Sunday, February 19, 2017

Peter - Investigator - Charleville-Mezieres
Friends of the Church

Abekunie Abedayo (Stephen) one of our Nigerian members made a new friend (Peter) recently and began bringing him to our activities and Church meetings.  Stephen is a willing missionary and has introduced several of his friends to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints - a couple have joined the Church as a consequence.  While Stephen lives a very difficult life himself and continues to face the real possibility of deportation, he is not hesitant to reach out to others and share the gospel which has become very important to him.  He knows the blessings of the gospel and desires that his fellow countrymen receive likewise.

Peter has only been in France for two months and faces the common challenges of a refugee.  He speaks English better than most of our Nigerian friends and is very polite and good natured.  He is a fashion/clothes designer by trade and is currently looking to acquire a sewing machine so he can become productive here in France.  One never knows whether his quest for asylum will be successful or not but we are hopeful that he will be successful in finding that which is most important in this life - the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.  We look forward to teaching him and getting to know him better.
Cathédrale Notre Dame - Reims, France
Cathédrale  Notre Dame de Reims

A couple of weeks ago we mentioned the Cathédrale de Notre Dame in Reims, France as being the place that French kings had been coronated rather frequently.   In response, we received a post asking if this were not the cathédrale that was known for having some beautiful stained glass windows.  This caused us to look back in our photographs to find the stained glass windows of the cathédrale at Reims, just to discover that we had none.  

While we have visited Reims on many occasions - baptisms, District Meetings, Doctor Visits - we had never really visited the cathédrale.  Yes, we had frequently seen it from a distance and on at least one occasion had gone up to it, but it appears we never took the time to venture in.

This past week, while at District Meeting in Reims, we finally visited the Cathédrale  Notre Dame and took a few pictures.  We were mostly interested in finding the rose stained glass windows and in the process found it to be one of the more ornate, beautiful and grand cathédrales of France.   There are wonderful reminders of its function as a place to coronate kings - they are numerous both inside and out.   This fact makes it an interesting place to visit.

One is lead to compare the coronation function of this cathédrale with the work that is done in the Temples of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  While only a select few wealthy aristocrates of royal families were ever crowned king of France, each faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has the promise of becoming kings or queens through work done in the Temple.  While those few who received French kingdoms only ruled for a few years, those who are faithful to their Temple covenants will  rule for eternity.  While the coronation of a French king had much to do with publicly announcing who was master and who was subject, the covenants of the Temple provide personal instruction regarding righteous subjection to our Heavenly King. 

Make no mistake, the Cathédrale Notre Dame de Reims is a beautiful building in many ways.  However, there is no comparison to the simple beauty of a Latter-Day Saint Temple nor to the importance of the work done in the Temples.  The members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints anxiously await the opportunity to attend the Paris Temple and enter into covenants that make it possible for them to be crowned kings and queens in the Eternal Kingdom.   Having one LDS Temple in Paris is much more significant than all the cathédrales of France. 

In part, the beauty of the Reims Cathédrale is reflected in it's stained glass windows.   We have included photos of the main rose windows as an example.   We understand they might be a little difficult to appreciate in these photos - one must really seen them in person to full appreciate them.
Stained Glass - South Transept - Cathédrale Notre Dame - Reims, France
Stained Glass - "Dormition & Assumption de Marie" - Cathédrale Notre Dame - Reims, France
 Unfortunately many of the windows in the Reims Cathédrale, as well as most other cathédrales have so much to do with the Virgin Mary and Catholic Saints.  The windows which present the story of the creation and the life of Jesus Christ are always more interesting to us...... and somehow more beautiful.
Stained Glass - "Qualities of Virgin Marie" - Cathédrale Notre Dame - Reims, France
Stained Glass - North Transept - "La Création" - Cathédrale Notre Dame - Reims, France
 Coq of the Week

This week's coq was found high above the church in Wasigny - a small village in the French Ardennes.   We find that it is impossible to visit the iinterior of most smaller churches in France as they are seldom if ever open.   On the other hand, the coq is always there welcoming visitors.   Who else will do the job........priests are hard to come by these days.......good thing the coqs are more constant.

Many churches are in great disrepair these days.....much more so than fifty years ago.  We enjoy documenting the village churches and their coqs and we do so with the thought that a visitor fifty years from now might not find many to visit.  When the churchs are gone so will be the coqs.  We take pictures while we can and enjoy it while we do.  This coq seems to be contemplating his future.
Coq Girouette - Church - Wasigny, France

1 comment:

  1. Nice report on the Nigerian convert and investigators. Where ever they end up, with the Gospel they can give Nigeria a new and better reputation. Also, thanks for your photos of the Reims cathedral, and especially for your thoughtful little essay. Very good.