LDS Youth Honor Diversity and Unity during Quebec Temple Cultural Celebration

Contributed By Sarah Jane Weaver, Church News associate editor

  • 22 November 2015

President Henry B. Eyring greets children at the Monument-National Theatre in Montreal, Canada, before the youth temple cultural celebration on November 21.  Photo by Sarah Jane Weaver.

MONTREAL, QUEBEC, CANADA

“Je Me Souviens.”

That’s the official motto of the province of Quebec in Canada. Translated it means “I remember.”

But the phrase has deeper meaning for the people of Quebec. It means they will not forget their lineage, traditions, and memories.

For Latter-day Saint youth, the phrase will now have added meaning.

Some 425 youth participated on November 21 in a temple youth cultural program titled “Je Me Souviens.” The celebration, held in the Monument-National Theatre—the oldest theater in Canada—was held in conjunction with the rededication of the Montreal Quebec Temple.

President Henry B. Eyring greets youth at the Monument-National Theatre in Montreal, Canada, before the youth temple cultural celebration on November 21.

The temple youth cultural program was titled “Je Me Souviens.” Translated it means “I remember.”

Youth retell the history of Quebec through music and dance during the youth temple cultural celebration held November 21 at the Monument-National Theatre in Montreal. Photo by Sarah Jane Weaver.

Youth participate in the cultural celebration associated with the rededication of the Montreal Quebec Temple on November 21. Photo by Sarah Jane Weaver.

Youth retell the history of Quebec through music and dance during the youth temple cultural celebration held November 21 at the Monument-National Theatre in Montreal. Photo by Sarah Jane Weaver.

Youth participate in the cultural celebration associated with the rededication of the Montreal Quebec Temple on November 21. Photo by Sarah Jane Weaver.

President Henry B. Eyring greets a young woman at the Monument-National Theatre in Montreal, Canada, before the youth temple cultural celebration on November 21.

 

 

The temple, originally dedicated by Gordon B. Hinckley on June 4, 2000, was closed on June 2, 2014, for a complete renovation due to extensive water damage.

“We are celebrating the rededication tomorrow of the beautiful Montreal Quebec Temple of God,” said President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency, before the celebration began. “Tonight is our opportunity to honor the great people who have been pioneers in the Church as it has blossomed in this magnificent nation.”

Presiding Bishop Gérald Caussé told the youth the title of the celebration is wonderful for many reasons.

“Hopefully during this show you will remember who you are,” he said. “You represent a great variety of cultures and different origins. … I hope you are proud of your origins, no matter what they are. And I hope that you will be even more proud of your divine origin.”

The cultural celebration featured dance and song representing the cultural diversity of Montreal. Beginning with a scene depicting premortal life, the celebration included musical numbers highlighting the First Nations, French, English, Latinos, and Afro-Creoles. Each scene led to a climax in the finale where all the youth—wearing white—were unified by the rededicated temple. They sang “I Know That My Redeemer Lives.”

“Because we are members of the Church, because we have a temple, we are all coming together in our belief,” said Esther Caron, celebration choreographer. “We are all united in our faith.”

She hopes the celebration will remind the youth in the temple district that they are all children of God. “Strength comes through remembering who you are,” she said. “We are all different, and we can be united because of our faith in Jesus Christ and the temple.”

Julie-Claire Carter Bouchard, who worked with the music for the production, wrote a song to remind the youth of their divine origin and destiny. “The temple is the place that unites us all in the end,” she said.

David Dietze-Hermosa, 18, said at first he wasn’t sure if he wanted to participate in the cultural celebration. But soon he came to the understanding that “something very important was being done” and changed his mind. Dancing in the celebration was his way of “thanking Heavenly Father for allowing us to have a temple in Montreal. It is such a great blessing.”

The gospel and the temple are for everyone, he said.

“We all have a place, no matter what background we came from,” he said. “That is reflected in what we are doing here.”

Jayne Lucas, 17, said the celebration was also an opportunity to share with others what she believes. “This is an opportunity to show the world who we are,” she said. “I am really happy to participate in this celebration.”

The show is a representation of what God wants for all of His children, she added. “We are all different, but it doesn’t separate us,” she said. “Remembering the temple is going to unite us.”

 

Youth participate in the cultural celebration associated with the rededication of the Montreal Quebec Temple on November 21.
Photo by Sarah Jane Weaver.

Youth retell the history of Quebec through music and dance during the youth temple cultural celebration held November 21 at the Monument-National Theatre in Montreal. Photo by Sarah Jane Weaver.

Youth retell the history of Quebec through music and dance during the youth temple cultural celebration held November 21 at the Monument-National Theatre in Montreal. Photo by Sarah Jane Weaver.

Youth retell the history of Quebec through music and dance during the youth temple cultural celebration held November 21 at the Monument-National Theatre in Montreal. Photo by Sarah Jane Weaver.

Youth retell the history of Quebec through music and dance during the youth temple cultural celebration held November 21 at the Monument-National Theatre in Montreal. Photo by Sarah Jane Weaver.

Youth retell the history of Quebec through music and dance during the youth temple cultural celebration held November 21 at the Monument-National Theatre in Montreal. Photo by Sarah Jane Weaver.

Youth retell the history of Quebec through music and dance during the youth temple cultural celebration held November 21 at the Monument-National Theatre in Montreal. Photo by Sarah Jane Weaver.

Youth retell the history of Quebec through music and dance during the youth temple cultural celebration held November 21 at the Monument-National Theatre in Montreal. Photo by Sarah Jane Weaver.

Youth retell the history of Quebec through music and dance during the youth temple cultural celebration held November 21 at the Monument-National Theatre in Montreal. Photo by Sarah Jane Weaver.

Youth retell the history of Quebec through music and dance during the youth temple cultural celebration held November 21 at the Monument-National Theatre in Montreal. Photo by Sarah Jane Weaver.

Youth retell the history of Quebec through music and dance during the youth temple cultural celebration held November 21 at the Monument-National Theatre in Montreal. Photo by Sarah Jane Weaver.

Youth retell the history of Quebec through music and dance during the youth temple cultural celebration held November 21 at the Monument-National Theatre in Montreal. Photo by Sarah Jane Weaver.