100 temples: Why a temple here?

FUKUOKA, Japan — The Fukuoka Japan Temple is small in size, but big in spiritual significance. It was given to us as an answer to prayer.

I was an officiator during the first ordinance sessions in the new temple. I felt the Spirit during those sessions, and the following thoughts passed through my mind.

When the construction of the temple was announced, I felt happy but had a question: Why is God giving a temple to us as saints living in the Nagasaki District of Kyushu, Japan? As I thought about this, I realized that many of the blessings and happy lives we enjoy now could be contrasted with earlier generations of people.

On my island of Kyushu, many early Christians were persecuted and sacrificed their lives for the sake of their religion. During World War II, when the atomic bomb exploded in Nagasaki, many thousands were killed. Because of such sacrifices, we have come to enjoy freedom and peace today.

The spirits of those who died before are now in the Spirit World. No doubt they are thankful for the restoration of the gospel and the construction of a temple in Fukuoka, because sacred ordinances for them can be performed there. However, more than for their own salvation, these spirits rejoice because their posterity will be blessed.

As our Church leaders have taught, many of those who receive the gospel do so because someone in the Spirit World hoped and prayed that they would do so. Now I understood why God chose to give us a temple. It was perhaps a result of the faith and desires of those who sacrificed and died earlier that the later generations of their families would be able to enjoy happy lives.

I am very grateful to President Hinckley for coming to Fukuoka and dedicating our temple. I am grateful to be able to work in that sacred building. I am grateful for the warm thoughts of those who have gone before and the appreciation they now feel. I am grateful for the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and the deep love of our Father in Heaven. I am grateful that He answers prayers, and has inspired me to know why a temple was built in Fukuoka. — Yukihiro Furukawa, Saga Branch, Nagasaki Japan District

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