“Fresno California Temple Dedicated,” Ensign, June 2000, 70
The Fresno California Temple, the fourth in that state, was dedicated by President Gordon B. Hinckley in four sessions on 9 April.
“Wilt Thou bless all who will serve within this sacred structure. They will come here to assist in bringing to pass Thy work and Thy glory, even the immortality and eternal life of man. May they not weary in well-doing,” he said in the dedicatory prayer. “Bless those who will come here as patrons that they may be many and that they may experience great joy in their service. May they carry in their hearts a sense of appreciation for the presence of this temple in their midst.”
Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Elder William R. Bradford of the Seventy, First Counselor in the Presidency of the North America West Area, also participated in the dedication.
More than 53,000 people visited the temple during its open house. Local response to the temple has been favorable, and media outlets gave the open house and dedication generous coverage. One point of local interest is that the temple’s president, Lynn Dredge, was formerly city manager in Tulare, about 50 miles southeast of Fresno.
The temple, located almost in the center of California, will serve some 27,000 members in eight stakes of the California Fresno Mission. More than 10,000 members attended the dedicatory sessions. Many who have long prayed for a temple close by were deeply touched. Armando Esqueda of the Caruthers Ward, Hanford California Stake, was moved to tears more than once by what he felt during the dedication. “It’s been the most magnificent day of my life,” he said.
Stephen Ehat of the Alluvial Ward, Fresno California North Stake, said that since moving to Fresno in the 1980s, he has been able to drive to the temple in Oakland only once a month. Having a temple in Fresno will allow him to enjoy its influence in his life much more often. Temples confirm “that the Lord loves us and wants us to return to Him,” Brother Ehat said. “Today I felt like I was on holy ground.”
Other temples in California are located in Los Angeles and San Diego to the south and Oakland to the north.