Five temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — two in Hawaii and single temples in Canada, Tahiti and El Salvador — will begin offering proxy temple ordinances in Phase 3 operations beginning Monday, March 15.
Meanwhile, two temples in Mexico are returning to operation, while two temples in Brazil are pausing.
The status changes are the latest as the Church continues to reopen temples in its careful and cautious four-phased process, after halting operations at all temples worldwide in March 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As announced Monday, March 1, the five temples moving to Phase 3 operations are:
- Cardston Alberta Temple
- Kona Hawaii Temple
- Laie Hawaii Temple
- Papeete Tahiti Temple
- San Salvador El Salvador Temple
They are the first temples in their respective countries to begin Phase 3 operations, with the two Hawaii temples and the Cardston and San Salvador temples the first in that Phase in North America.
With the Tahiti temple moving to Phase 3, all nine of the operating temples in the Church’s Pacific Area will be in that phase of proxy temple work. A 10th Pacific Area temple — the Hamilton New Zealand Temple — is closed for renovations.
The two temples are resuming operations after being “paused” because of local COVID-19 conditions and restrictions:
- Guadalajara Mexico Temple
- Monterrey Mexico Temple
And operations are being paused at two temples in Brazil because of local COVID-19 conditions there:
- Curitiba Brazil Temple
- Porto Alegre Brazil Temple
The two Mexico temples return to the Phase 1 operations — living husband-and-wife sealings — where they had been before being paused. Both Brazil temples had been operating in Phase 2, in which temples offer all living ordinances.
Phase 1 allows for limited living husband-and-wife sealings by appointment, while Phase 2 allows for those sealing as well as all other living ordinances, also by appointment. Phase 3 includes everything from the first two phases and the performance of temple ordinances for deceased individuals.
With the latest changes, the Church will have — as of March 15 — the following breakdown of its 168 dedicated temples:
- 19 operating in Phase 3
- 119 operating in Phase 2
- 12 operating in Phase 1
- 9 “paused”
- 1 still closed
- 8 closed for major renovations
Of the nine temples which currently have “paused” operations because of local COVID-19 conditions and restrictions, eight had reached Phase 2 operations and the other one Phase 1.
Patrons in the districts of temples in Phase 3 can begin scheduling ordinance reservations online via the temple’s information page at temples.ChurchofJesusChrist.org a week before the reopening date.
The Church’s sole temple still closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic is the Kyiv Ukraine Temple.
An area-by-area listing of the current status of each of the Church’s 168 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 proxy ordinance work can be scheduled online.
Closures and reopenings
On Feb. 21 and 22, 2020, four temples in the Church’s Asia and Asia North areas closed because of the developing 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 proxy ordinances joining living ordinances as being performed on a limited basis.
Four phases of reopening
The four phases of the Church’s reopening plan 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 may open patron housing, clothing, and cafeteria operations as needed.
- Phase 4: Open for full operations. The Church will resume regular temple operations.