On June 10, I’ll be flying to Japan for 2 1/2 weeks to teach a series of seminars on Mormonism. I’ve been invited by an alliance of evangelical churches who want to prepare their members for the LDS missionary presence in Japan. The seminars will be held in Tokyo, Sapporo, Osaka, and Hiroshima. I may also have opportunity to speak at a Bible College. I’ll be covering four subjects:
- The Origins of Mormonism
- The LDS Claim of Restoration
- The LDS Plan of Salvation
- The Book of Mormon
No, I do not speak Japanese. I will rely on able interpreters to help me communicate. I have completed student notes and power point slides and sent them ahead to be translated in advance.
Mormonism does not have a large presence in Japan, with about 125,000 members in almost 300 congregations, but only about 25,000 are estimated to be active. (Find out more about Mormonism in Japan.) It’s hard to know how many LDS missionaries are serving in Japan, but there is a surge of new missionaries there since the LDS Church lowered the eligibility age for missionary service. The LDS Church has two temples in Japan (Tokyo and Fukuoka) with a third under construction (Sapporo). A few popular LDS celebrities do give Mormonism credibility in Japan. And certain elements of Mormon doctrine and culture seem to fit in well with the Japanese culture: such as emphasis on and reverence for ancestors; hard work and responsibility; patriarchal structure; and deference to authority.
While I’m in Asia, I will also spend 3 days in Manila making some connections for Alpine Church.
Because of the generosity of my hosts, I have few expenses for this trip. However, if anyone would like to make a donation to help cover what costs I do have, you can use the “Donate” button to the right. Thank you!