KIEV, Ukraine -- President Thomas S. Monson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is in Ukraine this weekend to dedicate a new temple in the country.
Thousands of Church members gathered for a cultural celebration Saturday. They sang and danced in traditional costumes to express their joy over the new Kiev temple.
Young people from nine countries in the temple district, which includes Eastern Russia, Moldova and others in the former Soviet Bloc, traveled thousands of miles to attend. Church leaders say the temple is a miracle.
"To see the people, feel the people, feel their love, their testimony -- it's just a miracle," said President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the Church's First Presidency. "It's just wonderful to be here. How much we're grateful for President Monson, for the love he expended tonight to these people."
Sunday, President Monson will lead three dedicatory services in the capitol city's newest landmark.
This is the first LDS temple built in Eastern Europe. It is the Church's 134th operating temple worldwide and the 11th in Europe. The temple was announced in 1998 and ground was broken for its construction in 2007.
The temple will serve close to 31,000 members of the faith beginning Aug. 30.