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Kyiv Ukraine Temple open house and dedication dates are announced

The Kyiv Ukraine Temple, long awaited as the first temple in a former Soviet bloc country, will be open to the public beginning Saturday, Aug. 7, and concluding Saturday, Aug. 21, except Sundays.

The temple will be formally dedicated in three sessions on Sunday, Aug. 29.

The temple is nearing completion after three years of construction that began with a groundbreaking on June 23, 2007. The temple is a commanding structure located in a peaceful setting in a former grain field on the outskirts of Kyiv.

The Kyiv Ukraine Temple was announced by President Gordon B. Hinckley on July 20, 1998. Intervening years required persistent and diligent efforts to find the appropriate site and receive governmental approvals.

Elder Paul B. Pieper of the Seventy and then president of the Europe East Area presided over a small groundbreaking ceremony on the five-hectare site.

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the First Presidency and Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve visited the temple site last May. They were greeted by a local choir of members dressed in native costume.

After touring the site, President Uchtdorf said, "This is the right place for the temple."

He told of a conversation he had with the land developer who initially thought the site was a poor choice. But, said the developer, as things progressed, it became clear that President Hinckley made the right choice.

Three missions are organized in Ukraine, with one stake, five wards, four districts and approximately 10,500 members. The temple will serve approximately 31,000 members of the Church living in 13 European countries. Ukrainian members currently attend the Freiberg Germany Temple, a bus ride of more than 24 hours for most members.

"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 of the Seventy and president of the 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."

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