The general public is getting its first look inside the Feather River California Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, thanks to special-guest and open-house tours that begin this week as well as the posting of interior and exterior photographs of the house of the Lord located in Yuba City, California.
The twofold presentations of tours and images coincide with the temple’s media day conducted Tuesday, Aug. 15. Elder Mark A. Bragg, a General Authority Seventy and president of the Church’s North America West Area, and Elder Adilson de Paula Parrella, also a General Authority Seventy, conducted a morning news conference with local media representatives before taking them on a tour inside the new temple.
Simultaneously, interior and exterior images of the Feather River temple were posted online Tuesday, Aug. 15, at ChurchofJesusChrist.org.
Tours of the temple for special guests will continue this week, with the public open house beginning Saturday, Aug. 19, and running through Saturday, Sept. 9, excluding Sundays. Elder Ulisses Soares of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles will dedicate the temple on Sunday, Oct. 8 — the same day that Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Twelve will dedicate the McAllen Texas Temple.
The Feather River California Temple will be the Church’s 184th dedicated temple worldwide and is one of California’s 12 total temples — dedicated, under construction, under renovation or in planning and design. Six dedicated temples are found in Los Angeles, Oakland, Fresno, Redlands, Newport Beach and Sacramento, with the temple in San Diego under renovation. A temple is under construction in Yorba Linda, another scheduled for an October groundbreaking in Modesto, and temples in planning and design in San Jose and Bakersfield.
California is home to nearly 729,000 Latter-day Saints comprising 1,134 congregations.
The Feather River temple site’s background
The Feather River temple is built on the site where the Yuba City California Stake Center stood for four decades. Before that, in the early 1970s, the property was owned by the family of Mehar Tumber, a devout Sikh, and used for growing peaches.
“He loved God,” recalled his widow, Surjit Tumber.
Added a son: “He was a gentleman’s gentleman, and with that came his spirituality and his belief in God.”
The family wasn’t looking to sell the property — but did so willingly when approached by the Church when asking about its availability for a meetinghouse and stake center.
“He had the biggest smile on his face and was so happy,” remembered a daughter when Mehar Tumber announced he had sold the property to the Church. “He thought it was a blessing to have a religious organization ... as an anchor to our property.”
And that property first used for a stake center is now home to a house of the Lord.
The Feather River temple’s exterior features
The 41,665-square-foot edifice features a neo-Byzantine exterior style found in buildings throughout the Sacramento Valley area, with interior features acknowledging the valley’s fruit and nut orchards and rice fields.
The building is constructed of structural steel and precast concrete panels, with the main design motif of the exterior art glass featuring the regionally significant almond blossom.
The 9.24-acre grounds of the Feather River California Temple has landscaping aligned with the valley’s climate of mild winters and hot, dry summers. Joining the mature native oak, redwood and hackberry trees already on the site are 100-year-old olive trees — from a local orchard — to create small groves both in front and behind the temple.
The Feather River temple’s interior features
Inside the temple, the general carpet pattern is based in part on early Christian architecture, with the green colors representing farming and rice fields in the area. The carpet carving highlights the almond flower to coordinate with the art glass, while the rug designs suggest an open field of local wildflowers and the California poppy, the state flower.
The stone flooring features marble in beiges, golds, greens and whites, complimenting the carpet colors and representing local flora.
The interior art glass — such as the second-level arched windows and that in ordinance areas — focus on the almond blossom, with the blossoms’ natural colors against a backdrop of yellow fading to blue. The interior lighting is comprised of brass fixtures, with crystal added in ordinance areas.
The patterns in the millwork include a modified quatrefoil, coming from early Christian architecture. And the doors are made of cherry wood, a nod to one of the area’s fruit trees.
Feather River California Temple
Address: 1470 Butte House Road, Yuba City, California 95993
Announced: Oct. 7, 2018, by President Russell M. Nelson
Groundbreaking: July 18, 2020, with Elder Paul H. Watkins, an Area Seventy, presiding
Construction start: July 20, 2020
Public open house: Saturday, Aug. 19, through Saturday, Sept. 9, excluding Sundays
Dedication: Sunday, Oct. 8, with Elder Ulisses Soares of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles presiding in the two sessions at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
Property size: 9.24 acres
Building size: 41,665 square feet
Building height: 135 feet, including the statue of the Book of Mormon prophet Moroni