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President Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints formally dedicated the Sapporo Japan Temple in three dedicatory sessions Sunday, August 21, 2016. President Nelson was accompanied by Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Elder Larry Y. Wilson of the Seventy and assistant executive director of the Church’s Temple Department. All sessions were broadcast to meetinghouses throughout Japan, enabling thousands of Latter-day Saints to participate.
More than 13,000 people attended a public open house for the newly completed temple in July.
On Saturday evening, August 20, youth of the Church in the area performed in a cultural celebration honoring Japan’s history as well as the history of the Church in the country.
“We have the exciting privilege of being part of this latter-day work, when the gospel will go to every nation and those people of Japan particularly now will be able to have all the blessings of the temple,” said President Nelson during the cultural celebration.
The 48,480-square-foot Sapporo Japan Temple sits on 9.8 acres and is located at 1-6-1 Ooyachi-Nishi, Atsubetsu-ku Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido, Japan. A statue of the angel Moroni sits on top of its single spire.
President Thomas S. Monson announced the temple at the October 2009 general conference. Ground was broken October 22, 2011. It will serve more than 8,000 Latter-day Saints who live on the island of Hokkaido and in Aomori, the northernmost prefecture of the main island of Honshu.
The Sapporo Japan Temple is the Church’s third temple in Japan and the 151st operating temple worldwide. The Tokyo Japan Temple was dedicated in 1980 and was the first temple in Asia. TheFukuoka Japan Temple opened in 2000.
The Church has more than 128,000 members, 266 congregations and seven missions in Japan.
Latter-day Saint temples differ from the meetinghouses or chapels where members meet for Sunday worship services. Temples are considered “houses of the Lord” where Christ’s teachings are reaffirmed through marriage, baptism and other ordinances that unite families for eternity. Inside the temple, members learn more about the purpose of life and make covenants to serve God and their fellow man.