REXBURG — The First Presidency released a statement on Friday concerning Temple attendance that reads as follows:
“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 possible changes in Temple worship come on the heels of the Church temporarily shutting down Brigham Young University-Idaho and postponing weekly worship at ward buildings. There will be no Sacrament Meetings or other meetings such as Stake Conferences held for the foreseeable future. The Church has repeatedly stated that it is trying to help combat the virus and to keep everyone safe and healthy.
As more information is made available, the Standard Journal will update this story.