The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced a new phase for temple reopening. Phase 2-B allows for a temple baptistry to open for small groups — particularly for members with a limited-use temple recommend.
President Russell M. Nelson shared the following feelings about the new phase:
As you can imagine, it was a difficult decision to close our temples last year. Like so many of you, I have missed worshipping in the temple, especially with my dear wife. We have been blessed in recent months to slowly reopen temples across the globe in a very careful, phased approach. As we have done so, I have been moved by the reports of many who have had the sweet opportunity to make temple covenants during this pandemic.
Today, we are grateful to announce a new phase in the reopening of temples that will allow even more of us to participate in temple work. Beginning as soon as March 29, the baptistry in 14 temples will open for small groups, and particularly for members with a limited-use recommend.
We rejoice that youth, young adults, new members, and others who have not had the opportunity to participate in temple work for the past year will be able to do so again. Our temples are the holiest places on earth. They not only unite us as families but connect us directly to our Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. I pray that each of us will soon have the opportunity to again fully participate in temple service.
As the numbers of COVID-19 cases have begun to decrease in some areas and officials have learned more about how to prevent the spread of the virus, Church leaders have carefully monitored circumstances and learned from the experiences of temples that have begun to open in various phases. This has led to an opportunity to open temple baptistries.
The same careful safety protocols will be in place as for other phases, including health screenings, temperature checks, limited numbers of patrons and temple workers, and scheduled appointments. The same online scheduling process that members use for Phase 3 worship in temples will be in place for this phase. For safety purposes, members will only be able to schedule an appointment within their temple district. Those who come to the temple without an appointment may not be accommodated.
“We encourage small groups — including new members, families, Aaronic Priesthood quorums, Young Women classes, and young adult groups — to schedule a time to be in the temple,” said Elder David A. Bednar, who leads the Church’s Temple and Family History Council. “We are thrilled at the ability to provide these sacred ordinances to our deceased ancestors again, and for members of the Church to again worship in the house of the Lord.”
Today, the First Presidency announced that temples in the following locations will begin operating in Phase 2-B, beginning as early as March 29:
- Asunción, Paraguay
- Bern, Switzerland
- Calgary, Alberta
- Copenhagen, Denmark
- Córdoba, Argentina
- Edmonton, Alberta
- Frankfurt, Germany
- Guayaquil, Ecuador
- Kansas City, Missouri
- Manila, Philippines
- Medford, Oregon
- Portland, Oregon
- Seattle, Washington
- Twin Falls, Idaho
As these temple baptistries begin to open, Church leaders will apply what they learn and then open other temples in Phase 2-B as it becomes safe to do so. Announcements about additional temples entering this phase will occur when possible.
Participation in baptistry ordinances may be limited compared to pre-COVID-19 levels. Members are encouraged to be considerate of others and to be patient as they try to schedule ordinance times in the baptistry.
“We look forward to this phase and every phase of temple reopening with great anticipation,” said Elder Bednar. “We also want to be sure that we continue to open temples in a careful, responsible way. For this reason, temple openings in some areas may continue to lag behind the opening of public or community facilities.”
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.