KIEV, Ukraine — Nearly nine years since its announcement, ground was broken for the Kiev Ukraine Temple on Saturday, June 23, 2007, coinciding with the 97th birthday of President Gordon B. Hinckley. The event is indeed a fitting tribute to this inspired leader, whose program for accelerated temple construction worldwide paved the way for this temple in Ukraine. 1
Though introduced just 13 years ago, the Church is growing steadily in this eastern European nation. Now 8,500 members strong, the Church in Ukraine reached a milestone on May 30, 2004, when Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles organized the first stake of seven wards in Kiev (Kyiv).
Elder Nelson blessed members to love their neighbors as Christ that many more stakes might be organized. He also encouraged them in their family history work in preparation for the temple.2
During a trip to Europe in 2002 that included the rededication of the Freiberg Germany Temple and dedication of the The Hague Netherlands Temple, President Gordon B. Hinckley visited with the Ukrainian saints. Many hoped that the site would be pinpointed for the temple in Kiev, which had been announced four years earlier; but no announcement was made.
During the trip, President Hinckley did meet with Viktor Bondarenko, chairman of the state committee on religious affairs in Ukraine, who is assisting the Church to acquire property. In an interview during a September 2002 trip to Utah, Bondarenko indicated that as far as he was aware, the process of securing land for the temple was then being finalized noting that the major obstacle had been the large amount of land, about 3 or 4 hectares, requested by the Church. 3
The announcement of the temple came just a week prior to the dedication of Ukraine’s first meetinghouse in Donetsk on June 28, 1998.4
This article was prepared by the staff of LDSChurchTemples.com.
1 David McQueen, “Kiev Temple,” Online posting, 24 Jun. 2007, 25 Jun.2007(http://www.mission.net/ukraine/donetsk/news.php?nID=4206).
2 Shaun D. Stahle, “Kiev members revere historic moment,” Church News 5 Jun. 2004: 6.
3 Carrie A. Moore, “LDS Church making inroads in Ukraine,” Deseret News 28 Sept. 2002, 3 Nov. 2002 (http://deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249,410015406,00.html).
4 “A temple in Ukraine,” Church News 8 Aug. 1998: 3.