The current political crisis in Ukraine over the Crimean peninsula has divided Ukrainians into split loyalties between Russia and the West. Yet the temple district for the Kiev Ukraine Temple serves members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from five different countries: Russia, Ukraine, Romania, Armenia and Moldova. BYU students comment on how the temple will bless people from all backgrounds and political philosophies caught up in the storms of turmoil and conflict between nations.
“The temple is always a blessing in their lives. They can get their minds off of what’s going on around them and just remember more important things instead of the craziness going on around them.” — Ashton Vorkingk, undeclared, Kirksville, Miss. “When I think of the temple, I think of peace. I think that’s what everyone deep down is looking for.” — Carolina Mertlich, exercise and wellness, Sandy “For the Romanians, it was a huge blessing because it is much closer than Germany. The temple is often referred to as a refuge from the storm. Regardless of what’s going on in the outside community, you can always find a sense of inner direction, guidance and peace.” — Derrick Simmons, business management, Layton “It’s just a peaceful place in a not-peaceful place.” — Jackson Udy, chemical engineering, Slippery Rock, Penn. “It unites different people regardless of which side they’re on. The country is divided. The temple goes to different countries besides Ukraine. It will really unite others, regardless of their stance on the situation.” — Jordan Smith, molecular biology, Chino, Calif. “The gospel fills our needs. I believe that the temple will give the people all over that area the opportunity to live the Gospel more fully, and that changes everything.” — Matt Pierce, public health, Baltimore, Md. “There’s not a lot of Saints there. Having a place where they can find a kind of stabilizing influence when everything else is going on around you.” — Mirriam Carr, biology, Greenland, N.H. “It will definitely give them a lot of peace and comfort in their struggles.” — Thomas Porter, manufacturing engineering, Ogden