The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced dates for the public open house and dedication of the nearly completed Kyiv Ukraine Temple. The public will be invited to visit the Kyiv Ukraine Temple during an open house that will run from Saturday, 7 August 2010, through Saturday, 21 August 2010 (except for Sundays). The temple will be formally dedicated on Sunday, 29 August 2010. A total of three dedicatory sessions will be held.
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.”
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 marriage, 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.
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).
Speaking to the entire Church membership in October 2009, Church President Thomas S. Monson said, “We continue to build temples. We desire that as many members as possible have an opportunity to attend the temple without having to travel inordinate distances. Worldwide, 83 percent of our members live within 200 miles (320 km) of a temple. That percentage will continue to increase as we construct new temples around the world.”
The Kyiv Ukraine Temple was announced by President Gordon B. Hinckley, former worldwide leader of the Church, 20 July 1998. Ground was broken for the temple’s construction on 23 June 2007. When completed it will be the Church’s 134th operating temple worldwide.
Formal temple work will commence at the Kyiv Ukraine Temple on Monday, 30 August 2010.