News Release

Four Longtime Friends Visit Okinawa Temple 


In the April 2019 General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, President Russell M. Nelson announced the construction of eight new temples. One of those was the Okinawa City, Okinawa Temple. Four friends, all in their 90s, made a promise to each other at that time; they would live long enough to enter the Okinawa Temple together. 

Their promise was fulfilled when, on September 28th, 2023, Sister Teru Makiya (97), Sister Toyoko Uechi (98), Sister Atsuko Nakada (99), and Sister Sadako Tomihara (100) all toured the temple open house together. 

In his conference address, President Nelson said, “... we regard a temple as the most sacred structure in the church.” Before sharing the list of new temples, he admonished the members, “If I announce a temple in a place that is special to you, may I suggest that you … bow your head with a silent prayer of gratitude in your heart.” 

These four sisters of the Okinawa Japan Stake recognize the sacred nature of the temple. Their commitment to the gospel and to each other is evident in the effort they made to be in the temple, despite their individual challenges to make it happen. They see the fulfillment of their dream as a miracle. Throughout the years, they have given their heart, strength, and time to the Lord. As they parted ways that day, the sisters smiled and agreed that the next time all four of them meet, they may likely be on the other side of the veil, in the next life. It will be joyful! 

“During His earthly ministry, the Lord regarded the temple as a sacred place and taught reverence for it. We have been instructed to build temples so that holy ordinances may be performed for both the living and the dead. These ordinances include initiatory ordinances, endowments, marriages, sealings, baptisms for the dead, and ordinations.” (‘Holy Temples, Sacred Covenants’, Silvia H. Allred, 1st Counselor General Relief Society Presidency, October, 2008). 

The Okinawa Temple will be dedicated by Elder Gary E. Stevenson in two sessions, on Sunday, November 12th , and will open for ordinance work beginning on November 23rd.  

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