ST. GEORGE — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced plans Thursday that it will begin a phased reopening of select temples starting Monday.
The announcement comes a day following a message from church President Russell M. Nelson in which he mentioned the possibility of future church and temple reopenings as the church and its members “cautiously move forward to a more normal way of life.”
The church sent a letter to members Thursday morning announcing that temples across Utah, Idaho, Germany and Sweden will reopen next week for limited sealing (marriage) services for couples who have been previously endowed.
In Utah, these temples include: Cedar City, Bountiful, Brigham City, Logan, Manti, Monticello, Ogden, Oqquirh Mountain, Payson, Provo and Provo City Center.
According to details released by the church, the sealing ceremonies will take place Monday through Saturday and by appointment only, limited to one sealing ceremony or family at a time in the temple. The number of participants in each sealing will be restricted to the bride, groom and a limited number of guests per instructions provided at the time of scheduling.
All government and public health directives will be observed, including restrictions related to travel and crossing of state or other regional borders and the use of safety equipment such as masks. Only those who are in good health and have no symptoms of COVID-19 should come to the temple.
The partial reopening is part of a four-phase plan to reopen full access to the temples. Details can be found on the LDS church’s news site.
“We ask for your continued faith and prayers that this pandemic and its lingering effects may pass,” church leaders said in the letter. “We look forward to the day that we can resume full operation of our temples, congregations, and missionary service.”
This announcement also comes a day after Utah Heath Department Director-General Jefferson Burton announced that churches across the state can reopen as long as social distancing measures are maintained.
The announcement was made after state guidelines moved from red, or high-risk threat level for the coronavirus, to orange, or moderate-risk level last week.
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