The Oakland California Temple is considered a literal house of the Lord by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The principal purpose of the temple is to provide ordinances and blessings to members in the Oakland area. Ordinances include endowment, marriage, and baptism.
Visitors are invited to enjoy the botanical gardens, calming fountains, and enjoys the views of the San Francisco Bay Area. While you’re visiting, stop by the visitors’ center for a personalized tour. Learn more >>
Many locals call it the Mormon Temple, but the actual name is the Oakland California Temple. It is owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The temple sits on a prominent site in Oakland Hills and has become a local landmark for motorists, airplane pilots approaching Oakland airport, and for ship captains who are coming into the San Francisco Bay and the Oakland loading docks.
The temple is not where members meet for Sunday worship services. Temples are different than the regular chapels which the Church has around the world. Members of the Church worship in meetinghouses around the world, and visitors are always welcome to participate. Several chapels are located on the Temple Hill grounds. Click here for more information about worship service times and locations.
Temples are a “place where the highest sacraments of the faith” can occur. In the temple, you learn more about the plan of salvation and how to follow Christ’s perfect example. God’s greatest blessings are available in His temples. While inside, members wear white clothing that symbolizes both purity and equality.
The practice of building temples goes back to the Old and New Testaments in the Bible. The Oakland California temple is one of 166+ modern temples built by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Only members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with an active temple recommend are allowed to enter the inside of the Oakland California Temple.
Anyone, regardless of religion, is welcome to visit the temple grounds, attend worship services in the chapel, research in the FamilySearch Library, tour the visitors’ center, and use the other facilities.
Place of Peace & Learning
For members of the Church, the Oakland California temple is meant to be a place of learning and a place of peace. It is meant to be a place where members can receive spiritual guidance for decisions in their lives. Members who go to the temple have the chance to sit in the celestial room — a beautiful room meant for members to take a chance to ponder and pray.
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints perform several ordinances in the Oakland Temple. Ordinances are sacred acts that create a binding two-way promise between God and a person who wishes to return to God’s presence.
The endowment ordinance “consists of a series of instructions and includes covenants to live righteously and follow the requirements of the gospel.” The member makes promises to follow the standards of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Marriages performed in the Oakland California temple are considered eternal and continue beyond death. However, this forever-lasting marriage is conditional upon both the husband and wife staying faithful to the promises they make in the temple and keeping the standards of Christ’s teachings.
Baptisms in the Oakland California temple are performed on behalf of ancestors of members that are deceased and didn’t have a chance to be baptized.
Beacon to the Bay
The Oakland Temple is both a spiritual and literal beacon to those in the bay area. The temple sits prominently in Oakland Hills and can be seen from across the San Francisco Bay. It is a reminder to all that it is a place where individuals can go to make sacred promises with God, feel His spirit, and escape from the hectic demands of day-to-day life.
At night, the exterior of the building is illuminated by over one million lumens of light. The FAA uses the Oakland California Temple as a navigation beacon.
Architecture & Design
Designed by architect Harold W. Burton in 1962, the temple features a combination of Art Deco, Asian, and mid-century elements. In a recent 2019 renovation, architect David Hunter & interior designer Karen Willardson. The building has many Asian-inspired elements represented in the structure of the building along with the interior design.
The five exterior golden spires reflect the sun with the tallest spire reaching 170 feet.
Temples are built using the “finest craftsmanship and materials available.”
The north face of the building features a relief sculpture that depicts Christ teaching His disciples, which includes both men and women.
“Everything about the design is to bring us to a remembrance of Jesus Christ.”
The interior of the temple décor is “subdued, with shades of tan and brown and traditional furnishings.” Found throughout the temple are paintings of religious scenes and views of California.
The walls feature white oak paneling and the floors are a decadent marble.
Artwork includes paintings, murals, and relief artworks. The lobby has a relief artwork representing Adam and Eve and another with Christ in the garden at Gethsemane. Other paintings throughout the building feature scenes from the life of Jesus Christ and nature scenes of California landscapes.
Several rooms include full-length mirrors, opulent crystal sconces, and refined oriental-designed seating. The baptistry features gold leaf decorations on the ceiling, marble columns, and bronze railings. The sealing rooms are adorned with dark cherry wood paneling, backlit marble altars, and mirrors that create an infinite reflection. Some of the sealing rooms feature barrel vaulted ceilings.
2019 Open House & Rededication
After 2 years of renovation, the Oakland California temple was rededicated on Jun 16, 2019, by Dallin H. Oaks.
The renovation included putting the front doors back in use, updating upholstery, installing new carpeting, updating the electrical system, new paneling, and restoring an outdoor reflecting pool.
A new visitor waiting area was added that features added windows that gather light reflected from the reflection pool outside.
Over 347,000 people from around the world visited the Oakland California Temple during its month-long open house.
Frequently Asked Questions
Only members of
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with an active temple recommend are allowed to enter the inside the Oakland California Temple.
Everyone, regardless of religion, background, or beliefs, is more than welcome to enjoy the peaceful fountains and gardens, take a tour in the visitors’ center, learn about the life of Christ through art and murals, attend devotionals and performances held in the Temple Hill Auditorium, and join us on Sunday for uplifting worship services.
Temples are literally houses of the Lord. They are places where individuals can go to make sacred promises with God, feel His spirit, and escape from the hectic demands of day-to-day life.
Temples have been around for a long time. Moses had a tabernacle, Solomon built a beautiful temple, and Jesus taught at the temple in Jerusalem. Today, temples are built all over the world. Inside temples, couples can be married for eternity, not just “’til death do you part.” Members of the Church can also perform baptisms and other ordinances for their loved ones who died without receiving these blessings within temples. We understand that those who have passed on and have had a baptism performed on their behalf in the temple then have the opportunity to accept or reject the promises made with Heavenly Father at baptism.
Members of the Church worship in meetinghouses around the world, and visitors are always welcome to participate. These buildings might include a neighborhood chapel or even a rented space in a city building. In any case, these meetinghouses are where members of the Church gather together regularly for Sunday worship services and weekly activities.
Yes. While you can’t go inside the temple itself, you’re more than welcome to enjoy the fountains and gardens, take a tour in the visitors’ center, learn about the life of Christ through art and murals, attend devotionals and performances held in the Temple Hill Auditorium, and join us on Sunday for uplifting worship services.
A common nickname for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is “mormon.” Another common nickname is the “LDS Church.” Thus the Oakland Temple is sometimes refered to as the “Mormon Temple” or “LDS Temple.” Calling it the Oakland Temple is accepted and preferred.
The nickname “mormon” stems from a book of scripture we have called The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. Learn more about The Book of Mormon.
While the term “Mormon Church” has long been publicly applied to the Church as a nickname, it is not an authorized title, and the Church discourages its use. Thus, we ask all to please avoid using the abbreviation “LDS” or the nickname “Mormon” as substitutes for the true name of the Church.
When referring to Church members, the terms “members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” or “Latter-day Saints,” are preferred.