Pray that leaders’ hearts will be ‘softened,’ Latter-day Saint officials tell Ukrainians

Religion’s Kyiv Temple stays open.

(The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)
Ukraine’s Kyiv Temple on the time of its 2010 dedication.

The presidency of the Europe East Space of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints urged members in Ukraine to affix with the religion’s prime leaders in praying for peace.

“We’re conscious that these are tough occasions. The [governing] First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles are absolutely conscious of the present scenario, and we’re monitoring this case daily and hour by hour,” space President Hans T. Growth and his counselors, Scott D. Whiting and Kyrylo Pokhylko, wrote in a information launch. “Prophets, seers and revelators pray for you and for the hearts of the leaders to be softened for peace.”

They famous that the Utah-based religion’s temple within the capital of Kyiv stays open, although operations have been restricted by the coronavirus pandemic.

“We love you all and pray that God will watch over you and defend you,” they added. “We urge you to know Jesus Christ extra absolutely: Pray each day, examine the scriptures, and see his hand in your life. We all know that while you come to know him, you’ll really feel his love and the peace that solely he can carry.”

Final month, the church moved its full-time missionaries out of Ukraine because of the rising tensions, briefly reassigning them to different components of Europe.

The 16.6 million-member religion has greater than 11,000 Latter-day Saints and about 50 congregations in Ukraine, in response to its web site.

The church doesn’t checklist its statistics for Russia, although it reportedly had about 23,000 members there in 2018 scattered amongst practically 100 congregations.

President Russell M. Nelson stated in spring 2018, throughout his first Normal Convention as the religion’s prime chief, that the church plans to construct a temple in a “main metropolis” in Russia. A location has by no means been introduced.

The church operates beneath strict authorities guidelines in Russia, the place missionaries are known as volunteers and are forbidden from proselytizing. They don’t put on their nametags or speak about faith outdoors of chapels. They’ll reply solely to questions on their religion and might by no means provoke a non secular dialog.