The Kyiv Ukraine Mormon Temple
The Kyiv Ukraine Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), was announced on July 20, 1998. With great anticipation, and almost a decade later, the site was dedicated and the groundbreaking ceremony held under the direction of Paul B. Pieper, President of the Europe East Area of the Church.
By December of 2008, the scaffolding was in place along the completed exterior walls of the Kyiv Temple in preparation for the laying of exterior stone and for the addition of the well-known spire with Angel Moroni heralding the good news of the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Mormons believe that the Church Christ established while on the earth, and which was lost after his death and that of his apostles, is now again on the earth. The spire of the temple, is symbolic of the resurrected being who appeared to Joseph Smith, a modern prophet chosen by God, with instructions from the Lord, to enable the restoration of all things.
The groundbreaking of this Mormon temple was held on Saturday, June 23, 2007, in tandem with the 97th birthday of President Gordon B. Hinckley, whose impression it was to build mini-temples worldwide, to provide greater access for more worthy Mormons to receive the special ordinances–including marriage for eternity–that occur in these holy edifices, Houses of the Lord.
The Church of Jesus Christ in Ukraine was established in the early nineties, and membership is growing steadily. The first stake (geographical unit including multiple neighborhoods or ward units), was organized on May 30, 2004, by Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Elder Nelson is said to have encouraged members to pursue their family history research in preparation for doing ordinance work in the temple for their ancestors who may not have known the gospel of Jesus Christ in its fulness.
While visiting Europe in 2002 in order to rededicate the Freiberg Germany Temple and dedicate the The Hague Netherlands Temple, President Gordon B. Hinckley met with the Ukrainian saints. Many hoped that the site would be then revealed for the temple in Kyiv, which had been announced four years earlier; but no announcement was forthcoming then. During the trip, President Hinckley did meet with Viktor Bondarenko, chairman of the state committee on religious affairs in Ukraine, who had assisted the Church in securing the property for the hoped-for temple.
The announcement of the temple came just a week prior to the dedication of Ukraine’s first meetinghouse in Donetsk on June 28, 1998.
Before the dedication of the temple as a House of the Lord, a public open house was held from August 7 through 21, 2010. The temple was dedicated on 29 August 2010 by Prophet Thomas S. Monson, and then opened to worthy Latter-day Saints for worship and ordinance work. Along with the dedication, a cultural celebration was held which featured Mormon youth from regions round about:
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Carrie A. Moore, «LDS Church making inroads in Ukraine,» Deseret News 28 Sept. 2002, 3 Nov. 2002.
«A temple in Ukraine,» Church News 8 Aug. 1998: 3.