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President Henry B. Eyring Rededicates Tokyo Japan Temple

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President Henry B. Eyring, second counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, rededicated the Tokyo Japan Temple Sunday, on July 3, 2022.

Originally dedicated more than 40 years ago as the 18th operating temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the temple is now one of 173 dedicated temples worldwide.

The Tokyo Japan Temple closed on September 29, 2017, to undergo extensive renovations to its interior and exterior. A four-story annex added to the temple houses a visitors’ center, chapel, area and mission offices, and a family history center. Improvements were also made at the temple to meet current seismic standards.

A rededicated temple in Tokyo, President Eyring said, “is a great thing for this nation. It is a great thing in the world to have a temple of God. I feel grateful just to be here.”

President Eyring was joined by Elder Gary E. Stevenson, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles who has strong ties to Japan.

Also in attendance were Elder James R. Rasband and Elder John A. McCune, General Authority Seventies and members of the Asia North Area presidency, their wives, Sister Mary Rasband and Sister Debbra McCune, and Sister Naomi Wada, wife of Elder Takashi Wada, General Authority Seventy and president of the Asia North Area.

President Eyring loves Japan and its people. Many of his own relatives have lived and served as missionaries in the “Land of the Rising Sun.”

“When I come here, I feel like I’m coming home,” he said.

A day prior to Sunday’s rededication, President Eyring and Elder Stevenson spoke of their love for and confidence in the Japanese Latter-day Saints — and for the blessings the rededicated temple will bring to families and neighbors.

Japan is part of Elder Stevenson’s “spiritual DNA.” As a young full-time missionary, he served in the Japan Fukuoka Mission, acquiring a love for the Japanese culture and language that would later serve him well in ecclesiastical duties he could not have imagined as a young man.

He presided over the Japan Nagoya Mission from 2004 to 2007 and, as a General Authority Seventy, served as both a counselor and later the president of the Asia North Area.

Now a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Elder Stevenson spoke of the recent Tokyo temple open house. “We had 19,000 people come to the temple open house — including many influential people in Japan from government, commerce, education, and religion,” he said.

The two leaders underscored the intrinsic link in Japan connecting strong members to prolific temple building.

“It is hard not to talk about temples, when you talk about how the Japanese members will be able to grow and strengthen themselves in their families,” said Elder Stevenson, adding “Japanese people are already remarkable temple-going people. It is their culture.”

Besides the rededicated temple in Tokyo, temples are operating in the Japanese cities of Fukuoka and Sapporo. Meanwhile, a future Japanese temple is under construction in Okinawa.

“This temple is our source of inspiration,” said Tokyo Latter-day Saint Shinji Takabori. “Many temple-goers, including patrons and temple workers, have been waiting for this day when our temple reopens.”

Even as local Latter-day Saints here look to future opportunities to worship, learn and grow within the walls of the rededicated Tokyo Japan Temple, they remain mindful of its key place in Church history.

The Tokyo Japan Temple — dedicated on Oct. 27, 1980, by then-Church President Spencer W. Kimball — was not only the first Latter-day Saint temple in Japan, but also the first temple built across Asia.

The refurbished 53,779-square-foot Tokyo Japan Temple is distinctly Japanese. Several exterior features and much of the foliage encircling the temple are indigenous to the region — including landscaping improvements that include Japanese maples and bamboo. Two Japanese-style shallow ponds and a waterfall round out the exterior highlights.

Interior patterns used in the art glass, carpets and fabrics were inspired by traditional Japanese patterns seen in kimono fabric, shoij screens and other historic Japanese art.

Japan is home to more than 130,000 members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in approximately 260 congregations.

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