The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Mormon Temples

Paris France

Paris France Temple

Announced on July 15, 2011, the Paris France Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is currently being built in Le Chesnay, which is a mere 0.1 miles from the famous Chateau de Versailles. It will be the first temple in France. Upon its completion, the Latter-day Saints in France will no longer have to travel outside the country to attend the temple, where they find peace as they worship God. Members have had to journey to the temples in Bern, Switzerland; The Hague, Netherlands; London, England; Frankfurt, Germany; and Madrid, Spain.

Former Church President Gordon B. Hinckley knew there would be a temple in France long before it was announced. In 1998 while attending a Church meeting in Paris, he told the members in attendance, “The time will come … when we can construct somewhere in this area a house of the Lord, a sacred temple.”1 He directed the members to pray that those selecting a site would be guided by God. He repeated this request when he returned to Paris in 2004. Finally, a site was found in 2009.

Church leader Gérald Caussé, who is from France, said that after Gordon B. Hinckley promised the French Latter-day Saints a temple, “the members knew they had an important part to play. In my family, and in families of other French Saints, we prayed for the temple on a daily basis and with our children. It has been a trial of patience and faith.”2

Missionary work began in France in the summer of 1849, when Welsh missionary William Howells arrived there. He taught in a few areas of France, and in April 1850 a congregation of six converts was created in Boulogne-sur-Mer. Elder John Taylor, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and others also arrived in France around this time. After dedicated work, another branch was organized, this time in Paris, in December 1850. By 1853, there were seven additional small congregations and a total of 337 members. From 1864 until the end of World War II, missionary work was somewhat sporadic due to government restrictions and world conflicts. However, in 1890, five Mormon artists, John Hafen, Lorus Pratt, John B. Fairbanks, Edwin Evans and Herman Haag, went on an “art mission” to France. During their “mission,” they studied art at Paris’s Julian Academy to improve their art skills so they could successfully paint the murals in the Salt Lake Temple.

During World War II, Mormon missionaries were evacuated and a local leader, Léon Fargier, received permission from the First Presidency to take care of the Latter-day Saints. He walked and biked to visit members and people interested in the Church; sometimes he had to cross into enemy territory to do so. At the close of World War II, the Church sent needed supplies to help the members and missionaries during the war’s aftermath. By 1955, there were about 1,500 members. In the 1960s, the Church began to build meetinghouses throughout France. Today there are over 37,000 Latter-day Saints in France.

The temple’s completion date has not been announced. However, the Church has worked hard with government officials to ensure the temple will fit well with architecture in the area and pass city ordinances. According to architectural renderings, unlike most Latter-day Saint temples the Paris Temple will not have a spire. The building will be exquisite and made of limestone and slate. A lawyer who is part of the building project stated, “I have not been a religious man, but I feel there is something very special about this temple.”3

When the temple is completed, it will include a baptistry; a celestial room, which represents heaven on earth and eternal life with God; instruction rooms; and sealing rooms, where marriages are performed and families are sealed for eternity. Within the beautiful temple, worthy members learn about their mortal journey to inherit eternal life with God. They then make commitments to live Christlike lives so they can inherit this gift of eternal life. Worshipping in the temple brings peace to the lives of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

 

1 Gordon B. Hinckley, in Gerry Avant, “Elder Andersen Visits Construction Site of Paris France Temple,” Church News, June 19, 2014, https://www.lds.org/church/news/elder-andersen-visits-construction-site-of-paris-france-temple?lang=eng.

2 Gérald Caussé, in Avant, “Elder Andersen Visits Construction Site,” https://www.lds.org/church/news/elder-andersen-visits-construction-site-of-paris-france-temple?lang=eng.

3 In Avant, “Elder Andersen Visits Construction Site,” https://www.lds.org/church/news/elder-andersen-visits-construction-site-of-paris-france-temple?lang=eng.

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