On Sunday, May 21, 2017, when the Paris France Temple is dedicated it will become the 156th operating temple of the Church.
Inspiration for this temple came, in part, from the surrounding area, encompassing elements from the Versailles and Le Chesnay neighborhoods where the temple is located.
The classic French door hardware and brass railings were manufactured by a local French company with origins in the Versailles area and installed by French craftsmen, using an Art Nouveau-inspired design.
One cannot help but be drawn to the stunning art glass that can be seen both inside and outside the temple. These were crafted by Tom Holdman and his team in Lehi, Utah. Each piece of art glass was carefully researched, designed, created and installed to literally reflect and incorporate flowers and symbols throughout Paris.
The Paris Temple is constructed of reinforced concrete, sheathed in warm-hued Portuguese limestone, installed by French craftsmen.
The articulation of the stonework includes subtly-detailed moldings, attractive bond courses and various textures to enhance the overall beauty of the exterior walls.
The temple team had tremendous challenges of height restrictions and a small 3-acre plot of land to work with in a well-established neighborhood. There is an understated elegance in this temple.
The first light of morning gently bathes the beautiful limestone to create a warm invitation to come to the House of the Lord.
Local flora has been used throughout the multi-leveled gardens behind the temple.
The temple compound is composed of the temple itself, patron housing, and temple president’s and patron residences as well as sufficient underground parking facilities.
Fountains often accompany temple landscaping, reminding visitors of the living water that Christ offers.
Jesus said to the woman of Samaria: “Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”
Beautifully placed in the interior gardens of the temple is a heroic-size replica marble statue of Bertel Thorvaldsen’s Christus.
The Paris Temple has no statue of Moroni because of height restrictions. Instead, the Church has placed the Christus here to send a clear message (in a country filled with historic monuments and statues) that Mormons are Christians and centered in Jesus Christ.
Handcrafted in Italy, the Christus statue provides a quiet setting for contemplation of the Savior’s life and His atoning sacrifice.
“Listen to him who is the advocate with the Father, who is pleading your cause before him—Saying: Father, behold the sufferings and death of him who did no sin, in whom thou wast well pleased; behold the blood of thy Son which was shed, the blood of him whom thou gavest that thyself might be glorified.”
During our visit to the temple grounds we noticed that nearly every family who came here wanted to have their picture taken beneath the protective arms of the Christus statue.
Inscribed on every temple are the words: “Holiness to the Lord, The House of the Lord.”
A separate entrance for the youth allows them to go right into the baptistry.
This temple has a visitors center which is attached to the temple itself, only separated by a small walkway.
The outside lamps and lighting are all reminiscent of the neighborhood where the temple resides.
Even the beautiful railings throughout the exterior grounds are an invitation to “hold to the rod” and “come unto Christ.”
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
The Claude Monet-inspired art-glass pieces feature water lilies, martagon lilies and Madonna lilies as well as cornflowers, lilacs and hollyhocks.
The beautiful doors throughout the temple are made of stained and painted American Cherry, are fabricated in France and installed by local craftsmen.
The art glass of the front entry and all around the temple truly shine as night falls on Le Chesnay, France.
“In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD; and the pots in the LORD’s house shall be like the bowls before the altar. Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the LORD of hosts.”
This week a change is coming to France: The House of the Lord will be dedicated and become a part of her history from now on.
“Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ…”