The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced the phased reopening of 17 temples, including the Provo and Provo City Center temples, starting May 11.
The announcement came in a letter sent to members of the Church on May 7 and indicated that these were the first of many temples that will begin reopening. Which other temples will open, and when, will continue to be determined by the safety restrictions in various parts of the world.
“We are grateful for the helpful direction that government, health and civic leaders have provided to keep us safe,” Church President Russell M. Nelson said in a video released May 6. “And we will continue to be prayerful and proceed with an abundance of caution. Your safety and well-being will always be our utmost concern.”
The first phase of the reopening is living husband-and-wife sealings by appointment. Only the sealings are being offered, so only members who have previously been endowed can participate.
The sealings will be restricted to the bride, groom and a limited number of guests. The exact limits will be given when an appointment is scheduled. Temple staff will be limited to only two or three people and only one couple may enter the temple at a time to be sealed.
“We know that ordinances of the holy temple need to be performed. They are of eternal significance,” President Nelson said in the video.
Couples who previously had their appointments canceled will be first priority for scheduling new appointments, and other patrons will be able to schedule after that.
The reopening of temples around the world is set to come in four stages. After opening for sealings only, temples will begin phase two by opening for all living ordinances, including endowments. Next, temples will open for all ordinances, living and dead, but there will be certain restrictions. The fourth and final phase will be the opening of temples for full operations.
The timing of each of these phases will be determined as the Church continues to monitor public health directives around the world. A list of which temples will be open for sealings starting May 11 can be found on the Church’s website.