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First 37 of Church’s temples start gradual return to normal operations


Two years after The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints closed all operating temples worldwide because of the COVID-19 pandemic and then followed with cautious, phased reopenings, the first 37 temples have moved to Phase 4, starting a gradual return to normal operations.

Since mid-March, temples in the United States have started this return — with ordinances available by appointment only, limited capacities, and ongoing local government requirements and pandemic restrictions.

The 37 temples currently in Phase 4 are comprised of five in Europe, seven in Brazil, 10 in Utah and 15 elsewhere in the United States. Of the 37, all but eight were moved from Phase 3 to their current status this week.

The 37 temples and the dates they started their return to normal operations are:

  • Memphis Tennessee Temple, March 17
  • St. Paul Minnesota Temple, March 19
  • Bismarck North Dakota Temple, March 29
  • Denver Colorado Temple, March 29
  • Winter Quarters Nebraska Temple, March 29
  • Tucson Arizona Temple, April 4
  • Columbia South Carolina Temple, April 5
  • Kansas City Missouri Temple, April 5
  • Anchorage Alaska Temple, April 11
  • Bern Switzerland Temple, April 11
  • Campinas Brazil Temple, April 11
  • Cedar City Utah Temple, April 11
  • Copenhagen Denmark Temple, April 11
  • Curitiba Brazil Temple, April 11
  • Draper Utah Temple, April 11
  • Fortaleza Brazil Temple, April 11
  • Frankfurt Germany Temple, April 11
  • Freiberg Germany Temple, April 11
  • Jordan River Utah Temple, April 11
  • Laie Hawaii Temple, April 11
  • Manaus Brazil Temple, April 11
  • Monticello Utah Temple, April 11
  • Mount Timpanogos Utah Temple, April 11
  • Oquirrh Mountain Utah Temple, April 11
  • Payson Utah Temple, April 11
  • Portland Oregon Temple, April 11
  • Porto Alegre Brazil Temple, April 11
  • Provo City Center Utah Temple, April 11
  • Provo Utah Temple, April 11
  • Recife Brazil Temple, April 11
  • Redlands California Temple, April 11
  • San Diego California Temple, April 11
  • São Paulo Brazil Temple, April 11
  • Stockholm Sweden Temple, April 11
  • Vernal Utah Temple, April 11
  • Billings Montana Temple, April 12
  • Chicago Illinois Temple, April 12

Information on the status of operation for each of these temples and all others can be found online via the individual temple’s page at temples.ChurchofJesusChrist.org, where patrons can schedule appointments online.

In a March 15, 2022, letter to the Church’s general and local leaders, the First Presidency — President Russell M. Nelson and his counselors, President Dallin H. Oaks and President Henry B. Eyring — announced that “temples throughout the world will gradually return to more normal operations, including the elimination of face masks and capacity restrictions.” 

The letter added that the return to normal operations for each temple will be based on local circumstances, with decisions by the temple presidency and area presidency, in consultation with the Church’s Temple Department.

The spire, front and entrance plaza of the Frankfurt Germany Temple at dusk on Oct. 18, 2019. A reflection of the Christus statue inside the annex is visible int he lower-right window.

The spire, front and entrance plaza of the Frankfurt Germany Temple at dusk on Oct. 18, 2019. A reflection of the Christus statue inside the annex is visible int he lower-right window.

Credit: Scott Taylor, Church News

A review of phased reopenings

For nearly two years, the Church has designated returning to limited operations by phased levels:

  • Phase 1: Open for restricted living sealings only. Temple workers perform living sealings only for previously endowed members, with the ordinances done under strict guidelines and safety precautions.
  • Phase 2: Open for all living ordinances only. Temple workers perform all temple ordinances for living individuals, with temples maintaining closure of patron housing, clothing and cafeteria operations.
  • Phase 2-B: Open for all living ordinances and proxy baptisms. The temple baptistry is open for small groups — particularly for unendowed members with recommends to do just proxy baptisms and confirmations.
  • Phase 3: Open for all ordinances with restrictions. Temple workers continue providing ordinances for living individuals and provide proxy ordinances for ancestors in a restricted manner. Patron housing, clothing and cafeteria operations open as needed.
  • Phase 4: Returning to normal operations. It includes more normal temple operations, based on local restrictions and circumstances, with temple work done by appointment only. Depending on local government requirements, it may still require the use of masks.

Read more: Temple reopening status tracker — through April 12

A gradual lifting

The phrase “Temple is returning to normal operations” is found atop the online page for temples moving out of Phase 3.

The return to normal operations is a gradual lifting of pandemic-related restrictions. Capacities still may be reduced, and all sessions may not be running. Also, patrons are to schedule online their participation in living and proxy ordinances by session; if they need assistance, they can call the temple to schedule an appointment.

Additional information states:

“Based on First Presidency direction, this temple is gradually lifting pandemic-related restrictions.

  • “All ordinances are available by appointment only. Click the Appointments button below to schedule or modify an appointment.
  • “Masks may be required depending on local government restrictions.
  • “Patrons are encouraged to bring their own temple clothing.
  • “Family name cards may be printed at the temple and cards may be returned upon request. You will receive a FamilySearch notification to confirm that the ordinance was recorded.
  • “All government guidelines will be observed.
  • Please contact the temple for more information or if you have special circumstances or needs.”

An area-by-area listing of the current status of each of the Church’s 170 dedicated temples is available on the Church News’ temple reopening status tracker. Clicking on a temple name in the temple status tracker takes the user to that temple’s information page at temples.ChurchofJesusChrist.org where ordinance work can be scheduled online.

Breakdown of current temple statuses

With the announced changes, the Church has — as of April 12 — the following breakdown of its 170 dedicated temples:

  • 37 in Phase 4, returning to normal operations
  • 123 operating in Phase 3
  • 0 operating in Phase 2-B
  • 0 operating in Phase 2
  • 1 operating in Phase 1
  • 1 paused/suspended in Phase 3
  • 8 closed for major renovations, with all 8 districts designated as Phase 3
Provo City Center Temple as seen in early morning hours on its dedication day, Sunday, March 20, 2016.

Provo City Center Temple as seen in early morning hours on its dedication day, Sunday, March 20, 2016.

Credit: Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

Timeline of closings, reopenings

On Feb. 21 and 22, 2020, four temples in the Church’s Asia and Asia North areas closed because of the developing COVID-19 pandemic. By the end of that month, 24 temples had closed.

By March 24, 2020, a month after the first closures, the number of pandemic-closed temples had reached 111. A day later, the First Presidency announced the closure of all operating temples worldwide.

Temples remained closed for six weeks, until the First Presidency announced “a carefully coordinated, cautious and phased reopening of temples” on May 7, 2020. Less than a week later, on May 11, a group of 17 temples became the first to open in Phase 1, offering limited living husband-and-wife sealings by appointment.

In a July 20, 2020 letter, the First Presidency announced both changes to the temple endowment ceremony and the start of reopened temples to move to Phase 2. Seven days later, on July 27, the first 12 temples being upgraded to Phase 2 began performing once again all living temple ordinances, by appointment.

On Dec. 7, 2020, the First Presidency identified four temples as the first to advance to Phase 3 of the Church’s four-phase reopening plan as early as Dec. 21, 2020. On that Dec. 21 date, the Taipei Taiwan Temple was the first to have all proxy ordinances joining living ordinances as being performed on a limited basis.

On March 15, 2021, the First Presidency announced the first 13 temples to move to Phase 2-B later that month. The new phase designation expanded the Phase 2 allowance for all living ordinances with proxy baptisms, with the temple baptistry open for small groups — particularly for members with limited-use recommends.

As of July 2021, all of the Church’s operating temples had reopened after the pandemic closures, although attendance remained limited because of pandemic precautions. On July 5, the Kyiv Ukraine Temple was the final temple to reopen.

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