Two pie charts reflect the drastic changes in the phased reopenings of temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from the start of 2021 to the end of the year.
After closing of all operating temples worldwide on March 25, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Church began to reopen its temples seven weeks later, advancing their operations in a careful and cautious four-phase plan that has continued since.
At the start of 2021, the Church had 168 operating temples. The status breakdown of those 168 temples were:
- 2 temples in Phase 3, providing ordinances for living individuals and proxy ordinances for ancestors, all in a restricted manner that includes attendance limitations
- 136 temples in Phase 2, offering all living ordinances
- 21 temples in Phase 1, offering living sealings of husbands and wives
- 9 temples and districts of under-renovation temples were closed or not assigned a phased status
The Taipei Taiwan and Nuku’alofa Tonga temples were the first to advance to Phase 3 operations, being given that status at the end of 2020. Within the first week of 2021, two more temples in Pacific Area would join them in Phase 3.
In March 2021, the First Presidency announced the first 13 temples to move to Phase 2-B later that month, with new phase designation expanding the Phase 2 allowance for all living ordinances with proxy baptisms and confirmations. Temple baptistries began opening for small groups, particularly for youth and unendowed members with temple recommends.
In July 2021, all of the Church’s operating temples had reopened after the pandemic closures, although attendance remained limited because of pandemic precautions. On July 5, the Kyiv Ukraine Temple was the Church’s last-remaining temple to reopen.
Changes in phases designation for temples continued worldwide throughout the year — advancing to levels of increased living and proxy ordinances, pausing operations for a time because of local COVID-19 conditions and precautions and sometimes dropping back to a lower phase because of pandemic restrictions.
At the end of 2021, the Church now has 170 operating temples, following the dedications of the Winnipeg Manitoba and Pocatello Idaho temples. The Mesa Arizona Temple — rededicated earlier this month — now operates as a temple in Phase 3, rather than previously being a temple under renovation with its temple district given Phase 3 status so members could do temple work in neighboring temples.
And the current breakdown of phase designations, through Dec. 31, is:
- 164 temples in Phase 3, offering all living and proxy temple ordinances
- 4 temples in Phase 2-B, offering all living ordinances and proxy baptisms and confirmations
- 2 temples in Phase 1, offering living sealings for husbands and wives
Those six temples still outside Phase 3 status at the end of 2021 are:
- Barranquilla Colombia Temple, in Phase 2-B
- Cebu City Philippines Temple, in Phase 2-B after having operated in Phase 3 earlier in the year before being paused
- Medford Oregon Temple, in Phase 2-B and currently closed for extended maintenance
- San José Costa Rica Temple, in Phase 1
- Seoul Korea Temple, in Phase 2-B
- Suva Fiji Temple, in Phase 1
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