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Kyiv Ukraine Temple fulfills 1991 prophecy

"Prophecy Fulfilled and Blessings Bestowed" could be the title of a new chapter in Church history that opens when Elder Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve offered a blessing upon the land of Ukraine and continues through Aug. 29, 2010, with President Thomas S. Monson dedicating the Kyiv Ukraine Temple.

The chapter would cover a span of less than 20 years in which unprecedented events unfolded. Except for the early years of the Restoration, there has been no nation in which a temple has been built within two decades after the Church was introduced.

Elder Packer and Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve and 41 other people gathered shortly before 7 a.m., Sept. 12, 1991, on a hillside overlooking Kyiv and the Dnieper River.

Elder Packer, in an interview with the Church News, said, "We met near the top of a hill in the center of the city near the base of the statue of Prince Vladimir who brought Christianity to what is now Ukraine 1,003 years earlier (in A.D. 988). He ordered that pagan images be removed and destroyed. Christianity spread from Ukraine to other lands in the region.

"It is interesting that on the same day we stood near Prince Vladimir's statue to offer a blessing on the land of Ukraine, the statues of Lenin, who was the image or symbol of communism, were being pulled down." (Elders Packer and Oaks walked a short distance from their hotel and witnessed the tearing down of one of the statues.)

In offering the prayer of blessing upon the land of Ukraine, Elder Packer said, "We are gathered here as missionaries and as members, a small group. This gathering is prescient of the tens and the hundreds and the thousands and the hundreds of thousands that will yet join Thy Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in this land. We see the day when there will be scattered in the villages here and there a member and yet another member and then a gathering and then a branch and, in due time, stakes of Zion set firmly and permanently upon the fertile soil of the Ukraine. And in due time, the spires of temples will be seen across this great land."

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