Temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will begin reopening in a phased plan, according to a letter released Thursday by the First Presidency.
“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 in the statement. “Beginning Monday, May 11, 2020, living husband-and-wife sealing ordinances will be performed in selected temples for members who have been previously endowed.”
Temples worldwide have been closed for nearly two months, in some cases, as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The first phase of reopening will allow limited live sealings (marriages) for LDS members who are already endowed. This will begin with temples in Idaho and Utah in the United States and in Germany and Sweden.
“The reopening of temples will proceed in a cautious and carefully planned and coordinated manner based on local government restrictions and as authorized by the Temple Department,” the letter said. “The four phases of opening are designed to reduce risk, accommodate the demand and capacity of the temple, and observe any relevant health restrictions in the temple district.”
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
Perform all temple ordinances for living individuals.
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.