Saturday, April 30, 2011

Temple Hill

LDS temples have a reputation for some of the best locations.  They are gorgeous and illuminated.  When people find out that we are LDS, I often hear the comment, "There is a big Mormon church where I'm from.  It is the most beautiful building around.  You can see it all over the city and everyone loves it."

The local temple here is in Oakland, across the Bay Bridge from us.  It is up in the hill that parallels the city and can be seen from everywhere.
The Oakland Temple is an especially nice one to visit because it has beautiful gardens and water features to roam around and contemplate.  There is even a garden terrace that wraps the whole temple where visitors can meander on the roof (see the trees growing out of the middle of the temple?).  Being on the hill, from the parking lot you can see all of Oakland and both of the San Fran bridges.

The kids frolicked on the temple grounds.  How long has it beed since you frolicked?
It is also a great destination because of the large visitors' center on the grounds.  It has many of the same displays as the Salt Lake visitors' center as well as some that are California specific.  In general, only temples in historically significant locations have visitors' centers.  The bay area is special in Mormon history because during the early days of the church when persecution was at its worst and Joseph Smith had been martyred, the members were motivated to move west.  The stories that we most often hear are of the pioneers who crossed the plains with or without covered wagons.  But 240 Mormons boarded the ship "The Brooklyn" in New York and made the six month journey around the cape and north to California, doubling the population of the village of San Francisco.

While at the visitors' center, we watched a short movie about this journey.  It told of a storm that they encountered.  The women and children were tied to the bunks to keep them from being slammed about the boat.  At some times, the boat was completely under the sea.  At other times, it was on the top of 60 foot swells.  It was the worst storm that the captain had seen.  At one point, he went down into the interior of the boat to tell his passengers that it was time to prepare to meet their maker.  Though all but two of the passengers were Mormon, he and the crew were not.  He recorded in his log that when he went below, he found the people reading and singing hymns.  They told him that they were not worried; that God would get them there safely or he would not, but that His will would rule the waves.  The captain returned to his crew and told them that these people where either the biggest fools he had ever met or they knew something that he did not.  At this point in the movie, Bethelle was engrossed.  She turned to me and whispered, "They had great faith."
 I think that Bethelle also knows something that the captain did not.

1 comment:

Garth said...

What a beautiful testimony builder. And what a beautiful sweet girl you are Bethelle. You are a strength to your family and to your grandparents.
Love, Garndma and Grandpa J.