ST. GEORGE — With the situation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to evolve, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has followed up recent announcements of suspended church services with additional news of adjusted temple worship Friday.
The church’s First Presidency sent a letter to members Friday afternoon detailing temporary adjustments to temple worship due to the continuing pandemic. Since many governments have enacted restrictions requiring the closure of certain temples, such as the temple in Rome, particular services associated with the temple will be reduced or halted starting Monday.
These adjustments include:
- Where government or other restrictions on public and/or religious gatherings would, in effect, preclude temple activity, proxy and living ordinances will temporarily be suspended.
- Where government or other restrictions do not preclude all temple activity, the following temple ordinances for living persons will be accommodated as capacity permits by appointment only: husband-and-wife and child-to-parents sealing ordinances and living initiatory and endowment ordinances. On a temporary basis, proxy temple ordinances will not be performed.
- All patron housing will be closed.
Church members will be provided instructions from temple staff when they schedule appointments for ordinance work. Temple staff will also contact those who already have scheduled appointments.
“We look forward with great anticipation to the time when temples can again operate at full capacity and extend the blessings of temple work to members and their ancestors,” church leaders stated in the letter.
While the St. George Temple has been closed for renovations, area church members have been able to attend neighboring temples in Cedar City and Las Vegas.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints considers temples to be the “house of the Lord,” the most sacred places on the earth. Temples differ from meeting houses, or chapels, where all are welcome to attend Sunday worship services. In the temple, according to LDS church descriptions, the teachings of Jesus Christ are reaffirmed through marriage, baptism and other ceremonies that unite families for eternity.
Previous announcements from the LDS church concerning COVID-19 has included the temporary suspension of worldwide church services and the remote broadcast of the upcoming General Conference.
COVID-19 information resources
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- World Health Organization
- Utah Department of Health
- Intermountain Healthcare
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