News Release from Mormon Newsroom
“Members of the Church in France have been looking forward to a temple to be built for years,” said Bishop Gérald Caussé, Presiding Bishop of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, about the Church’s newly-completed Paris France Temple that will open later this month for free public tours. “It’s an answer to prayers,” he said.
The senior Mormon leader who is responsible for the Church’s temporal affairs was born in Bordeaux, France, and now lives in Utah. He has returned to his homeland many times to oversee construction of the Church’s first temple in France, a country with a rich Christian tradition.
The public is invited to tour the new temple from Saturday, April 22, 2017, through Saturday, May 13, 2017, except for the Sundays of April 23 and 30 and May 7.
A cultural celebration will be held Saturday, May 20, 2017, featuring music and dance performances by local Mormon youth. The 44,175-square-foot temple will be dedicated the following day on Sunday, May 21, in three sessions. It will then become the 156th operating temple of the Church worldwide.
Plans to build the temple in France were announced by President Thomas S. Monson October 1, 2011.
“We were able to start the work of the construction soon after President Monson made the announcement in conference,” said Bishop Caussé. Ground was broken August 24, 2012.
The temple was built on more than two acres of land at 46 Boulevard Saint-Antoine in the French community of Le Chesnay. “It is [a] five-minute walk from the entrance to the gardens of the Versailles Palace,” he said.
Design teams from Salt Lake City and France worked together to ensure that the new Paris France Temple reflected the history and culture of the area. Read more on the design of the temple.
Unlike other Mormon temples, the Paris France Temple does not have an angel Moroni atop the temple. “There were some height restrictions in our neighborhood,” said Ramon Lopez Martinez, project manager of the temple project. “However, we have a Christus statue … made of stone in Italy, and it’s a great addition to our beautiful garden.”
“And to have this Christus in the garden of the temple, it’s to testify that we are a Christian church and that we believe in Christ and we know that [He] is our Savior and Redeemer,” said member Louis Marie Liebard.
The Church in France
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 arrived in 1849, and a small congregation was organized in 1850. Missionaries are now serving in two missions in the country.
“I believe that a temple brings peace, joy and love to the community, and goodness,” said Thomas Fournier, whose parents have been talking about a temple in France since they joined the Church 40 years ago. “And now we can say that France has a new castle for the King of kings.”
“Pioneers will come and they’ll say, ‘we have done it for our children,’ and our children will be able to come and worship in the temple,” said Bishop Caussé. “It’s marvelous.”
Latter-day Saint temples differ from the chapels where members meet for Sunday worship services. Temples are considered “houses of the Lord,” where the teachings of Jesus Christ are reaffirmed through marriage, baptism and other ceremonies that unite families for eternity.
Reservations for the Paris France Temple can be made online at templeopenhouse.lds.org.
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.