Announced: Aug. 6, 1998.
Location: on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River across from Montreal; 1450 Boulevard Marie Victorin, Longueuil, Quebec JG4 1A4; phone: (450) 646-5775; no clothing rental.
Site: .75 acres.
Exterior finish: Bethel white granite.
Temple design: Classic modern.
Architect: Andrij Serbyn, Sichten Soiferman and Church A&E Services.
Project manager: William Treu.
Contractor: Opron Inc.
Rooms: Celestial room, baptistry, two ordinance rooms, two sealing rooms.
Total floor area: 10,700 square feet.
Dimensions: 149 feet by 77 feet.
District: Five stakes and a district in Quebec, Ontario and Vermont.
Groundbreaking, site dedication: April 9, 1999, by Elder Gary J. Coleman of the Seventy.
Dedication: June 4, 2000, by President Gordon B. Hinckley; 4 sessions.
Done by President Gordon B. Hinckley
Our Eternal Father in Heaven, we Thy covenant children come unto Thee in solemn prayer. This is a day which will long be remembered by Thy faithful Saints in this choice part of Thy vineyard. We are met to dedicate unto Thee, Thou great Elohim, and to Thy Son, our Redeemer, this the Montréal Québec Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is our gift to Thee, dear Father. It is an expression of our love for Thee and for Thy divine Son.
Acting in the authority of the everlasting priesthood, that priesthood which is a precious bestowal from Thee, and in the name of our Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ, we dedicate and consecrate this holy house, the grounds on which it stands, and every facility of this temple. Bless the structure that it may stand against the storms of nature and against any act by unholy hands. We consecrate unto Thee the beautiful baptismal font, the endowment rooms, the celestial room, the sealing rooms with their sacred altars, and all other spaces and facilities found herein.
May all who enter the portals of Thy house be worthy to come as Thy guests and enjoy Thy rich and bounteous blessings. This is a house of salvation and exaltation for the living and the dead, made possible through the Atonement of the Savior of the world. Every ordinance performed herein, every blessing granted will be eternal in its consequences.
This house becomes a fulfillment of the promise that Thou, in Thy power, "will reveal…the Priesthood by the hand of Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.
"And he shall plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers, and the hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers.
"If it were not so, the whole earth would be utterly wasted at his coming" (D&C 2).
How wondrous are Thy ways, dear Father. Great are Thy promises, and certain is their fulfillment. These eternal keys have been restored through the prophet Elijah and will be exercised herein by those holding the fullness of the everlasting priesthood. Wonderful is our gratitude for the blessings of this sacred edifice.
We praise Thy holy name and speak words of thanks unto Thee for Thy generous blessings. Here we will enter into covenant with Thee. Here our families will be sealed together under divine authority that time cannot break and death cannot destroy. Here we will engage in a marvelous work in behalf of the dead, extending to them the wonderful blessings that have come to us.
Oh God, our gracious Father, we thank Thee and bow in reverence before Thee. Bless us to be worthy always of coming to this Thy house. Save us from evil and doubt. Bless us with righteousness and faith. May Thy holy Spirit be felt by all who come within these walls. May old men dream dreams and young men see visions as they contemplate the wonder and majesty of Thy divine and eternal plan for the salvation and exaltation of Thy sons and daughters of all generations.
We pray for all who shall serve here, be they workers or patrons. We pray for the temple presidency, for the matron and her assistants, and for all who labor in Thy service. May their burdens be light. May they have strength and energy. May gladness crown their efforts.
We thank Thee for the faithful tithe payers among Thy people throughout the world. It is they who have made all of this possible. Bless them for their faith and reward them for their consecrations. Bless Thy kingdom throughout the earth that it shall grow and multiply and fill the earth with righteousness.
On this historic day we sing Thy praises, dear Father. We speak words of thanksgiving. We look upward to Thee and pray that Thou wilt smile with favor upon us.
We are ever mindful that Thou art our God, the Father of our spirits, the Almighty governor of the universe, the judge of the nations. How thankful we are that we can come unto Thee in prayer with confidence that Thou wilt hear and answer. We so pray on this day of dedication as we renew our faith and strengthen our covenants, in the name of Him who is our Redeemer, our Savior, our Lord and our King, even Jesus Christ, amen.
Meeting the world in Montreal
By Julie Dockstader
Church News staff writer
MONTREAL, Quebec — In this city on the St. Lawrence River, crossing the street is like crossing the border. Looking out from Mount Royale across the city is like looking at three worlds — North American, French and Elizabethan. On one street corner, you may be greeted with, "Nice to see you," on the next, "Bon jour." Add a dash of Spanish, Asian, African and Caribbean, and you hear the sounds of the cultural mix of Montreal, Quebec.
The Church in this eastern Canadian city aptly mirrors this unique blend. The Montreal Quebec Stake, created in 1978, is the first French-speaking stake in North America. The mostly English-speaking Montreal Quebec Mount Royale Stake was not created until 1980 — even though the first branch here, created in 1930, was English. Since 1961, when then-Canadian Mission President Thomas S. Monson sent the first six French-speaking missionaries to Quebec, the French quarter of the Church here has grown proportionately to the English. Even the cornerstone of the new Montreal Quebec Temple says "Edifié en L'an 2000" — "Erected 2000" in French.
"It's important to support the two cultures," Montreal stake President Sterling H. Dietze recently told the Church News. A tall, dark-haired man who speaks fluent English, French and Spanish, he sat in his living room explaining the influence of the two European cultures and the rise of the Church here. French-Canadians and English mingle in all walks of life here, and, thus, in the Church, he said.
However, it has only been since the 1960s that the gospel has taken root among French-Canadians. This new growth, President Dietze related, came about only after several court cases on religious freedom ended so-called "padlock laws," which were exclusionary of certain religions, and after the 1967 World Expo in Montreal. (The Church had a pavilion on the grounds open to the public after the Expo.) During this time of social, religious and political awareness, he added, "the Church started carrying the French-speaking population."
Today, there are about 4,000 Latter-day Saints in the Montreal Quebec Stake, with a proportionate number in the Mount Royale stake. Also included are several Spanish units. To illustrate the Church "coming out of obscurity" here, President Dietze related how during the open house of the temple, which was dedicated June 4 this year, a local parish priest visited and told him, "Thank you for inviting me. I wish you all the best."
As strong as Church growth is among French-Canadians, it seems it's becoming just as strong among immigrants flowing to Canada from throughout the world. Fatima Glowa, a ward Young Women president in the Mount Royale stake, said among her Young Women group are Canadians, Italians, Jamaicans and Africans. Emil Monssen, ward mission leader in the Montreal Ward, Montreal Quebec Stake, said they had four baptisms in May — one from Africa, one from Eastern Europe, one from Canada, and one from the Caribbean.
Whatever the nationality or ancestry, however, the gospel brings them together — and keeps them together. One woman who has not only watched the change but was also part of the change is Jeanne Clement, 93, of the LaSalle Ward, Montreal Quebec Mount Royale Stake. A French-Canadian, she joined the Church in the late 1970s.
"I had been asking myself serious questions about [my faith] for at least 15 years, but I didn't know where to go. Four years later, the missionaries stopped by my house on a stormy day in January, and I was baptized," Sister Clement, who is grandmother to 24 and great-grandmother to 23, recalled.
Bishop Raymond Sawyer of the Montreal Ward also remembers well those early years. He even recalls as a boy attending Church in rooms over the Rialto Theater in downtown Montreal in the 1930s. He was reared by his grandfather after the death of his father and after his mother became ill with tuberculosis. His grandfather was in the original Montreal Branch presidency.
"The thing that impressed me was [the lodge which owned the upper rooms] had a presidency of three. They had these three huge chairs, something like you would see in a movie with a king. The one in the middle had a very high back, and I can remember sitting in the congregation and looking up there at my grandfather and the branch president [sitting in those chairs] and thinking, 'They've got to be really important to be sitting up there in those big chairs,' " Bishop Sawyer said with a chuckle.
He never guessed that one day he would figuratively sit in one of those chairs. He was first called as bishop in 1978 and again in 1998. This was a man who quit attending Sunday School as a boy because he was asked to give a 2 1/2-minute talk, and did not attend Church during the 1950s.
"I was very timid; I would shy away from passing the sacrament," he recalled. He always assumed he was not "bishop material."
Then, in 1961, he returned to full activity in the Church and remembers the organization of the first French Sunday School. "When I came back they were just starting this work [among the French.] They went through the Montreal Branch and took everybody who could speak French and said, 'We need you to form a nucleus. We need you in that Sunday School to build it up."
Today, Bishop Sawyer's eyes moisten when he speaks of the joy of the gospel among all members here and within his family. His wife and three daughters joined the Church in 1975 and the family was later sealed.
As one generation here — whether French or English — passes the torch to another, the Church continues to influence all walks of life. Joslyn Vaillancourt, who is an aerospace engineer with the Canadian Space Agency, attends the Lemoyne Ward, Montreal stake, with his wife, Marly, and 13-month-old son, Alexy. Sister Vaillancourt, who is originally from Venezuela and who speaks French and Spanish, is a counselor in the ward Relief Society presidency.
From the time he was a boy, Brother Vaillancourt, who speaks English, French and Spanish, had his nose in books about airplanes and science. "To me it was natural I would go into science," he explained. He now works on the international space station program, headed by NASA. His team works on the mobile servicing system, a robotic assembling and maintenance system, for the station.
"It says in the Doctrine and Covenants that all the knowledge we acquire here we bring with us to the other side," he said, explaining his love of learning and applied science. "From the gospel perspective, it's good to learn as much as we can, including science, and to discover as far as we can."
His wife said she had a difficult time just "discovering" her new roots in Canada. "I found it a little difficult because my family is not around me, but I'm adapting and maturing." She said serving within the Relief Society program has made Montreal become "home" to her as she develops relationships with other sisters.
"Service helps me to forget about my problems. Instead of looking at myself, I look at others and this helps," she added.
For a people with roots from the four corners of the globe, this is what the Church does — helps them look to one another.
Dream of Quebec temple near reality with groundbreaking
MONTREAL, Quebec — In the empty garage of a vacated automobile dealership — which will be demolished to make way for the Montreal Quebec Temple — more than 450 invited guests from four stakes participated in the groundbreaking services April 9.
The four stakes comprise the temple district. Three of the stakes are in Canada — Montreal Quebec, Montreal Mount Royal Quebec, and Ottawa Ontario. The fourth is in the United States, the Montpelier Vermont Stake.
Following the meeting, Elder Gary J. Coleman of the Seventy and second counselor in the North America Northeast Area presidency led members from the garage to the parking lot for the groundbreaking ceremony.
In his comments, Elder Coleman encouraged members to "come often . . . come with the family . . . come with the family names . . . in establishing the Lord's temple in Montreal."
Elder Coleman also offered the site dedication prayer.
Other speakers included Elder Lawrence R. Fuller, Area Authority Seventy; Pres. Benoit Duquette of the Montreal stake; and Pres. Walter Svenson of the Mount Royal stake. Pres. Gordon De Sevigny of the Ottawa stake offered the invocation, and Pres. Richard Baldwin of the Montpellier stake gave the benediction.
In his comments, Elder Fuller said, "Our lineage is sacred because it reaches back to our Heavenly Father."
Pres. Duquette noted that when he joined the Church in 1975, members in Montreal drove 45 hours to attend the Alberta Temple in Cardston, or would fly to the Swiss Temple. Since 1990, he noted members have traveled for six hours to attend the Toronto Ontario Temple.
"As we stand here this morning," said Pres. Svenson, "although the spot is still without form, with our spiritual eyes we can see a . . . fountain of potential blessings, a hill of personal challenge and the mountain of the Lord's house, foreseen by Isaiah."
Missionaries first traveled through Lower Canada, as Quebec was then known, in the 1830s, soon after the restoration of the gospel, but found limited success among the mostly French-speaking population.
The Canadian Mission was organized in 1919, and the first English-speaking branch was organized in Montreal in 1930. A meetinghouse was purchased in 1942 and served local members for 30 years.
President Thomas S. Monson, now first counselor in the First Presidency, served as mission president in the area and, in 1961, assigned six French-speaking missionaries to teach in Quebec. Membership among the French-speaking immigrants grew steadily until a French-speaking district was created in 1974. Four years later, the first French-speaking stake in North America, the Montreal Quebec Stake, was created.
The English-speaking Montreal Quebec Mount Royal Stake was created in 1980. Approximately 8,300 members now reside in Quebec. Gerard Pelchat, the first stake president in the Montreal stake, rememebers telling friends in the Toronto temple a year ago of his desire for a temple in Montreal. "I never dreamed it would happen, let alone this soon," he said.
Pierre-Paul Morin, a counselor in the Montreal Quebec Mission presidency, led a group of members from Chicoutimi, Quebec, on a five-hour drive to attend the groundbreaking. They left immediately after the services to return for the baptism of a new 80-year-old member.
The architect, Andrij Serbyn, said the temple will be faced with Bethel white granite, which is quarried in northern Vermont. He expected demolition of the automobile showroom to begin within a few days of the groundbreaking.