Fukuoka Japan Temple

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Announced: May 7, 1998.

Location: 46 hirao Josui-Machi, Chuo-Ku, Fukuokashi, Fukuoka-ken 810-0029, Japan; phone: (81) 92-525-8255.

Site: .5 acres.

Exterior finish: Two granites: Empress White and Majestic Grey granite from China.

Temple design: Traditional.

Architect: Kanji Moriya and Church A&E Services.

Project manager: Jerry Sears.

Contractor: Taisei Construction Co.

Rooms: Celestial room, two endowment rooms, two sealing rooms, and a baptistry.

Total floor area: 10,700 square feet.

Dimensions: 149 by 77 feet.

District: Four stakes, five districts in southern Japan.

Groundbreaking, site dedication: March 20, 1999, by Elder L. Lionel Kendrick of the Seventy, president of the Asia North Area.

Dedication: June 11, 2000, by President Gordon B. Hinckley; 4 sessions.

Dedicatory Prayer

Done by President Gordon B. Hinckley

Thou Almighty God, Thou the great Judge of the nations, permit us to come unto Thee in prayer on this day of dedication. Thou art our Father whom we love even as we also love Thy Son, our Redeemer. Hear our prayer and inspire us and direct us as we speak with Thee. We thank Thee for this sacred temple, this House of the Lord, which has been constructed here in southern Japan. Thy people in this area may now come to Thy house with greater frequency and with greater ease.

Bless Thy Saints of this great nation. Magnify them, inspire them, bless them among the millions of this land that by the virtue of their lives they may stand as a city upon a hill whose light cannot be hid. Prosper them in their labors. May they never lack for food upon their tables or clothing on their backs or a shelter over their heads. There are so many true and wonderful souls among them, who love Thee and love Thy Son and seek to do Thy will. Reward them for their faith. Open the windows of heaven and let blessings come down upon them.

We pray for the missionaries, both those from Japan and those from other nations, that they may be magnified, that they may be rewarded in their labors, that their faith may be strong and their testimonies of Thy work sure and certain. Lead them to those who will accept the truth.

And now, dear Father, assembled as we are together, acting in the authority of the priesthood in us vested and in the name of our Redeemer, we dedicate and consecrate this the Fukuoka Japan Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Thou didst inspire the decision to build it, and now please accept it as the gift of Thy thankful sons and daughters. We dedicate the grounds, the entire structure with all of its rooms and facilities, even to the steeple with the crowning figure of Moroni, that the seal of Thy divine will may be upon it, that it may be acceptable unto Thee and sacred unto all who shall use it, that it shall stand through sunshine and storm, that it shall be kept inviolate from any evil temptation to deface it or harm it in any way. May none who is unworthy enter its portals. To all who serve here may it be the Lord's house, to be kept clean and beautiful, to be held in reverence and respect, to be honored as sacred and holy.

Bless those who come to partake of the ordinances here administered, that Thy Holy Spirit may rest upon them, and that they may rejoice in their hearts over the great blessings here to be gained. Grant unto them a vision of the eternal nature of Thy work. May they here worship Thee in spirit and in truth.

We invoke Thy blessings upon Thy people throughout the earth wherever Thy work may be established. Inspire and magnify and make their testimonies strong and certain.

Now, dear Father, Thy work has been established across the world in very many areas. Wilt Thou inspire all who serve therein, whatever may be their duty, be it large or small. May they find joy in their service. We pray for the temple presidency, for the matron and her assistants. Grant them strength and energy in their heavy responsibilities. We likewise pray for the leaders of Thy cause and kingdom in all the earth. May they be sustained by Thy divine power, and wilt Thou reveal unto them direction in moving forward Thy work that it may spread to all nations, kindreds, tongues, and peoples.

To Thee and to Thy Son be the honor, the praise, and the glory now and forever, we humbly pray in the name of Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of the world, amen.

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

Fukuoka: Japan's southern center

By Greg Hill

FUKUOKA, Japan — About the time it was beginning to flourish in Japan, the Church was discovered by a young man named Kazuhiko Yamashita. He joined the Church in 1971, a short time after the first stake was organized in the Asian nation and today he is president of the eighth stake organized in the country — the Fukuoka Japan Stake on the southern island of Kyushu.

He acknowledged during a Church News interview the great blessings the gospel has brought into his life, the life of his family, and to the Church in general in this southern port city, one of Japan's 10 largest cities.

Due in part to its relative proximity to mainland Asia, Fukuoka has developed into a thriving city as a commercial, financial and transportation center. Overlaying the ancient city of Hakata, Fukuoka has quintessential Japanese culture. Narrow streets lined with residences and small shops surround a modern commercial district of large department stores and malls. Shrines and parks are prevalent. A newer section of the city built on land reclaimed from Hakata Bay is home to Hawks Town, an entertainment center which includes a shopping mall, Japan's first retractable-roof stadium, and the Fukuoka Tower with its observation deck 400 feet up.

When it was decided to build a second temple in Japan, Fukuoka was the choice because it is the center of the southern part of Japan, Pres. Yamashita said. And now, to Pres. Yamashita and other members of the Church in the region, the most important feature of the city is the newly-dedicated Fukuoka Japan Temple. Nestled among the lush greenery of the city's zoo and botanical gardens, the temple is the Church's focus for members on the islands of Kyushu and Shikoku as well as the southern part of Honshu.

As the temple progressed through construction toward the open house and dedication, members were increasingly eager to introduce their friends and neighbors to the gospel and invite them to the open house, according to Pres. Yamashita. He also noted that the spirit of the temple rekindled activity among some members who had become less active.

Meanwhile, President Yamashita, his wife, Tazuko, and their six children set an enduring example of faithfulness. Oldest son Takahiko recently began serving in the Japan Tokyo North Mission. He, along with sisters Hiromi and Satomi, are among the many teenagers in the stake who have or are currently increasing their testimonies and gospel knowledge in early-morning seminary classes held throughout the stake. Another sister, Misuzu, and brothers Masahiko and Nobuhiko look up to their older siblings and are following in their footsteps.

The family is continuing the heritage that began when young Kazuhiko Yamashita visited the Church's pavilion at the Expo 70 in Osaka. He was impressed by the exhibit's film "Man's Search for Happiness" and turned in a self-referral. A short time later the missionaries called on him.

"Those missionaries were great," he said. "They were a good example to me. I was interested in their life and service. They were young and polite, and I wanted to hear their message."

It still took some time before he was baptized, and then he said he had trouble with activity on Sunday because school work was so demanding as he was finishing high school.

"The stake missionaries followed up and brought me back into the Church," he said.

Sister Yamashita remembered that it was a few years later that she started a search for the truth. "I went to Church and asked the missionaries what a commandment is," she said. She was interested in the message but said she wasn't able to pray sincerely to ask about the truth. Then a brother of hers died, and while going through that tragedy, she said she was humbled enough to pray. Soon she "received an answer from Father in Heaven." She joined the Church in 1974.

She later served in the Japan Tokyo North Mission and in her last area she met "a very nice boy," Kazuhiko Yamashita, who was in the ward and was a member of the stake mission presidency.

A month after she returned home to Kyushu she wrote to Kazuhiko and thanked him for his help while she was serving her mission. Pres. Yamashita said the letter arrived "express mail," and since it cost more than regular mail he knew it must be important.

Sister Yamashita remembered he answered quickly. Translating into English, she said the answer included the request: "Please have date."

"She had touched my heart," Pres. Yamashita said.

The couple had three long-distance dates in three months; she traveled twice with her father to Tokyo and he journeyed once to her home in Kyushu. They set their sights on the dedication of the Tokyo Japan Temple in October 1980, and were married there the following March.

Ultimately, they were drawn back to Kyushu where he is now a professor at Fukuoka University. They said the move was made easy because they looked up their new ward, the Fujisaki Ward, and were warmly welcomed by its members.

Now that warmth is shared again by the Yamashitas to bless the lives of others.

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