Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
Prior to the dedication, President Eyring conducted the symbolic ceremony that signifies the construction is complete and the new temple is ready for dedication.
Joining President Eyring were Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles; Elder Larry Y. Wilson, executive director of the Temple Department; Elder Paul V. Johnson, president of the Church’s Europe Area; and Presiding Bishop of the Church, Gérald Caussé.
Bishop Caussé explained that the cornerstone ceremony is part of the consecration of the temple. Behind the cornerstone is historical documentation, artifacts and testimonies from members of the Church in France. “These are your testimonies,” said Bishop Caussé. “What a beautiful chance to have a temple here.”
Plans to build the temple in Paris were announced by President Thomas S. Monson July 15, 2011.
“This is like a dream come true,” exclaimed Bishop Caussé, who was born in Bordeaux, France. He has returned many times to oversee the construction of the temple. “We’ve worked closely with the architects to make the temple a beacon in the area,” he said. “The temple is in full harmony with the surrounding area. We want the temple to be not only a blessing for the members but an asset for the whole community.”
The temple’s exterior is dressed in warm-toned Portuguese limestone reflective of material used on buildings in the region, giving it a sense of nobility and grandeur.
Elder Andersen said, “The temple is a beautiful example of beautiful architecture tied to the high quality that the French do.”
Prior to the dedication, on May 20, Church leaders enjoyed a performance by more than 1,000 young Latter-day Saints who presented, through song and dance, the history of the Church in France and paid tribute to its pioneers. The cultural celebration, entitled “Let Your Light So Shine,” was held at the France National Velodrome, in the nearby town of Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines.
President Eyring said, “Dedications are a great opportunity for youth to have their faith increased in the blessings that come from a temple. These celebrations, they feature the young people because we’re hoping that it will set their hearts towards the day that they can come to the temple themselves.”
There are currently about 38,000 members of the Church in more than 100 congregations in France, many of them second-, third- and fourth-generation Latter-day Saints.
The first missionary to France arrived in 1849, and a small congregation was organized in 1850. Missionaries are now serving in two missions in the country.
During a three-week open house, more than 47,500 people visited and toured the temple, including clergy, community leaders and residents living near the temple, as well as members of the Church.
Latter-day Saint temples differ from meetinghouses or chapels where members meet for Sunday worship services. Temples are considered “houses of the Lord” where Jesus Christ’steachings are reaffirmed through marriage, baptism and other ordinances that unite familiesfor eternity. Inside, members learn more about the purpose of life and make covenants to serve Jesus Christ and their fellow man.
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