September 2021 marks 19 months since the last temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was dedicated, 18 months since the Church closed all 168 operating temples worldwide because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and 16 months since the start of a careful and cautious phased reopening of those closed temples.
And now, September 2021 marks the start of a long-awaited return to public temple open houses preceding the first scheduled dedications and rededications. And one week into the new month, nearly 94% of the reopened temples are offering at least some proxy ordinances in addition to all living ordinances.
A recap of past dates:
- The Durban South Africa was the last temple dedicated, on Feb. 16, 2020.
- A week later, the Taiwan Taipei and Seoul Korea temples were the first temples to close because of the pandemic; after scores more followed over the next month, the First Presidency announced all temples would close at the end of the day on March 25, 2020.
- On May 7, 2020, the First Presidency announced a four-phase reopening of temples; on May 11, the first 17 temples reopened in Phase 1, offering living sealings of husbands and wives.
Fast forward to Monday, Sept. 13, when the Pocatello Idaho Temple begins conducting media tours, signaling the start of its public open-house period — the first such open house since Durban in early 2020. The general public open house runs Saturday, Sept. 18, through Saturday, Oct. 23, except for Sundays and general conference Oct. 2–3.
President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, will dedicate the temple on Nov. 7.
The Winnipeg Manitoba Temple follows with its open house the next month, from Saturday, Oct. 9, through Saturday, Oct. 23, with the exception of the two Sundays, Oct. 10 and 17, and Monday, Oct. 11, which is Canada’s Thanksgiving Day holiday.
The Winnipeg temple will actually be the next temple dedicated — and the Church’s 169th overall — since its Oct. 31 dedication by Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles will occur a week before the Pocatello dedication.
Rededications of recently renovated temples have been scheduled. President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency, will preside at the Dec. 12 rededication of the Mesa Arizona Temple, with its open house running from mid-October through mid-November. Also, 2022 dates for the Washington D.C. Temple are a June 19 rededication and the open house set from late April to early June.
The pandemic forced the postponement of the 2020-scheduled dedications of the Winnipeg Manitoba and Rio de Janeiro Brazil temples and the rededication of the Washington D.C. Temple. Dates for the Rio temple have yet to be rescheduled.
Besides those three finished temples, the Church currently has another 40 temples under construction, following the recent groundbreakings of the Neiafu Tonga and Nairobi Kenya temples held Saturday, Sept. 11. Three more are waiting in the wings, with a Sept. 18 groundbreaking set for the Phnom Penh Cambodia Temple and two more on Oct. 9 — the Casper Wyoming and Pago Pago American Samoa temples.
With the completion of the renovated Mesa and Washington D.C. temples, six more temples are under renovation, to be joined by the Manti Utah Temple, which is scheduled to close Oct. 1.
As of today, the Church has the following breakdown of its 168 dedicated temples:
- 140 operating in Phase 3, offering all living and proxy ordinances.
- 7 operating in Phase 2-B, offering all living ordinances and proxy baptisms.
- 6 operating in Phase 2, offering all living ordinances.
- 2 operating in Phase 1, offering living sealings of husband and wife.
- 5 “paused” because of local COVID-19 conditions — 4 in Phase 3, 1 in Phase 2.
- 8 closed for major renovations — 6 districts designated as Phase 3.
Counting all the current and projected temples and districts operating in Phase 3, including those paused, 150 of the Church’s 168 temples — or 89.3% — are designated now to be offering all living and proxy ordinances.
Add in the additional temples operating or projected to be operating in Phase 2-B and offering proxy baptisms and confirmations, and that makes 157 of the Church’s 168 temples — or 93.5% — offering at least some proxy ordinances in addition to all living ordinances by month’s end.