Thousand Oaks is located approximately 35 miles from Downtown Los Angeles. It was named after the many oak trees that graced the area, and the city seal is adorned with an oak. The city forms the most populated part of a regional area called the Conejo Valley, which includes Thousand Oaks proper.
LDS Members make up 2.48% of Thousand Oaks’s population. The state of California has the largest LDS population outside of Utah. California has 768,344 members in 1,348 wards and branches, 16 missions, and 7 temples and 189 Family History Centers.
LDS pioneers traveled from New York City on February 4th, 1846 on the ship The Brooklyn and arrived in Yerba Buena, now San Francisco, on July 31, 1846. The pioneers were led by Samuel Brannan who published San Francisco’s first newspaper, “The California Star”, on January 9th, 1847. Brannan helped spark the gold rush by sending copies of “The California Star” with news of gold at Sutter’s Mill back east. Meanwhile, a group of roughly 500 other LDS members marched to San Diego in the Mormon Battalion in defense of the U.S. Mexican War.