Kyiv_templeThe public is invited to tour the newly completed Kyiv Ukraine Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the first temple of the Church built in Eastern Europe.

The First Presidency of the Church has announced a public open house beginning Saturday, 7 August 2010, and continuing through Saturday, 21 August 2010, excluding Sundays. Public tours are available on Mondays from 8:00 to 17:00, and Tuesdays through Saturdays from 8:00 to 20:00.

The temple is located on Yabluneva Street in Sofiivska Borshagivka Village. Tours consisting of a 12-minute video presentation and a 25-minute walking tour will begin at the meetinghouse adjacent to the temple. Free parking is available at the temple site.

Following the public open house, the temple will be formally dedicated on Sunday, 29 August 2010. Three dedicatory sessions will be held to accommodate Church members in the area who will be served by the new temple.

The Kyiv Ukraine Temple is the Church’s 134th operating temple worldwide and the 11th on the European continent. 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.

The Kyiv Ukraine Temple was announced on 20 July 1998. Ground was broken for the temple’s construction on 23 June 2007. The temple’s exterior covered in Amarelo Macieira granite, which is a light in color and has quartzite crystals designed to reflect sunlight. The spire of the temple is 42 meters tall, and is crowned with a gilded Angel Moroni statue. Moroni is significant to members of the Church for his role in the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Latter-day Saint temples differ from the meetinghouses or chapels where members meet for Sunday worship services. Temples are considered “houses of the Lord” where Christ’s teachings are reaffirmed through baptism and other ordinances that unite families for eternity. In the temple, Church members learn more about the purpose of life and make covenants to follow Jesus Christ and serve their fellow man. Though only recently introduced in 1991, the Church has grown steadily in Ukraine. At the end of 2009 there were 10,722 Church members organized into 64 congregations. Overall, the temple will serve approximately 31,000 members of the Church living in nine European nations.

When the temple is formally dedicated, it will be open to members of the Church who are actively engaged in the faith — unlike the thousands of standard church meetinghouses that are open to everyone for regular Sunday services, regardless of religious affiliation (see Newsroom article explaining difference between chapels and temples).

Formal temple work will commence at the Kyiv Ukraine Temple on Monday, 30 August 2010.