Monday, August 30, 2010

LDS President Thomas S. Monson Dedicates 134th Mormon Temple In Kyiv (Kiev), Ukraine; Thousands Gather To Celebrate

The bad news which rocked the LDS community in Visalia, California was offset by good news from Kyiv, Ukraine. President Thomas S. Monson and other dignitaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints formally dedicated the new temple in Kyiv on August 30th, 2010. Joining President Monson for the dedication ceremonies were President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency; Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles; Elder William R. Walker of the Quorums of the Seventy and executive director of the church's temple department, the wives of the latter three leaders and the East Europe Area presidency. Primary media stories published by the Deseret News and LDS Church News HERE and HERE (with numerous photos); KSL Channel 5 news video embedded below:

Video Courtesy of

The Sunday dedication was preceded on Saturday by a series of cultural events, which included a program at the Palace Ukraine Concert Hall. Thousands of Church members gathered for the cultural celebration Saturday; many sang and danced in traditional costumes to express their joy over the new temple. You can now read the full text of President Monson's dedicatory prayer HERE.

The Kyiv Temple is the 134th operational temple in the Church's inventory and the 11th in Europe. According to some people who attended the open house, the temple grounds not only include a stake center, but also patron housing to accommodate people traveling long distances. Only 20 years passed from the time missionaries first appeared in Ukraine in 1990 until the temple's dedication. Although then-President Gordon B. Hinckley first announced the Kyiv Temple in 1998, government delays in the land purchase and then construction permits held up the groundbreaking until 2007. The temple will serve LDS members from Armenia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Romania, Russia and Ukraine. Read more about the temple's specs HERE.

Reaction was quite positive. Parhonenko Konstytyn said, "It was incredible. The spirit was so strong. It's just hard to explain and hard to describe the feelings that I had in the temple." For member Katya Konstytyn, the dedication had personal significance. "Thirteen years of our membership, this was the first time that our family was able to go to the temple and the feelings there were incredible," she said. And Arina Detkovskaya added, "I felt great. It was great to be there, and you could feel that you're ascending to heaven there. You feel that it's a great temple that will be able to serve the Ukrainian people." Many of these people previously had to travel as long as 33 hours to get to the temple in Freiberg, Germany.

Now the temple -- and its blessings -- are much more accessible to them. Read more about the purpose of temples HERE.

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