With recent operational upgrades at the Manila Philippines Temple, 95 percent of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ dedicated temples are now designated as offering all living ordinances and at least some proxy ordinances.
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.
Counting all the current and projected temples and districts operating in Phase 3, including several that have temporarily paused operations because of local COVID-19 conditions, 155 of the Church’s 168 temples — or 92.3% — 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 160 of the Church’s 168 temples — or 95.2% — offering at least some proxy ordinances in addition to all living ordinances by Oct. 26.
With the updates published Tuesday, Oct. 19, the Manila Philippines Temple has been upgraded from Phase 1 and offering just living sealings of husband and wife to Phase 2-B.
The Manila temple had started offering proxy baptisms in Phase 2-B beginning July 12 of this year; however, both it and the Cebu City Philippines Temple paused operations due to local COVID-19 conditions and restrictions. Both later resumed operations, but in Phase 1 — the Cebu City temple remains at that level.
One temple that had been projected to move to Phase 3 in August still remains in Phase 2-B:
- Medford Oregon Temple, without a specific date
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. Other temples may be temporarily closed for several weeks for routine maintenance and cleaning.
To date, six temples are in Phases 1 or 2, with two additional temple districts without phase designations. The eight total temples or districts where no proxy ordinances are being conducted are:
- Barranquilla Colombia Temple, in Phase 2
- Buenos Aires Argentina Temple, in Phase 2 but paused
- Cebu City Philippines Temple, having returned to Phase 1
- Hong Kong China Temple, with no phase designation given to the district
- Montevideo Uruguay Temple, in Phase 2
- San José Costa Rica Temple, in Phase 1
- Seoul Korea Temple, Phase 2
- Tokyo Japan Temple, with no phase designation given to the district
With the latest changes, the Church will have — as of Oct. 26 — the following breakdown of its 168 dedicated temples (not including projected or unscheduled changes later):
- 146 operating in Phase 3
- 5 operating in Phase 2-B
- 3 operating in Phase 2
- 3 operating in Phase 1
- 3 “paused” — 2 in Phase 3, 1 in Phase 2
- 9 closed for major renovations — 7 districts designated as Phase 3 (Hong Kong China and Tokyo Japan temples not yet in a designated 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.
As of July 2021, all of the Church’s operating temples have reopened after the pandemic closures, although attendance remains limited because of pandemic precautions. On July 5, the Kyiv Ukraine Temple was the final temple to reopen.
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.