The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced the following changes effective March 16, 2020 for all temples worldwide.
The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sent the following letter March 13, 2020, to Church members around the world.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Rapidly changing health conditions around the world have been a source of growing concern. Many governments have placed restrictions that have required the temporary closure of a number of temples. As we have prayerfully sought to balance these limitations with the need to carry on temple work, we have decided to make the following temporary adjustments, which are effective March 16, 2020 for all temples around the world.
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 with instructions when they schedule their appointments for living ordinances. Individuals with currently scheduled appointments will be contacted by temple staff.
Steps will be taken in all temples to minimize the risk of spreading disease, including reducing temple staff, limiting guests at living ordinances, and following guidelines for interacting with patrons.
Additional information will be provided to temple presidencies, and further adjustments will be made as necessary.
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.
The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
All public gatherings of Church members are also being temporarily suspended worldwide until further notice.
- Stake conferences, leadership conferences and other large gatherings
- All public worship services, including sacrament meetings
- Branch, ward and stake activities
The decision was made hours after Utah's governor recommended limiting group gatherings in the state to no more than 100 people for at least two weeks.
It is first time since a 1957 flu epidemic the Church has taken the step of barring church members from attending in person.