In a historic announcement during the semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Sunday, October 1, 2023, President Russell M. Nelson revealed plans to construct a new temple in Osaka, Japan. This development marks a significant milestone for the growing LDS community in Japan and reflects the Church’s commitment to its global membership.
With a metropolitan population of approximately 19 million people, Osaka, located on the main island of Honshu, is a bustling port city that serves as a vital cultural and economic hub in Japan. The Osaka Japan Temple will become the fifth temple in the country, joining existing temples in Fukuoka, Sapporo, and Tokyo. The Okinawa Japan Temple is set to be dedicated by Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on Sunday, November 12, 2023, further emphasizing the Church’s presence and growth in Japan.
The decision to build a temple in Osaka reflects the Church’s commitment to serving its more than 130,000 members in Japan, spread across approximately 230 congregations. President Nelson’s announcement resonated with the faithful gathered for the conference and members worldwide, as it underscores the importance of temples in the lives of Latter-day Saints.
In his prerecorded remarks during the conference, President Nelson emphasized the significance of temples, stating, “Spending more time in the temple builds faith. And your service and worship in the temple will help you to think celestial. The temple is a place of revelation. There you are shown how to progress toward a celestial life. There you are drawn closer to the Savior and given greater access to His power.”
President Nelson’s announcement was part of a broader revelation that includes the construction of 20 new temples worldwide. These temples will be located in various regions, from the Pacific islands of Savai’i, Samoa, and Kahului, Hawaii, to cities in North America like Fairbanks, Alaska, and Vancouver, Washington. Other locations include regions in South America, Africa, and Asia.
This announcement is historic in its own right, as it is the second-highest number of temples to be announced simultaneously in the history of the Church. The Church of Jesus Christ currently operates 177 temples, with 59 under construction or renovation and 99 in the planning and design phase. These temples serve as sacred spaces for members to perform ordinances and make covenants that are considered of eternal significance.
The Osaka Japan Temple will undoubtedly become a cherished spiritual center for Latter-day Saints in the region, allowing them to more readily access the blessings and guidance that temples provide. As President Nelson declared, “The Lord is directing us to build these temples to help us think celestial.” The temple in Osaka represents a beacon of faith, hope, and love in a city teeming with millions of souls seeking divine light and truth.
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