Church announces phase 3 reopening for some temples

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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced some temples will soon be opening to phase 3, allowing patrons to participate in ordinances by proxy and living ordinances.

Temples that will begin phase 3 as soon as Dec. 21 are the Nuku’alofa Tonga, Apia Samoa, Brisbane Australia and Taipei Taiwan temples.

“A return to performing sacred and essential ordinances for one’s ancestors — especially during a pandemic that affects the most vulnerable among us — is a reminder of the common concern we should have for each other,” the announcement says.

In a video, Elder Dale G. Renlund said reopening of temple ordinances will include social distancing, wearing masks and not gathering in large groups. “These steps demonstrate our love for others and provide us a measure of protection,” Elder Renlund said.

According to the announcement, phase 3 will include smaller numbers of patrons and temple workers, a limited temple schedule and a scheduled appointment in order to attend.

Elder David A. Bednar spoke in a different video about how attending the temple is a privilege for members of the Church and invites all members to hold a current temple recommend. “Our participation in temple work is a sacred privilege,” Elder Bednar said. “Not an entitlement or simply part of our established routine.”

In a third video posted with the announcement, Elder Gary E. Stevenson talks about some of the things temple patrons can expect as phase 3 begins in different temples. “Your time in the temple in this new phase of temple reopening will feel both familiar and different as you participate in proxy ordinances,” Elder Stevenson said.

In order to participate in ordinances at phase 3 temples, patrons must make an online appointment, participate in symptom screenings before entering the temple, and wear a face mask unless participating in baptisms. Other safety precautions will take place, including hand sanitizer stations throughout the temple. Patrons are asked to bring their own temple clothing if possible and print their own family name cards. Temple cafeterias will most likely remain closed.

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