兰圣殿的奉献祈祷仪式中也提及到了花园内的植物——“我们献上圣殿所在的场地以及周围的墙壁、灌木丛、生长在土壤中的树木、植物、花卉和灌木； 愿它们开花绽放，变得无比美丽芬芳，愿您的灵常在其中，通过圣洁的沉思和灵感使这片土地成为一个宁静平安的地方。” 在奥克兰的圣殿花园里享受郁金香的时候确实会有这样让人难以忘怀的感觉。
这个多样化的花园中有许多一年生花卉（每年更换两次），以及多年生植物（年复一年地再次生长）。 每到春季和秋季，园丁都会种下当季开得最灿烂的花朵。冬季的时候还会添加郁金香球茎以让它们在春天开花，也就是现在！ 所以不要错过这个欣赏美丽郁金香的时候哦！