Sacramento Temple Ready for Dedication
August 30, 2006 — News from the Church
Sweat clung to the eyelashes and soaked the shirt of Church member Daniel Scott as he swung a pickax into dry red dirt to make way for sod to surround the sacred edifice before him. Heidi, his wife, collected blisters as she dug holes and planted small shrubs just 50 feet (15 m) from the building's doors.
Juggling work schedules and arranging babysitters for their 4 children, Daniel and Heidi were 2 of a force of about 3,500 local members who volunteered some of their time for 11 days, despite 110-degree F. (43 C.) temperatures, to turn the dirt surrounding the Sacramento California Temple into a beautifully landscaped complement to the 19,500-square-foot (1,811-square-meter) temple.
“There would be a lot left to do if they had not showed up,” said head contractor Russ Mumford, whose company oversaw the temple construction. “It could have been another three or four weeks, at least, of work to do before the temple could be considered ready for viewing.”
But five years after its original announcement and after many months of work, the edifice in Rancho Cordova, California, will be dedicated Sunday, September 3, following a public open house held July 29 through August 26.
At the open house, each tour group began with an 11-minute video presentation describing the Latter-day Saints' influence in Northern California. The video also explained the importance of the temple in worship and why the words “House of the Lord. Holiness to the Lord” are inscribed on each of the now 124 completed temples worldwide.
“These sacred ordinances that we perform inside temples and temples themselves are not new,” said Elder Paul E. Koelliker of the Seventy and executive director of the Temple Department. “They were part of Jesus Christ's teaching in the past and continue as part of His Church today. They are meaningful to us. They are sacred to us. Our faith teaches us that this building is the house of the Lord. Everything we do in the temple is to express our love for Christ. It is our offering to Him as an expression of our love and admiration.”
Church membership in California numbers more than 750,000. The temple in Sacramento will serve more than 87,000 of those members. Other temples in California are located in Los Angeles (1956), Oakland (1964), San Diego (1993), Fresno (2000), Redlands (2003), and Newport Beach (2005).
The shorter driving time will help area members, including many of the volunteers, to attend the temple more often.
“It is a chance for us to have our spiritual energy recharged,” said Brother Scott, a member of the nearby Davis California Stake. “And it is a good way for my wife and me to remember what our marriage is about.”
The gleaming quartz-like exterior of the temple is composed of more than 16,000 individual pieces of granite, which were shipped in 36 sea containers. The granite was personally selected by principal architect Brian Everett, a member of the Fair Oaks California Stake, from a quarry in Fuzhou, China. Brother Everett's design for the temple came together after viewing some of the older buildings in Northern California, including the state capitol and buildings surrounding the Stanford University campus.
“We wanted to utilize the strength of stone and the permanence of stone so that it would be a lasting building,” Brother Everett said.
But the real value of the temple transcends the granite, marble, and high archways. The temple's completion, which came together through the work of thousands of professionals and volunteers, will allow more members of the Church access to the blessings of temple covenants and ordinances.