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Mormon temples are famous for their scenic grounds. Flowers, fountains and greenery — lots of greenery — often adorn these edifices.

Not so much anymore at the LDS temple in Los Angeles, where the lawn is turning brown.

The reason: to save water in the drought-strangled Golden State.

"We are pleased to join others across Los Angeles and California in reducing water consumption during this historic drought," LDS Church spokesman Doug Andersen said Monday in an emailed statement. "In compliance with the governor's request, the Los Angeles Temple … voluntarily shut off water to our front central lawn, in April."

Andersen noted grounds crews there also have been cutting water usage the past three years, with a "restricted 'dawn to dusk' watering schedule."

"We hope and pray," Andersen wrote, "that weather conditions change so we can restore the beauty of the temple grounds."

The Los Angeles temple, the faith's first in California, was dedicated in 1956 by then-President David O. McKay. The LDS Church now has six other temples in the nation's most-populous state.

The Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reserves its most sacred rites — including eternal marriage for devout Mormons — for its specially designed and dedicated temples.

David Noyce