The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Mormon Temples

Sapporo Japan

Sapporo Japan Temple

The Sapporo Japan Temple is currently under construction in a city made famous for hosting the 1972 Winter Olympics. It will become the third temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints built in Japan, following the Tokyo Japan Temple, dedicated in 1980, and the Fukuoka Japan Temple, dedicated in 2000. The Sapporo Japan Temple will also be the sixth temple in Asia and will serve Church members living within stakes (dioceses) on and near Japan’s northernmost island of Hokkaido.

Faithful Latter-day Saints living in and near Sapporo are ecstatic to witness temple walls rising in their midst. At present, Sapporo Saints travel approximately 500 miles over two days to worship in the Tokyo Japan Temple. They make these sacrifices because temples are essential to Latter-day Saint worship and are different than meetinghouses in which Sunday services are held. In temples, patrons make promises to God, receive greater spiritual empowerment to live holier lives and are married for eternity.

Once completed, the Sapporo Japan Temple will house sealing rooms, or rooms where marriages are performed; a baptistry; a celestial room, or a room symbolic of heaven where patrons pray and contemplate; and instruction rooms, where patrons learn more about the gospel of Jesus Christ. The exterior of the temple will be a contemporary design, and its spire will be capped with a gold-leafed statue of the ancient Book of Mormon prophet Moroni. The statue’s trumpet symbolizes the spreading of Jesus Christ’s gospel over the earth. Impeccable landscaping will invite patrons and the public alike to enjoy the peaceful temple grounds and consider the beauty of God’s creations.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the Sapporo Japan Temple was held on October 22, 2011, during driving wind and rain. Despite inclement weather, Church members and other guests attended, including one of Japan’s former prime ministers, Yukio Hatoyama. He expressed gratitude to Latter-day Saints for their voluntary disaster relief efforts following Japan’s devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Church leader Gary E. Stevenson said of the occasion, “Everything today was wet with rain, but the spirit of the saints was not dampened at all. They came with their hearts open and with complete joy as they saw the image of the temple at the groundbreaking ceremony. You could see that their eyes and hearts were just filled with joy to know that they are going to have a house of the Lord on the island.”1

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has existed in Japan since three Mormon missionaries arrived in 1901 along with Church apostle Heber J. Grant. Although missionary efforts subsided for a time, the Church began to flourish in Japan following World War II. As of 2014, there were nearly 127,000 Latter-day Saints in Japan.

Sapporo, a former host of the Olympics, is gaining a new kind of prominence — this time for spiritual reasons. As construction continues and temple walls climb higher, the Sapporo Latter-day Saints are filled with anticipation of the sacred services soon to take place within.

1 “Groundbreaking Held for Sapporo Japan Temple,” Mormon Newsroom, Oct. 22, 2011, http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/groundbreaking-sapporo-japan-temple.

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