President Eyring Rededicates Montreal Quebec Temple

Contributed By Sarah Jane Weaver, Church News associate editor

  • 23 November 2015

The Montreal Quebec Temple. The newly renovated 11,550-square-foot temple will serve nearly 11,000 LDS Church members in Quebec and Ottawa.

MONTREAL, QUEBEC

The newly renovated Montreal Quebec Temple stands as a tribute to the rich and diverse history of Montreal and the pioneering Latter-day Saints who built the Church in Quebec’s largest bilingual city.

“This is our opportunity to honor the great people who have been pioneers in the Church as it has blossomed in this magnificent nation,” said President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency, before rededicating the Montreal Quebec Temple on Sunday, November 22.

President Eyring said President Thomas S. Monson—who presided over the Canadian Mission from 1959 to 1962 and sent the first French-speaking missionaries to Quebec—wanted to be in Canada for the historic rededication. “The last time he and I spoke, I felt of his great love for the Canadian people,“ he said.

Located at 1450 Boulevard Marie-Victorin in Longueuil next to the St. Lawrence River, the Montreal Quebec Temple was originally dedicated in June 2000 by then-President Gordon B. Hinckley. It closed on June 2, 2014, for a complete renovation due to extensive water damage.

Elder Kent F. Richards of the Seventy, Executive Director of the Church’s Temple Department, greets President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency, at the Montreal Quebec Temple. Credit: Sarah Jane Weaver.

Entering the Montreal Quebec Temple are President Henry B. Eyring and Elder Kent F. Richards, left. Photo by Sarah Jane Weaver.

Members of the Church mingle on the grounds of the Montreal Quebec Temple. President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency, rededicated the temple on Sunday, November 22, 2015. Photo by Sarah Jane Weaver.

The Montreal Quebec Temple. Photo by Sarah Jane Weaver.

The new 11,550-square-foot temple will serve nearly 11,000 LDS Church members in Quebec and Ottawa.

The major design motifs for both the exterior and interior of the temple honor the city’s flag and history—with four floral emblems representing the four main European ethnic groups that settled in the area in the 19th century. A fleur-de-lis honors the French, a rose the English, a thistle the Scots, and a shamrock the Irish.

“As you enter the temple you see the emblems of the founding communities in this area,” said Elder Alain Allard, an Area Seventy who is chairman of the local temple committee.

Montreal is a French-speaking city with many English-speaking residents, he said. “It is sometimes difficult. When it works it is heaven. The two communities together are heaven.”

The renovated temple, he continued, will unite the two linguistic communities—and the many others in the area.

“You will see a very devoted people here,” said Elder Allard. “When people join the Church they really dedicate themselves.”

He is one example.

Elder Allard met the missionaries in Montreal in 1972 when he was 20 years old and newly married. With his wife, Nicole Lalumiére Allard, he began attending a small French-speaking branch. “But it grew very fast,” he said, noting that a year later the branch was divided and became three branches. “It was a fun time with a lot of growth,” he said.

The Allards traveled to Switzerland to be sealed in the temple—the only temple in the Church then offering the endowment in French.

Danielle and Michael Carter joined the Church in 1978, just months after the Montreal Quebec Stake was created. He served as president of the stake from 1987 to 1996. During those years, the Church built seven meetinghouses and one stake center in Montreal.

Today there are three stakes in Quebec—two French-speaking and one English-speaking. Brother Carter said the Church has steadily grown in Quebec.

”Year after year, we were able to baptize and grow and create ward units,” he said.

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints enter the Montreal Quebec Temple. President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency, rededicated the temple on Sunday, November 22, 2015. Photo by Sarah Jane Weaver.

Brother Carter remembers a Church meeting in the mid-1990s when President Hinckley noted during a member meeting that the Church was considering building a temple in Montreal.

After the meeting, Brother Carter told President Hinckley, “President, now that [the prospect of a temple in Montreal] is out there, we will look forward to hearing from you.”

President Hinckley responded, “Now … I will have to do something about it.”

The Carters’ son, Jean-Michael Carter, will never forget the meeting in 1998 when President Hinckley announced that the temple would be built. “Everyone started clapping and yelling. They were happy,” he said.

Jean-Michael and his four siblings all married in the Montreal Quebec Temple.

Before the rededication, Jean-Michel worked as a member of the temple committee compiling the local history of the Church in the area. In spite of the cultural, ethnic, and linguistic differences of Latter-day Saints in Montreal, “one thing is clear to me,” he said. “The people here love the temple.”

Members of the Church enter the Montreal Quebec Temple. President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency, rededicated the temple on Sunday, November 22, 2015. Photo by Sarah Jane Weaver.

Linda Pelchant also remembers the temple announcement. “It was such a surprise when President Hinckley said we were going to get a temple. Everyone started clapping,” she said. “What a blessing.”

Sister Pelchant’s late husband, Gerald, was the first stake president in Montreal.

She first learned about the Church during Expo 67—a world’s fair held in Montreal during Canada’s centennial year. She saw a picture with the question “Do you want to be happy?”

Members of the Church enter the Montreal Quebec Temple. President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency, rededicated the temple on Sunday, November 22, 2015. Photo by Sarah Jane Weaver.

When missionaries knocked on her door in 1970, she let them in. Soon she invited her future husband, who had also visited the Church’s display at Expo 67, to join her in the discussions.

Just as the display promised, the Pelchants found great happiness participating in Gold and Green and Harvest Balls and delivering phone books twice a year to supply the ward budget.

They attended the dedication of two temples—the Washington D.C. Temple and the Toronto Ontario Temple—before a temple was built in their city.

Elder Allard said the members in Quebec missed the temple during the year and a half of renovation.

“We knew we had lost something, but we knew it was going to be made better,” he said.

Family history is one reason they love the temple, he said. “The records of our ancestors are outstanding,” he said. “This has brought an immense interest in temple work.”

“You will see a really devoted people here,” he said.

The Montreal Quebec Temple was the 86th operating temple of the Church. It was announced in August 1998 and dedicated on June 4, 2000, by President Gordon B. Hinckley. After renovations, President Henry B. Eyring rededicated the temple on November 22, 2015.

The Montreal Quebec Temple. Photo by Sarah Jane Weaver.

The Montreal Quebec Temple. Photo by Sarah Jane Weaver.

After attending the rededication of the Montreal Quebec Temple, Patrick Robertson, right, stands with his wife, Cornetta, and two of their six children: Naomi, 12, and Leah, 8. Photo by Sarah Jane Weaver.

View of St. Lawrence River, located across a major highway from the Montreal Quebec Temple. Photo by Sarah Jane Weaver.

The Montreal Quebec Temple. Photo by Sarah Jane Weaver.