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Video: How there’s a ‘Culture of Temples’ in Japan

Japan has a ‘temple-going society,’ Elder Gary E. Stevenson observes during the Okinawa Japan Temple dedication

Japanese Latter-day Saints “are some of the most active temple-going, temple-attending, temple-worshiping Latter-day Saints in the whole world,” said Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

In this Church News video, titled “Culture of Temples,” Elder Stevenson speaks of Japanese Church members and the Okinawa Japan Temple, which he dedicated Nov. 12, 2023. “They are a temple-going society,” he said. “It’s part of their culture. Any holiday in Japan is assuredly going to include a visit to a local temple or shrine.”

In 1974, Elder Stevenson was called as a young missionary to the Japan Fukuoka Mission. He returned with his family, when he and his wife, Sister Lesa Stevenson, were called as leaders of the Japan Nagoya Mission, and then when he was assigned to serve in the Church’s Asia North Area presidency, which is headquartered in Tokyo. 

He said it is special to have a temple in Okinawa, “an absolute dream come true for them to think about having a temple on the island of Okinawa.”

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Episode 163: Elder Gary E. Stevenson on the Okinawa Japan Temple — a symbol of peace in a land once defined by war
In a place once defined by war, Elder Stevenson dedicates the Okinawa Japan Temple — a symbol of peace and unity
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