Kyiv Ukraine Temple

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Kyiv Ukraine Temple

The Kyiv Ukraine Temple is the 130th announced temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Ukraine is the second-largest country in Europe and is commonly referred to as "the breadbasket," because of its many fertile farms. Eighty-percent of the 53 million Ukrainians are Orthodox Christians, due to Christianity being introduced into the country in AD 988. After obtaining its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, Ukraine is now a democratic nation and is enjoying a resurgence of culture and language.

On 7 October 1990, two Latter-day Saint missionaries, Ivan Stratov and Brian Bradbury, were transferred from Austria Vienna East Mission to Kyiv. They had a list of referrals and were accompanied by President Dennis B. Neuenschwander. A month later, Valeriy Stravichenko became the first person to be baptized in Ukraine on 25 November 1990, in the Dnieper River. Brother Stravichenko was called as the president of the first branch in Ukraine six months later on 9 June 1991.

Though the growth of the Church in Ukraine was steady, it had to be done carefully and methodically. Then, Verkhovna Rada, the parliament of Ukraine proclaimed the country's independence on 24 August 1991. Elders Boyd K. Packer and Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles arrived on 12 September 1991 and dedicated Ukraine for the preaching of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ at a park near the Dnieper River.

In his prayer, Elder Packer said, "We see the day when there will be scattered in the villages here and there a member and yet another member and then a gathering and then a branch and, in due time, stakes of Zion set firmly and permanently upon the fertile soil of Ukraine. And in due time, the spires of temples will be seen across this great land."

A few days later The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was officially registered with the city of Kyiv.

According to the Church’s official history of activity in Ukraine, the mission president Howard L. Biddulph prayed about the delay in official registration. Not long after, an official arrived at the little branch.

On the first Sunday of August, Viktor Cherinko, a Deputy of the City Soviet (the legislative assembly for Kyiv), attended Church services. Cherinko had heard good things about the Latter-day Saints and wanted to investigate. President Biddulph explained his desire that the Church be registered and Cherinko agreed to help. A few weeks later, Mr. Cherinko introduced a bill to register "The Kyiv Community of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints," which was passed at midnight on 9 September 1991.

Missionary Work Officially Begun in Ukraine

In October 1991, the missionary work officially began. With a small missionary force of 23, the Church quickly expanded and approximately 160 people were baptized in 1991.

The Ukraine Kyiv Mission was established in February 1992. On 13 March 1992, Oleksiy Roms became the first missionary to be called from Ukraine. Latter-day Saint missionaries began preaching outside of Kyiv; preaching in Donetsk, Gorlovka, and Khar'kov. Soon other branches and districts were formed.

In July 1993, the Ukraine Donetsk Mission was formed. The first seminary and institute classes were also held in 1993.

Continued Growth and Recognition of the Church in Ukraine

Throughout this continued growth, the Church was still not nationally recognized and sought official status. This recognition finally came on 30 July 1996. In that same year, Oleksandr Manzhos became the first mission president from Ukraine, serving as president of the Ukraine Donetsk Mission.

The first meetinghouses in Ukraine were dedicated in Donetsk on 28 June 1998, with two meetinghouses in Kyiv following a few years later in early September 2001.

Steven and Jean Struck, Ukrainian natives who had moved to Canada, returned to the country and put together a team to translate the Book of Mormon in Ukrainian. The Book of Mormon in Ukrainian was published in 1997.

President Gordon B. Hinckley became the first prophet to visit Ukraine in 2002 and the first stake was organized by Elder Russell M. Nelson in 2004.

Announcement to Build a Temple in Kiev

With the membership of the Church of Jesus Christ growing at a steady rate the past few years, and with the dedication and faithfulness of its members, the announcement to build a temple in Kyiv was announced by the First Presidency on 20 July 1998.

In 2002, while on a trip to Europe to rededicate the Freiberg Germany Temple and dedicate The Hague Netherlands Temple, President Gordon B. Hinckley visited the Ukrainian Church members. He encouraged them to remain faithful, but he did not reveal the site for the temple in Kyiv, which he had announced four years earlier. During the trip, President Hinckley did meet with Viktor Bondarenko, chairman of the state committee on religious affairs in Ukraine, who was assisting the Church in acquiring property for the building of the Latter-day Saint Temple. During a trip to Utah, Mr. Bondarenko indicated that securing the property for the temple had been a major complication since it required about 3 or 4 hectares (1 hectare equals 2.47 acres); but indicated that the process was being finalized. [1]

By June 2006, the Kyiv Ukraine Temple was in the planning and developmental stages. However, details of the interior of the temple were revealed and it was noted that the temple would include traditional Ukrainian art.

By June 2007, the land issue was largely resolved, and on 23 June 23 2007, ground was broken for the temple. That date was chosen to coincide with President Hinckley's 97th birthday, and the temple was scheduled to take two years to complete. The temple has a similar although not exact exterior design as the Draper Utah Temple. A large central window is visible above the front doors, reminiscent of imagery evoked by Mussorgsky's 'The Great Gate of Kyiv', the final grand movement from his 'Pictures at an Exhibition'.

Update, April 2010

The Kyiv Ukraine Temple is the Church’s first in Eastern Europe and the 11th overall on the European continent. It will serve approximately 31,000 members of the Church living in 13 European countries. Other European temples of the Church are located in Bern, Switzerland (dedicated 1955); London, England (1958); Freiberg, Germany (1985); Stockholm, Sweden (1985); Frankfurt, Germany (1987); Preston, England (1998); Madrid, Spain (1999); The Hague, Netherlands (2002); Copenhagen, Denmark (2004); Helsinki, Finland (2006); Paris France Temple (2017); Rome Italy Temple (2019); and Lisbon Portugal Temple (2019). The construction of more temples in Norway, Belgium, Austria, Russia, Hungary, a third temple in England, and a second temple in Spain have been announced.

It is customary for Latter-day Saints to open the doors of their temples to the public before they are dedicated. It was expected that many thousands of visitors would come to the temple open house to tour the temple and learn about the highest rites of the faith that take place there.

The Kyiv Ukraine Temple open house was held 7 August - 21 August 2010. A youth cultural celebration for the Kyiv Ukraine Temple was held on Saturday, 28 August 2010, at Palace "Ukraine" located at Velyka Vasylkivska str., 103. The temple was dedicated on Sunday, 29 August 2010 by Church President Thomas S. Monson in three sessions. The temple opened for the performance of ordinances on Monday, 30 August 2010.

Update, December 2011

The Kyiv Ukraine Temple received first place for the best religious building constructed in Ukraine in 2010. The award was given by the Ministry of Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Communal Services of Ukraine in September. [1]

The temple is located at 1 Yabluneva Street, Sofiivs'ka Borshchagivka, Kyivs'ka Oblast, Ukraine.

Update, February 2022

Due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the temple has suspended all operations and ordinances until further notice.

The Church in Ukraine Today

In 2016, local members celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Church in Ukraine. As of 2022, the Church is home to a little over 11,000 members, 12 wards, 34 branches, 2 stakes, and 2 missions.[2]

Videos of the Kyiv Ukraine Temple

Notes

  1. www.lds.org: Kiev Ukraine Temple

External links