Saturday, July 29, marked the last day of temple work and worship at the San Diego temple.
On April 17, the First Presidency announced the plans for extensive renovations to the 30-year-old house of the Lord — the Church’s 45th dedicated temple.
The renovation announcement said dates for a projected completion, the public open house and rededication will be released later and added that Latter-day Saints in Southern California residing within the temple district are encouraged to attend other houses of the Lord in the area during the closure.
The temple — which reaches 169 feet in height and 72,000 square feet in size — features twin central spires surrounded by four smaller ones. Highly visible on a ride above Southern California’s Interstate 5, the temple sits on a 7.2-acre site located in northern San Diego near the upscale suburb of La Jolla.
President Gordon B. Hinckley, then first counselor in the First Presidency to President Ezra Taft Benson, dedicated the San Diego California Temple on April 25, 1993, in the first of 23 dedicatory sessions held that day through April 30. He presided at 13 of the sessions, with President Thomas S. Monson, then second counselor in the First Presidency, presiding at the other 10.
On April 7, 1984 — before the Saturday morning session of that weekend’s general conference — the First Presidency announced plans to construct a temple in San Diego. President Benson presided at the Feb. 27, 1988, groundbreaking, with President Monson dedicating the site.
A four-week open house conducted prior to the April 1993 dedication was expected to draw 620,000 visitors, but some 720,000 participated in the free public tours.
Operating southern California temples within driving distance located north of the San Diego temple include the Newport Beach California Temple (70 miles), Redlands California Temple (110 miles) and Los Angeles California Temple (124 miles). The Tijuana Mexico Temple is 36 miles to the south across the Mexico-United States border, while the Yorba Linda California Temple — under construction following its June 2022 groundbreaking — is 87 miles to the north.
California is home to nearly 735,000 Latter-day Saints comprising almost 1,190 congregations and 12 houses of the Lord, second most in the U.S. behind Utah.
Besides the aforementioned temples, the Church has three others operating in the state — the Fresno California, Oakland California and Sacramento California temples. The Feather River California Temple is scheduled to be dedicated on Oct. 8, and the state has three announced temples for Modesto, San Jose and Bakersfield, the latter two identified recently by President Russell M. Nelson at the April 2023 general conference.
The Church recently announced a groundbreaking for the Modesto California Temple and a site location for the Bakersfield California Temple.