Kiev Ukraine Mormon Temple
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 A.D. 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.
The first Mormon missionaries arrived in the country of Ukraine in October 1990, and in June 1991 the Kiev Branch was formed. In September 1991, Elder Boyd K. Packer and Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Mormon Church arrived to dedicate the land for the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And finally, in October 1991, the missionary work officially began. During 1992, Mormon missionaries began preaching outside of Kiev; preaching in Donetsk, Gorlovka, and Khar’kov. In July 1993, the Ukraine Donetsk Mission was formed.
With the membership of the Mormon Church growing at a steady rate the past thirteen years, and with the dedication and faithfulness of its members, the announcement to build a Mormon Temple was announced by the First Presidency on July 20, 1998. (2006 church statistics show over 10,000 members in Ukraine.)
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 Kiev, 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 Mormon 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: 10,000 sq meters or 2.47 acres); but indicated that the process was being finalized.1
With the founding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Ukraine, many members have found a life that they never knew existed before. “…Before I met the missionaries, I asserted that life was a pool of hopeless boredom and hardships where people tried to entertain themselves as they could…I can’t help standing all amazed at the love the Lord has offered me,” expressed Vadim Malishkevich.
The groundbreaking for the Kiev Ukraine Mormon Temple was held on 23 June 2007 with Paul B. Pieper presiding. The temple is scheduled for completion in mid-2010. Details of the temple interior will include traditional Ukrainian art.
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); and Helsinki, Finland (2006). A temple to be built in Rome, Italy, was announced in October 2008.
It is customary for Latter-day Saints to open the doors of their temples to the public before they are dedicated. It is expected that many thousands of visitors will come to this temple open house to tour the temple and learn about the highest rites of the faith that take place there.
“We are very pleased to be able to invite our friends and neighbors to tour the temple and learn more about this sacred structure,” said Elder Wolfgang H. Paul, president of the Church’s Europe East Area. “We know that many people have passed by the temple during construction and wondered about its purpose. Soon we will be able to welcome them to the temple and explain why the temple is known as the house of the Lord.”
The Kiev Ukraine Temple open house was held August 7 – 21, 2010. A youth cultural celebration for the Kyiv Ukraine Temple was slated for Saturday, August 28, 2010, at Palace “Ukraine” located at Velyka Vasylkivska str., 103. The temple was to be dedicated on August 29 by LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson in three sessions. August 30 would be the opening day for ordinances to be performed.
The Kiev 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 2011. [a]
The temple is located at 1 Yabluneva Street, Sofiivs’ka Borshchagivka, Kyivs’ka Oblast, Ukraine.