The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Sunday dedicated its new Paris temple in style, mirroring the nobility and grandeur of its French surroundings.
The temple — the first in France — becomes the 156th operating worldwide.
"This is like a dream come true," Gérald Caussé, the presiding bishop of the church, said in an LDS Church release. "We've worked closely with the architects to make the temple a beacon in the area. 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 dedication comes nearly six years after President Thomas S. Monson announced plans to build the 44,175-square-foot temple on 2 acres in the French community of Le Chesnay, just a short walk from the Versailles Palace, according to a release from the church.
"Dedications are a great opportunity for youth to have their faith increased in the blessings that come from a temple," said President Henry B. Eyring, first counselor in the governing First Presidency, "These celebrations, they feature the young people because we're hoping that it will set their hearts toward the day that they can come to the temple themselves."
The LDS Church has about 38,000 members in more than 100 congregations in France. Many are second-, third- and fourth-generation Mormons, the release states.
Latter-day Saints view temples as houses of God, places where the faithful can participate in their church's highest religious rites, including eternal marriage.