One temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will resume offering all living ordinances in Phase 2, while April 12 marks the start of 46 temples — so far — moving to proxy ordinance work in the month of April.
Two weeks ago, the Church announced that seven temples would move to Phase 3 and offer all proxy ordinances on April 12, 17 temples would add proxy baptisms to living ordinances in Phase 2-B on the same April 12 date, and 22 additional temples would move to Phase 2-B on April 26.
As announced Monday, April 12, the Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple will resume Phase 2 operations, offering all living ordinances. It had first reached that Phase on Aug. 31, 2020. After less that three months at the phase, it had to return to Phase 1 — living sealings only — because of local COVID-19 conditions and restrictions.
The seven temples that began Phase 3 operations on April 12 — five in Africa, one in Japan and one in the Caribbean — include: the Aba Nigeria, Accra Ghana, Durban South Africa, Fukuoka Japan, Johannesburg South Africa, Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo and Santo Domingo Dominican Republic temples.
The 17 temples that began Phase 2-B operation — 15 in the United States and two in England — on April 12 include, listed by Church area:
- Europe Area – London England and Preston England temples
- North America Central — Boise Idaho and Meridian Idaho temples
- Utah — Bountiful Utah, Brigham City Utah, Draper Utah, Jordan River Utah, Logan Utah, Ogden Utah and Oquirrh Mountain Utah temples
- North America Southwest — Monticello Utah, Reno Nevada, Snowflake Arizona, Star Valley Wyoming Temple, The Gila Valley Arizona Temple and Tucson Arizona temples
The additional 22 temples — 20 in the United States, one in Canada and one in Bolivia — moving to Phase 2-B on April 26 include:
- North America Central — the Billings Montana, Bismarck North Dakota, St. Louis Missouri and Winter Quarters Nebraska temples
- North America Northeast — the Toronto Ontario Temple
- North America Southeast — the Baton Rouge Louisiana, Memphis Tennessee and Nashville Tennessee temples
- North America Southwest — the Albuquerque New Mexico, Gilbert Arizona, Las Vegas Nevada and Phoenix Arizona temples
- North America West — Columbia River Washington and Spokane Washington temples
- Utah — Cedar City Utah, Manti Utah, Mount Timpanogos Utah, Payson Utah, Provo City Center, Provo Utah and Vernal Utah temples
- South American Northwest — the Cochabamba Bolivia Temple
Meanwhile, Phase 2-B status has been given in April to three temple districts where the temples are under renovation, allowing members in those districts to schedule proxy baptisms at nearby temples. They include the Salt Lake Temple, effective April 12; and the Mesa Arizona and St. George Utah temples, both effective April 26.
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 2-B offers all living ordinances and proxy baptisms, 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 — through April 19 — the following breakdown of its 168 dedicated temples:
- 26 operating in Phase 3
- 30 operating in Phase 2-B
- 87 operating in Phase 2
- 6 operating in Phase 1
- 10 “paused” — 9 in Phase 2, 1 in Phase 1
- 1 still closed
- 8 closed for major renovations
On April 26, the additional 22 temples will move from Phase 2 to Phase 2-B.
Of the 10 temples that currently have “paused” operations because of local COVID-19 conditions and restrictions, nine had reached Phase 2 operations and the other one Phase 1.
Patrons in the districts of temples in Phases 3 and 2-B 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.
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 expands the Phase 2 allowance for all living ordinances with proxy baptisms, with the temple baptistry is open for small groups — particularly for members with a limited-use recommend.
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 2-B: Open for all living ordinances and proxy baptisms. The temple baptistry is open for small groups — particularly for members with a limited-use recommend.
- 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.