Church temporarily suspends proxy temple work worldwide, live ordinances to continue in many areas

Amid rapidly changing health concerns regarding the worldwide spread of the coronavirus, the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles announced on Friday, March 13, temporary adjustments to temple work.

Effective March 16:

  • Where government or other restrictions on public and/or religious gatherings would preclude temple activity, proxy and living ordinances will temporarily be suspended.
  • Where government or other restrictions do not preclude all temple activity, the following temple ordinances for living persons will be accommodated as capacity permits by appointment only: husband-and-wife and child-to-parents sealing ordinances and living initiatory and endowment ordinances. On a temporary basis, proxy temple ordinances will not be performed.
  • All patron housing will be closed.

“Rapidly changing health conditions around the world have been a source of growing concern,” wrote the senior leaders in a letter to all Church members. “Many governments have placed restrictions that have required the temporary closure of a number of temples.”

See a list of temple closures worldwide

The adjustments came as the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles “prayerfully sought to balance” current limitations “with the need to carry on temple work.”

The Durban South Africa Temple in Umhlanga, South Africa, on Feb. 13, 2020.
The Durban South Africa Temple in Umhlanga, South Africa, on Feb. 13, 2020. Credit: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Church members will be provided with instructions when they schedule their appointments for living ordinances, according to the letter. Individuals with currently scheduled appointments will be contacted by temple staff.

“Steps will be taken in all temples to minimize the risk of spreading disease, including reducing temple staff, limiting guests at living ordinances, and following guidelines for interacting with patrons. Additional information will be provided to temple presidencies, and further adjustments will be made as necessary.”

Church leaders said they “look forward with great anticipation to the time when temples can again operate at full capacity and extend the blessings of temple work to members and their ancestors.”

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