Eight months after Latter-day Saint leaders suspended operations at the Kyiv Ukraine Temple because Russian troops were massing on Ukraine’s borders, the temple partially re-opened last week.
“Earlier this year, the Kyiv temple was temporarily closed,” church spokeswoman Irene Caso said. “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has carefully evaluated the current circumstances and decided to resume — on a limited basis — the sacred religious ceremonies in the temple. Church members are able to make appointments to participate in temple ceremonies, which began October 14, 2022.”
The church did not provide additional details about the limited nature of the reopening.
Latter-day Saints perform ordinances in temples to make sacred covenants themselves and to do so on behalf of deceased ancestors. Those ordinances include marriages and sealings that have the potential to bind families together forever.
Church leaders closed the temple in February as a precaution before Russian troops invaded Ukraine, a church spokesman said at the time. Weeks earlier, the church removed its non-Ukrainian missionaries. Some returned home. Others were reassigned throughout Europe and North America.
The Kyiv temple, which sits on the western side of the city, has been important in the region because it is the only Latter-day Saint temple between Germany and the Pacific Rim. For now, temple attendance likely will be limited to Ukrainians due to travel issues related to the ongoing conflict.
On Monday morning, Russia launched 28 kamikaze attack drones on central Kyiv. Five evaded Ukraine’s air defenses and struck sites in the city, killing at least four people, The Wall Street Journal reported. The attack appeared to target the city’s power grid, The Washington Post reported.
More kamikaze drones fell elsewhere in the country, with the total death toll in the attacks rising to eight, the Deseret News reported.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has asked Ukrainians to limit their electricity consumption during peak hours, the Journal reported.
The church’s First Presidency released a statement after the conflict began last February, noting that the church has members in both Russia and Ukraine, and calling for a peaceful outcome.
“We pray that this armed conflict will end quickly, that the controversies will end peacefully, and that peace will prevail among nations and within our own hearts,” the First Presidency statement said. “We plead with world leaders to seek for such resolutions and peace.”