Announcement: 6 March 1937
Groundbreaking and Site Dedication: 22 September 1951 by David O. McKay
Public Open House: 19 December 1955–18 February 1956
Dedication: 11–14 March 1956 by David O. McKay
Overlooking Santa Monica Boulevard in Westwood stands the Los Angeles California Temple. The 13 acre site is filled with trees including rare Chinese Ginkgo trees, as well as two fountains, a large reflection pool, and several family-themed statues; many of which are light up at Christmas time. The site also has a public visitors’ center that showcases a Christus statue and the popular Los Angeles Family History Library.
The temple houses a priesthood assembly room that seats about 2,000 and features three pulpits on each end. It also held the title of largest temple until the Salt Lake Temple was updated with additions and annexations. It was the last temple designed for live-acting presentation of the endowment, and features beautiful hand-painted murals on the walls of its progressive-style ordinance rooms.
Temple construction was delayed many years due to World War II, during which time te plans for the temple were revised to include the priesthood assembly room and to accommodate a unprecedented 300 patrons per session. The statue of the angel Moroni originally faced southeast to match the temple, but was later turned to face due east at the request of Church President David O. McKay stating “that it was not correct in that position?that the angel must face east.” (See Richard O. Cowan, Temples to Dot the Earth). The statue is also one of only five temples where the angel Moroni is holding the gold plates. (The other four temples are the Washington D.C. Temple, Jordan River Utah Temple, Seattle Washington Temple, and México City México Temple.)