SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) — In a letter, the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced Thursday that temples will be reopening in phases.
The announcement comes on the heels of a social media video message from President Russel M. Nelson concerning religious worship.
“With profound gratitude to our Heavenly Father that He has heard our prayers, we rejoice in announcing a careful, phased reopening of temples,” the First Presidency said. “Beginning Monday, May 11, 2020, living husband-and-wife sealing ordinances will be performed in selected temples for members who have been previously endowed.”
The first phase of the reopening will allow husband-and-wife living sealings for already endowed church members in select temples in Idaho, Utah, Germany and Sweden. Click here to view the status of individual temples.
Only healthy individuals who are not showing COVID-19 symptoms should enter the temple. Temples will have a limited number of staff and all public health directives will be observed, including the wearing of face masks.
Brides and grooms will be allowed a limited number of guests. Sealings will be scheduled between Monday and Saturday by appointment only. Couples must reside within the appropriate geographic location to receive ordinances at each temple.
Sealings rooms will be sanitized following each ceremony, according to the letter. Those who had their ceremonies cancelled due to COVID-19 safety concerns will be given first priority to reschedule.
The following temples will open for phase one on May 11, 2020:
- Atlanta Georgia Temple
- Boise Idaho Temple
- Billings Montana Temple
- Birmingham Alabama Temple
- Bismarck North Dakota Temple
- Bountiful Utah Temple
- Brigham City Utah Temple
- Cedar City Utah Temple
- Copenhagen Denmark Temple
- Frankfurt Germany Temple
- Freiburg Germany Temple
- Gilbert Arizona Temple
- Idaho Falls Idaho Temple
- Jordan River Utah Temple
- Logan Utah Temple
- Manti Utah Temple
- Memphis Tennessee Temple
- Monticello Utah Temple
- Nashville Tennessee Temple
- Ogden Utah Temple
- Oquirrh Mountain Utah Temple
- Payson Utah Temple
- Phoenix Arizona Temple
- Provo City Center Temple
- Provo Utah Temple
- Seoul Korea Temple
- Snowflake Arizona Temple
- Stockholm Sweden Temple
- Star Valley Wyoming Temple
- Taipei Taiwan Temple
- The Gila Valley Ariziona Temple
- Tucson Arizona Temple
- Twin Falls Idaho Temple
- Winter Quarters Nebraska Temple
Phases for reopening
Temple reopenings will happen in a series of four phases in order to reduce any health risks.
The first phase is to open select temples for living sealing ceremonies only for members who are already endowed. These ceremonies will include strict safety precautions.
In the second phase, temples will open for all living ordinances. Patron housing, distribution of temple clothing, and cafeteria options will all remain closed during this phase.
During the third phase, temples will open for all ordinances with restrictions. Temple visitors will be able to provide proxy ordinances for ancestors and patron housing, clothing distribution, and cafeteria operations will open as needed.
In the fourth and final phase, all temple operations will resume as usual.
Temples will open based on local health directives.
Temple presidencies will work with patrons to ensure that safety measures are carried out. Patrons may wear personal masks and gloves. Hand sanitizer will be provided throughout the temple. Measures will be taken to ensure social distancing and proper sanitation is maintained.
The First Presidency ended their letter with the following 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.”
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