'Lights along the shore' include Oakland Temple, Christmas adornment
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The Oakland Temple and the Christmas lights on the temple grounds are "the lights along the shore," said Jay Pimentel, president of the San Leandro California Stake.
Speaking during the Christmas lighting ceremony Dec. 2 on the grounds of the Oakland Temple, Pres. Pimentel referred to words in the LDS hymn, "Brightly Beams Our Father's Mercy." He described the temple and the Christmas lights as a guide toward Christ. The temple and the adjacent visitors center and Interstake Center are located high on a hill overlooking San Francisco Bay.The lighting ceremony, held in the auditorium of the Interstake Center, consisted of several addresses, including an interfaith holiday message delivered by Oakland Mayor Elihu M. Harris. After speaking, the mayor then flipped the switch for some 250,000 festive lights.
Ed Wakefield, who emceed this year's lighting ceremony and introduced the mayor, said this year's lights are "the most spectacular we've ever had. The `oohs' and `ahs' were terrific when the mayor flipped the switch."
Music for the lighting ceremony, which drew nearly 3,000 people, was performed by the local Piedmont Children's Choirs and the Temple Hill Symphony Brass Choir. An old-fashioned "Christmas Caroling Sing-Along" followed the lighting program.
Visitors to the grounds for the lighting ceremony and throughout the holiday season are seeing myriad lights adorning the trees, bushes and grounds of the temple. Included is a Nativity scene situated over a cascading stream.
Christmas entertainment will continue on the temple grounds until Dec. 24. The lights will be turned off Jan. 1.