SALT LAKE CITY — Ten Latter-day Saint temples in Utah are among 17 worldwide that will expand their limited reopenings after closing during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, the First Presidency announced on Monday.
The temples will move into Phase 2 of the four-step plan to reopen all of the 168 temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints worldwide. During this step, a temple is open for endowments for living persons, marriage sealings and sealings of children to parents.
Many church members have waited more than four months for those ordinances, because all temples were closed on March 25 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The church issued a statement Monday about how the temples will prioritize the need.
“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,” the statement said.
The following Utah temples will move to phase 2 on Aug. 17:
- Bountiful Utah Temple
- Brigham City Utah Temple
- Cedar City Utah Temple
- Logan Utah Temple
- Mount Timpanogos Utah Temple
- Ogden Utah Temple
- Payson Utah Temple
- Provo City Center Temple
- Provo Utah Temple
- Vernal Utah Temple
These seven temples also will move to phase 2 next week:
- Adelaide Australia Temple
- Anchorage Alaska Temple
- Brisbane Australia Temple
- London England Temple
- Medford Oregon Temple
- Nauvoo Illinois Temple
- Perth Australia Temple
The endowment is an ordinance in which church members receive additional knowledge and blessings and make added covenants with God.
No temples have been authorized to reopen for proxy ordinances, in which church members receive these saving ordinances for their ancestors.
Phase 2 began July 27 with 12 temples: the Billings Montana Temple, Bismarck North Dakota Temple, Columbus Ohio Temple, Copenhagen Denmark Temple, Frankfurt Germany Temple, Freiberg Germany Temple, Helsinki Finland Temple, Seoul Korea Temple, Stockholm Sweden Temple, Taipei Taiwan Temple, The Hague Netherlands Temple and the Winter Quarters Nebraska Temple.
Monday’s announcement was the second group of temples to reach the second step of reopening, giving the church 29 temples in Phase 2.
Phase 1, in which temples are open for marriage sealings only, began on May 11.
Three more temples will move into phase 1 on Aug. 17:
- Bern Switzerland Temple
- Oaxaca Mexico Temple
- Tuxtla Gutiérrez Mexico Temple
Those three limited reopenings will mean that 130 of the church’s 168 temples have reached Phase 1.
Monday’s announcement means 10 of Utah’s 15 operating temples that are not under renovation will be in Phase 2. The Utah temples that remain in Phase 1 are the Draper Temple, Jordan River Temple, Manti Temple, Monticello Temple and Oquirrh Mountain Temple.
“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 church’s statement said.
Phase 3 opens a temple for all ordinances, including proxy ordinances for ancestors, and opens patron housing, clothing and cafeteria operations. However, church leaders have indicated those proxy ordinances for ancestors will return in a restricted manner they have not yet outlined.
Phase 4 is a return to full operation, though church leaders have indicated full operations will be different than they were before the pandemic. In this phase, adjustments to temple schedules, seating arrangements and facilities will continue to increase safety.