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President Russell M. Nelson celebrates reopening of last temple closed for COVID-19

Church President Russell M. Nelson and his wife, Sister Wendy Nelson, stand in front of the Bountiful Utah Temple
Church President Russell M. Nelson and his wife, Sister Wendy Nelson, stand in front of the Bountiful Utah Temple. President Nelson celebrated the opening of the last temple not under construction or renovation Monday with a social media post.
Matthew Reier

For the first time in more than a year, every temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that isn’t under construction or undergoing renovations has resumed some level of operation.

The Kyiv Ukraine Temple was the last of the church’s 168 temples to reopen Monday. It has remained closed since March 2020 due to local COVID-19 conditions.

Church President Russell M. Nelson marked the occasion with an appreciative social media post Monday.

“With the re-opening of the Kyiv Ukraine Temple today, every temple in the world has now reopened and resumed some level of operations!” he wrote. “We may now serve and worship the Lord in these sacred edifices the world over and participate in precious ordinances. This is cause for celebration!”

The decision to close the temples was difficult, President Nelson said.

“I will never forget the day near the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic when we had to make the excruciating decision to close the temples. The rapid spread of the virus made this decision inevitable, but it was a painful one,” he wrote. “But now, with the temples open, our work for those on both sides of the veil can be resumed. To have all our temples reopened, at least to some degree, is a cause for rejoicing.”

President Nelson expressed gratitude for the “many scientists, health care workers, and leaders who have stemmed the tide of this virus such that we can now safely gather in larger numbers.”

He thanked Latter-day Saints for their “patience and worthiness to serve.”

“May we cherish the blessings of the House of the Lord and attend the temple as often as our circumstances permit,” President Nelson wrote.

The church will continue to announce the phased reopening of temples each week.

President Nelson asked church members to do everything possible to slow the spread of COVID-19 to help accelerate the reopening of temples at the end of April’s general conference.

“Do all you can to bring COVID numbers down in your area so that your temple opportunities can increase,” he said on that occasion.