Phoenix Arizona Temple|
Credit: Scott Taylor
Phoenix Arizona Temple
Credit: Scott Taylor
Fort Collins Colorado Temple
Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
The Ogden Utah Temple in 2019.
Credit: Deseret News archives
The Barranquilla Colombia Temple.
Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
A month after nearly 40 operating temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints started a gradual return to normal operations following COVID-19 pandemic closures and phased reopenings, an additional 33 temples are joining them in Phase 4 designation.
Two years ago, the Church closed all operating temples worldwide because of the pandemic and then followed with cautious, phased reopenings.
Since mid-March 2022, temples in the United States have started this return to normal operations — with ordinances available by appointment only, limited capacities, and ongoing local government requirements and pandemic restrictions.
The latest temples to start their return to normal operations are:
- Albuquerque New Mexico Temple
- Arequipa Peru Temple
- Barranquilla Colombia Temple
- Bogotá Colombia Temple
- Boise Idaho Temple
- Bountiful Utah Temple
- Brigham City Utah Temple
- Caracas Venezuela Temple
- Cardston Alberta Temple
- Cochabamba Bolivia Temple
- Dallas Texas Temple
- Fort Collins Colorado Temple
- Gilbert Arizona Temple
- Guayaquil Ecuador Temple
- Houston Texas Temple
- Idaho Falls Idaho Temple
- Kona Hawaii Temple
- Las Vegas Nevada Temple
- Lima Peru Temple
- Los Angeles California Temple
- Lubbock Texas Temple
- Mesa Arizona Temple
- Newport Beach California Temple
- Oakland California Temple
- Ogden Utah Temple
- Oklahoma City Oklahoma Temple
- Phoenix Arizona Temple
- Raleigh North Carolina Temple
- Reno Nevada Temple
- Sacramento California Temple
- San Antonio Texas Temple
- Snowflake Arizona Temple
- The Gila Valley Arizona Temple
- Trujillo Peru Temple
- Twin Falls Idaho Temple
All but four of the above temples started their Phase 4 return on Tuesday, April 19. The four other starting dates are for the Sacramento (April 16), Raleigh (April 13), Kona (April 4) and Newport Beach (March 23) temples.
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.
Then from March 17 to April 12, the first 39 temples moved to Phase 4, starting a gradual return to normal operations. They included five temples in Europe, all seven of Brazil’s operating temples, 10 in Utah and 17 elsewhere in the United States.
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.
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 19 — the following breakdown of its 170 dedicated temples:
- 72 in Phase 4, returning to normal operations
- 88 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
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.
And in March 2022, the first temples started the gradual return to normal operations.