A day after Elder Neil L. Andersen participated in the dedication of the Paris France Temple, he shared just how important France is to him.
“For most of my life, I have felt a special connection to France,” Elder Andersen wrote on social media. I served in the France Mission as a young man, and later with my family as president of the France Bordeaux Mission. This weekend, my wife, Kathy, and I—along with our two daughters—were overjoyed to participate in the dedication of the Paris France Temple—the first temple in this wonderful country.”
Elder Andersen also shared memories of the people in France who have touched his life, as well as the blessings of the temple.
“One of the most important lessons we learn in the temple is to endure. From the blessings we receive and from the promises we make and keep, we receive tangible, spiritual strength and power that help us throughout our lives. It has been from righteous members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in France that Kathy and I have learned some of our most valuable lessons of enduring to the end.
As a young missionary, I met Brother and Sister Brieu, who, through much sacrifice, would come to Sunday meetings with their three-year-old boy from a town several kilometers away.
Another member, Sister David, joined the Church in 1974. She never married, but children of the Primary by the hundreds call her blessed, and they now visit her as she, now ninety-one, awaits her graduation from mortality.
I was in the hospital room with Sister Yonnet in 1990 when her 38-year-old husband passed away—leaving her with four young children to raise in the gospel. She has never faltered.
Another faithful woman, Sister Guerinot raised five energetic boys, as her husband served in various church callings. Finally, as they approached retirement in 2014, with the anticipation of missions ahead, Brother Guerinot, who is my age, died suddenly. What was Sister Guerinot to do? Exactly what you would do. She held tightly to her faith, her family, and her friends.
Let us all allow the beautiful temples of the Lord help us follow the example of those who helped lay the foundation for the Church in France and elsewhere. Humbly as a servant of God, I give you my sure witness that God is our Father. Jesus is the Christ. The temple is Their house.”
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.