This temple is the fourth in Japan and the 186th worldwide, according to the church.
According to a Church Newsroom release, Elder Stevenson said that Japan has “some of the most active temple-going, temple-attending, temple-worshipping Latter-day Saints in the whole world.”
The Okinawa temple district reportedly includes 5,500 Latter-day Saints in 12 congregations, including members of the Japanese-speaking Okinawa Japan Stake and the English-speaking Okinawa Japan Military District.
To celebrate both groups, two dedicatory sessions were held — one in English and one in Japanese.
“Every member was able to attend a session in the language of their heart,” Elder Stevenson said.
He continued, saying that the gospel of Jesus Christ has navigated its way through difficulties, through cultural differences, and through language barriers to find itself established on the island of Okinawa.
President Russel M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced the temple for Okinawa on April 7, 2019, during the April 2019 general conference, according to the church. During the temple’s open house, nearly 8,000 people reportedly toured the sacred building.