Number of temples reopening doubles as Church expands its phased reopening efforts

The number of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ temples reopening for limited husband-and-wife sealing ordinances has doubled, with the 17 initially identified last week by the First Presidency to reopen joined by another 17 announced Monday, May 11.

Less than a week after the First Presidency detailed “a carefully coordinated, cautious, and phased reopening of temples” beginning with 17 in Utah, Idaho, Germany and Sweden, the additional 17 temples were added to the list on the same day the first 17 reopened.

Those scheduled to reopen Monday, May 18, for the first phase of the Church’s four-phase process include 14 temples in the United States — in Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Tennessee, Utah and Wyoming — and reopening temples in Denmark, Korea and Taiwan.

After a six-week period where all temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were closed due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the First Presidency announced its temple-reopening plan via a letter sent to general and local leaders dated Thursday, May 7.

Seoul Korea Temple
Seoul Korea Temple Credit: Photo by Greg Hill

Phase 1 of the reopening process allows for living husband-and-wife sealing ordinances to be performed for members who have been previously endowed, with the sealing ordinances to follow strict guidelines and safety precautions.

Temples reopening under Phase 1 beginning Monday, May 18, include:

  • Atlanta Georgia
  • Billings Montana
  • Birmingham Alabama
  • Bismarck North Dakota
  • Copenhagen Denmark
  • Gilbert Arizona
  • Jordan River Utah
  • Memphis Tennessee
  • Nashville Tennessee
  • Phoenix Arizona
  • Seoul Korea
  • Snowflake Arizona
  • Star Valley Wyoming
  • Taipei Taiwan
  • The Gila Valley Arizona
  • Tucson Arizona
  • Winter Quarters Nebraska

Last week’s announcement included a description of the phased reopening process and the first 17 temples to reopen under the first phase.

The phases are:

  • Phase 1: Open for restricted living sealings only. Temple workers will 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 will perform all temple ordinances for living individuals, but temples will maintain closure of patron housing, clothing, and cafeteria operations.
  • Phase 3: Open for all ordinances with restrictions. Temple workers will continue providing ordinances for living individuals and provide proxy ordinances for ancestors in a restricted manner. The Church will open patron housing, clothing, and cafeteria operations as needed.
  • Phase 4: Open for full operations. The Church will resume regular temple operations.

The following temples began Phase 1 of reopening on Monday, May 11:

  • Boise Idaho Temple
  • Bountiful Utah Temple
  • Brigham City Utah Temple
  • Cedar City Utah Temple
  • Frankfurt Germany Temple
  • Freiberg Germany Temple
  • Idaho Falls Idaho Temple
  • Logan Utah Temple
  • Manti Utah Temple
  • Monticello Utah Temple
  • Ogden Utah Temple
  • Oquirrh Mountain Utah Temple
  • Payson Utah Temple
  • Provo City Center Temple
  • Provo Utah Temple
  • Stockholm Sweden Temple
  • Twin Falls Idaho Temple

The complete list of closed and reopening-by-phases list of Church temples can be found on Newsroom.

Billings Montana Temple
Billings Montana Temple Credit: Intellectual Reserve Inc.

The First Presidency said that as changing restrictions and local conditions allow, the Church’s Temple Department will authorize the reopening of additional temples, and expanded opportunities will be made available for receiving living child-to-parent sealings and own-endowment ordinances, as well as participation in proxy ordinances.

Phase 1 sealings will take place Monday through Saturday by appointment only and initially will be limited to one sealing ceremony or family at a time in the temple. The Church will have a very limited number of staff in the temple.

Couples to be sealed will need to live within the approved geographic area for receiving ordinances in that temple, according to a Church press release on the announcement. All government and public health directives will be observed, including restrictions related to travel and crossing of state or other regional borders and the use of safety equipment such as masks. The number of guests attending the sealing will be limited.