We started Meridian with a vision, that this magazine could be a gathering place for Saints from around the world, a place to find community and inspiration and grounding in a world that too often assaults our values. In the eight years that we have been publishing, the magazine has come to be all that and more as we’ve seen readers from 196 countries and territories find a home here-more than 500,000 a month. We’ve watched our more than 100 regular writers give readers encouragement and education, gospel insights that bring light to the day.
We are so happy that Meridian is an important part of our readers’ lives, but our dream goes farther. We have always wanted to see Meridian go into multiple languages. We know that we all belong to an international Church and our members speak many tongues. We also are acutely aware that the English-speaking Saints have far more materials, books, scholarship and articles about the Church than any other group.
But dreaming of doing something and actually accomplishing it are two different things. We have looked for those who would be the champions of foreign language editions. Then a few months ago Wade Fillmore came into our lives. He sent us an email saying that he and his wife Joanne had just finished a mission in Japan in December where one of their callings was to improve and expand the Japan country website for the Church.
Blessed with capable members, they were able to achieve their goals to a large degree. However, they felt that they could do more, and, they approached us with the idea of doing another website for the benefit of Japanese members-a Meridian Japanese.
This site would draw upon the more than 14,000 articles that Meridian has published for its base, as well as be the source of new, original stories on the Japanese members that could be translated into English as well for the benefit of Meridian’s English-speaking readers.
According to Wade, members of the Church in Japan are well educated, intelligent, and anxious to learn. Like their fellow citizens, they love to read and have time to do so as they commute on trains to and from work, sometimes two or three hours one way. A reader of Meridian almost from its beginning, the Fillmores want to provide Japanese members with the same kind of high quality information and inspiration found on Meridian.
Wade said, “I believe that by providing members of the Church in Japan with excellent additional reading material from faithful members and leaders of the Church, they will increase in faith and understanding of the Gospel and will be better able to assist in the growth of the Church in Japan. And I am sure that growth will come. I would like to hurry it along.”
Many Japanese members stepped forward and volunteered to translate articles, and the result is a website – Meridian Japanese – already to go. It can be found at http://familyhist.org/meridianjapan
The website, of course, is in Japanese, and so will only show up on your computer as gobbledygook unless you have installed a Japanese language pack on your computer. Those who can access it, however, are truly excited.
If you have Japanese friends and contacts, please pass the word along that Meridian is now available in Japanese.