Four temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — one each in Brazil, Canada, Mexico and Venezuela — are the latest to begin offering all living and proxy ordinances in the level of operations known as Phase 3.
Currently, 120 temples operate in that same level of operations.
After closing all 168 temples worldwide in late March 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Church continues to reopen its temples and advance their operations in a careful and cautious four-phase plan. As of this month, all of the Church’s operating temples have reopened after the pandemic closures.
Counting all the current and projected temples and districts in Phase 3, including several that have temporarily paused operations because of local COVID-19 conditions, 135 of the Church’s 168 temples — or 80.3% — are designated now to be offering all proxy ordinances.
Add in the additional temples in Phase 2-B offering proxy baptisms and confirmations, and that makes 151 of the Church’s 168 temples — or 89.9% — offering at least some proxy ordinances in addition to all living ordinances.
With the updates published Tuesday, July 20, the four temples moving to Phase 3 this week and beginning to offer all proxy ordinances as early as Monday, July 19, are:
- Caracas Venezuela Temple
- Manaus Brazil Temple
- Tijuana Mexico Temple
- Vancouver British Columbia Temple
Moving to Phase 2-B as early as Aug. 2 and offering proxy baptisms along with all living ordinances:
- Fortaleza Brazil Temple
Also, the Sydney Australia Temple, which has been operating in Phase 3, has been paused due to local COVID-19 conditions and precautions.
Temples projected to move to Phase 3 in July or August are, as listed by Church area:
North America Northeast: Toronto Ontario Temple.
North America West: Medford Oregon and Spokane Washington temples.
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.
Temples that are “paused” have stopped operations temporarily because of local COVID-19 conditions and precautions.
With the latest changes, the Church will have — as of July 26 — the following breakdown of its 168 dedicated temples (not including projected or unscheduled changes later):
- 120 operating in Phase 3
- 17 operating in Phase 2-B
- 10 operating in Phase 2
- 3 operating in Phase 1
- 10 “paused” — 6 in Phase 3, 1 in Phase 2-B, 3 in Phase 2
- 8 closed for major renovations — 6 districts designated as Phase 3 (Hong Kong China and Tokyo Japan temples not yet in a reopening phase)
Patrons in the districts of temples moving to Phases 3 or 2-B will be notified of the changes and the starting dates, and they can begin scheduling ordinance reservations online via the temple’s information page at temples.ChurchofJesusChrist.org a week before the reopening date.
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 open for small groups — particularly for members with limited-use recommends.
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 limited-use recommends.
- 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.