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Valerie Johnson
Bishop Gerald Cause addresses the audience of the cultural celebration held in the Velodrome National in Montigny-le-Bretonneux, France, on Saturday, May 20, 2017.

MONTIGNY-LE-BRETONNEUX, France

“Que la fête commence.”

Those are the words — “Let the party begin” — that President Henry B. Eyring spoke to 950 youth gathered at the Vélodrome National de Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines for the Paris France Temple youth cultural celebration on May 20.

Each scene in the performance — a celebration of the Reformation, the Restoration and the dedication of France’s first temple — combine to create a beautiful mosaic that honors the tradition of faith in France.

Christian Euvrard, cultural celebration director, said light — “the light that happened centuries ago when Christianity arrived in France” — is the common theme that runs through the celebration. “Light grew and found roots in the Reformation and then in the Restoration,” he said.

The Paris France Temple “is the result of the faith — all the light — throughout the centuries,” he said. “Once light starts, little by little it becomes greater and greater.”

The program, titled “Que Votre

Lumiere Luise Ainsi Devant Les Hommes,” or “Let Your Light So Shine Before Men” (Matthew 5:16), featured 950 youth from 13 stakes in France, Belgium and Switzerland.

President Eyring, first counselor in the First Presidency, promised the youth that they “will treasure your memories of this day.”

“I hope you will have a wonderful time,” he added. “I know that all of us who watch this performance will share in your happiness and be blessed by your talents. I pray that the Lord will bless all who will perform tonight and all who have trained and encouraged them. May we enjoy and long remember this celebration.”

Held in the Véldrome National — a stadium which accommodates bike races — the performance opened with a reenactment of the famous Tour de France bike competition. In a fun twist, Latter-day Saint missionaries won the race.

During the program, organizers displayed images, projected on a huge screen, of stained glass windows, statues, parchments, scriptures, paintings, architectural details and other monuments and documents which illustrate the faith of the French throughout the ages.

The story is one that has deep roots in Christianity in France, said Brother Euvrard.

“When you study history, you see this movement. You see that things did not happen by chance, but that the hand of the Lord was viable.”

Anais Elumba, 14, of the Lyon France Stake said she participated in the event to celebrate the new temple. “I want to say thanks to my God because He has built a temple in France,” she said. “It is beautiful. The temple is the house of God. I want to celebrate.”

Konrad Harris, 16, said he also wants to celebrate the new temple in France.

The temple in France is proof that the gospel will continue to grow in the country, said Clementine Elumba, 14.

Serge Pettitt, 14, said he participated in the cultural event to show the joy he has for the temple.

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