LDS to build tem­ple in Yuba City

Lodi News-Sentinel - - RELIGION - By Rachel Rosen­baum

The Church of Je­sus Christ of Lat­ter-day Saints an­nounced plans to build its eighth Cal­i­for­nia tem­ple in Yuba City.

Steve Ham­marstrom, pres­i­dent of the Yuba City Cal­i­for­nia stake, said the an­nounce­ment was ex­cit­ing and sig­nif­i­cant for Yuba City, es­pe­cially for the fam­i­lies of those who helped build the lo­cal chapels.

“My first thought was just a pro­found ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the peo­ple that have been here for so long,” Ham­marstrom said Mon­day. “If you think about that his­tory - fam­i­lies here are multi-gen­er­a­tional -- this means a lot to them.”

The last time a tem­ple was built in the state was in 2006 with the ded­i­ca­tion of the Sacra­mento Tem­ple in Ran­cho Cordova. There are just 159 tem­ples world­wide. The church an­nounced Sun­day that it will be build­ing 12 new tem­ples -- only two of them in the U.S., in­clud­ing the one in Yuba City.

Yuba-Sut­ter has five Mor­mon churches, or meet­ing­houses: on Butte House Road and Clark Av­enue in Yuba City; North Beale Road in Marysville; Wheat­land Road in Wheat­land; and Hill Road in Loma Rica.

The other Cal­i­for­nia tem­ples are in Fresno, Los An­ge­les, New­port Beach, Oak­land, Red­lands, San Diego and Sacra­mento.

Yuba City cer­tainly has a long tie to the church: in 1849, it was founded by Cal­i­for­nia’s first mil­lion­aire and trou­ble­some busi­ness­man Sam Bran­nan, who boosted the Gold Rush boom to at­tract vis­i­tors and was even­tu­ally ex­com­mu­ni­cated from the Mor­mon Church (with help from Brigham Young him­self, the sec­ond pres­i­dent of the church -- for more back­story on Bran­nan, read here: t).

Meet­ing­houses, as they’re called by the church it­self, host reg­u­lar Sun­day wor­ship ser­vices and are open to all who want to at­tend, in­clud­ing non-Mor­mons. But tem­ples are con­sid­ered the most sa­cred places on earth re­served for Lat­ter-day Saints who ob­serve the ba­sic prin­ci­ples of the faith, ac­cord­ing to the church’s web­site. Wed­dings, fu­ner­als and other spe­cial ser­vices are usu­ally per­formed at tem­ples. Once a tem­ple is of­fi­cially ded­i­cated, only church mem­bers may en­ter.

A spokesman for the church said he had no de­tails on the lo­ca­tion or time­line of the Yuba City tem­ple, but pointed to its web­site for de­tails on how con­struc­tion goes.

First, the church sets aside funds in ad­vance, pro­vided by of­fer­ings from church mem­bers, so that it can build tem­ples with­out mort­gages or other fi­nanc­ing, ac­cord­ing to the church web­site. Church lead­ers seek guid­ance through prayer to iden­tify ar­eas where tem­ples are most needed and seek in­spi­ra­tion to lo­cate a site where a tem­ple would com­ple­ment the sur­round­ing en­vi­ron­ment and the lo­cal com­mu­nity.

Ar­chi­tects de­sign each tem­ple to be both en­ergy-ef­fi­cient and uniquely tai­lored to the lo­cal set­ting with de­signs that can range from the mod­ern look of the Wash­ing­ton, D.C., tem­ple to the Gothic look of the Salt Lake City tem­ple (though steep pitched roofs are usu­ally a de­sign sta­ple). Dur­ing con­struc­tion, which typ­i­cally lasts two to four years, only the finest ma­te­ri­als and crafts­man­ship are used, as a tem­ple is meant to be a long-last­ing trib­ute to God, ac­cord­ing to the church.

Af­ter con­struc­tion is com­pleted, a tem­ple holds an open house for sev­eral weeks, of­fer­ing free pub­lic tours. Then it is ded­i­cated as a holy place of wor­ship, where church mem­bers “liv­ing the high­est stan­dards of the faith may en­ter,” ac­cord­ing to the church -though vis­i­tors are wel­come to tour the tem­ple grounds.

Ham­marstrom said this an­nounce­ment is a tes­ta­ment to how cul­tur­ally and re­li­giously di­verse Yuba-Sut­ter is. Though the open­ing of the tem­ple is at least a few years away, Ham­marstrom said it will be an im­por­tant ad­di­tion to the com­mu­nity.

“For us, it’s a place of ser­vice, it’s a place of wor­ship more than any­thing else,” he said. “(We can) be close to God and re­ceive an­swers to life’s ques­tions."


Tem­ple Square, the head­quar­ters of the Church of Je­sus Christ of Lat­ter-day Saints, is a cen­tral sight in down­town Salt Lake City, Utah. LDS plans to build a new tem­ple in Yuba City, the eighth in Cal­i­for­nia.

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