LDS temple in Ukraine given 'to the Lord'

Published: Sunday, Aug. 29 2010 11:00 p.m. MDT

The temple features an exterior of Amarelo Maciera granite, which is light in color and contains quartzite crystals that reflect the sunlight.

The interior design and stained-glass windows suggest a wheat theme, including the plant's upright stem and the diagonal pattern of the kernels.

Labeled the former USSR's "bread basket," the agriculturally rich Ukraine is well-known for its fertile soil and its abundant wheat and grain fields.

The temple's spire stands 42 meters tall — nearly 138 feet high — and is topped with a gilded Angel Moroni statue. Just beneath the sphere upon which the statue stands is a series of flashing red lights that are turned on at night, since the temple is located near a small, local airport.

Sunday's cornerstone ceremony was the only public part of the day's three dedication services for the temple, which is different than church's more common meetinghouses used for public worship and activities.

Following the dedication, only worthy LDS members can enter a temple, where church members believe Jesus Christ's teachings are taught and ordinances for members and their deceased ancestors are performed to unite families for eternity.

"It is a day of freedom — a day you will have all the ordinances of the gospel," said President Monson during the cornerstone ceremony. "It is a time to do the ordinances for your ancestors, for the people who cannot do it for themselves.

"I promise that when you come to the temple, you will have a feeling in your hearts that you have given the greatest gift to them," he continued. "For that is what temple work is all about."

Ukraine gets temple 20 years after introduction of church

After the United States, where the LDS Church was first organized, Ukraine is the country with the least amount of time between the introduction of the church and its missionaries to the completion of an LDS temple.

Ukraine: Church introduced 1990 — Kyiv Temple, 2010 — 20 years

Dominican Republic: Church introduced 1978 — Santo Domingo Temple, 2000 — 22 years

Philippines: Church introduced 1961 — Manila Temple, 1984 — 23 years

Ghana: Church introduced 1978 — Accra Temple, 2004 — 26 years

e-mail: taylor@desnews.com

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