Latter-day Saints leaders update phased reopening of temples worldwide

Salt Lake Temple, prior to the beginning of restoration and remodeling efforts, is pictured. File photo: maxpixel.net

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Aug. 10, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Monday announced an updated schedule for the phased reopening for some of its temples.

On Aug. 17, 10 Utah temples will enter Phase 2, as will one Idaho temple. See the full list close to the bottom of this article.

“Phased temple reopenings are announced each week,” the news release says. “Several temples are beginning to enter Phase 2 of reopening. Beginning Aug. 17, 3 temples will enter Phase 1, and 17 temples will begin Phase 2.”

Temples continue to reopen in a cautious, careful way, in four phases, the statement says. Temples in Phase 1 and Phase 2 are operating on a limited basis, and with key precautions in place for temple workers and patrons, including: masks worn at all times, very limited numbers of patrons in the temple at a time, minimal staff in the temple, sanitization after each temple ceremony, careful social distancing and seating arrangements, and temperature checks at the entrance (for Phase 2).

“Today’s announcement includes many of the temples in Utah, though not all of them. As has been previously indicated, the reopening of each temple is considered based on local circumstances and governmental restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the statement says. “Temples in Utah are anticipated to be very busy, so priority will be given first to living persons who are to be sealed, next to missionaries currently serving in the field, and then to missionaries who are preparing to depart, based on their departure date. With these temple announcements today, by Aug. 17, 2020, 130 temples will have entered Phase 1, and 29 will have started Phase 2.”
Phase 1: Living husband-and-wife sealings by appointment

  • Perform living sealings only for previously endowed members under strict guidelines and safety precautions

Phase 2: Open for all living ordinances only with restrictions

  • Perform all temple ordinances for living individuals, with priority given for those who will be sealed. The next priority will be endowments for in-field missionaries (who left home prior to receiving their endowment), then followed by those departing for missionary service in the near future. These priorities will be addressed according to the capacity and scheduling ability of each temple.
  • Maintain closure of patron housing, clothing, and cafeteria operations

Phase 3: Open for all ordinances with restrictions

  • Continue providing ordinances for living individuals
  • Provide proxy ordinances for ancestors in a restricted manner
  • Open patron housing, clothing, and cafeteria operations as needed

Phase 4: Open for full operations

  • Resume regular temple operations

As directed by the Temple Department, other temples will be reopened based on local government and public health directives. They will follow this same phased approach in reopening, beginning with husband-and-wife sealings by appointment.

Ordinance Priority

For currently scheduled living ordinances, members will be contacted by temple staff to confirm their appointment or to reschedule. Priority for scheduling ordinances will then be given to members who had their appointments canceled because of temple closures. Members in this circumstance should call the temple to schedule an ordinance. Final priority will then be given to new appointments.

Safety

In addition to the processes outlined above, each temple presidency will take extra precautions to help protect temple workers and patrons. This will include allowing patrons to wear their own masks and gloves, providing hand sanitizer at several locations in the temple, and encouraging frequent hand-washing and appropriate social distancing. All those who serve in the temple will do so on a volunteer basis. Adjustments to temple operating schedules, seating arrangements and temple facilities will also be made to further increase safety.

The First Presidency concluded the letter with an expression of hope and a request: “We ask for your continued faith and prayers that this pandemic and its lingering effects may pass. We look forward to the day that we can resume full operation of our temples, congregations and missionary service.”

Temple Status 

The following three temples will begin Phase 1 of reopening on August 17, 2020, bringing to date a total of 130 temples reopening:

  • Bern Switzerland Temple
  • Oaxaca Mexico Temple
  • Tuxtla Gutiérrez Mexico Temple

The following 17 temples will begin Phase 2 of reopening on August 17, 2020, bringing to date a total of 29 Phase 2 temples:

  • Adelaide Australia Temple
  • Anchorage Alaska Temple
  • Bountiful Utah Temple
  • Brigham City Utah Temple
  • Brisbane Australia Temple
  • Cedar City Utah Temple
  • Logan Utah Temple
  • London England Temple
  • Medford Oregon Temple
  • Mount Timpanogos Utah Temple
  • Nauvoo Illinois Temple
  • Ogden Utah Temple
  • Payson Utah Temple
  • Perth Australia Temple
  • Provo City Center Temple
  • Provo Utah Temple
  • Vernal Utah Temple
  • Twin Falls Idaho Temple

*Some temples in Idaho and Utah are undergoing annual maintenance and will reopen as that work is completed.

See a full list of temples and their current status

To see the full news release, click here.

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