The Sacramento Temple began its approximate one month of open houses on Saturday, 7/29/06. According to the Sacramento Bee, it was a very successful beginning.Some of the article’s highlights:

The white granite building, called the Sacramento California Temple, is the seventh to be built in the state. Until now, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who lived in Northern California had to travel to Oakland when they wanted to attend temple.

The new temple, at 2100 California Circle in Rancho Cordova, sits just south of the Folsom Auto Mall on an oak-studded hillside. Over the next four weeks, nearly 170,000 people are expected to visit the temple. It will be officially dedicated Sept. 3.

On Saturday, the first day of an extended open house, more than 9,000 people had booked tickets in advance to tour the new structure, said Lisa West, Sacramento area media specialist for the church. Many were Mormon, but the tours were open to people of all faiths and backgrounds.

Many came in their Sunday best. They spoke in hushed voices as they were led through the temple’s luxurious rooms, featuring graceful archways, marble details and hand-painted 24-carat gold images.

The reaction of Brad Wolfe of Chico was typical. “It’s beautiful,” Wolfe said, shaking his head in wonder.

According to West, the Fluckigers are among an estimated 80,000 followers in the Sacramento California Temple District, which runs from Red Bluff south to Stockton. As of Dec. 31, there were 756,807 Mormons in California, placing the state second only to Utah in membership, she said.

The new Sacramento temple brings to 123 the number of Mormon temples worldwide; another 11 have been announced or are under construction in places ranging from Panama City, Panama, to Helsinki, Finland, to Utah.

The 19,500-square-foot Sacramento temple sits on a 47-acre site that also includes a local LDS meetinghouse and two residences. To protect the construction bidding process for new temples, the church’s Salt Lake City headquarters, which manages such projects, does not to disclose building cost figures, West said.

If you want to take one of these tours, you need to arrange for tickets (they’re free) ahead of time. My schedule may not allow me to tour this temple as I did the Newport Beach Temple; however, if you are in the Sacramento area between now and the end of August, this will be an opportunity you won’t want to miss.

I had an opportunity to spend most of Saturday in another temple, The Los Angeles Temple.

The L.A. Temple recently just reopened after several months of renovations. I can unequivocally state that spending time inside the Temple was, and is, at least for me, an experience without earthly parallel in drawing me closer to the Divine, and its accompanying truth, light, knowledge.