Changes to the Temple Ceremony - First Presidency Announcement
The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released the following message on Monday, July 20, 2020, about changes to the temple endowment ceremony:
The sacred teachings, promises, and ceremonies of the temple are of ancient origin, and point God’s children to Him as they make further covenants and learn more about His plan, including the role of the Savior Jesus Christ.
Through inspiration, the methods of instruction in the temple experience have changed many times, even in recent history, to help members better understand and live what they learn in the temple. Part of the temple experience includes the making of sacred covenants, or promises, to God.
Most people are familiar with symbolic actions that accompany the making of religious covenants (such as prayer, immersion of an individual at baptism, or holding hands during a marriage ceremony).
Similar simple, symbolic actions accompany the making of temple covenants. With a concern for all and a desire to enhance the temple learning experience, recent changes have been authorized to the temple endowment ceremony.
Given the sacredness of the temple ceremonies, we ask our members and friends not to engage in speculation or public discussions about these changes. Rather, we invite Church members to continue to look forward to the day when they may return and fully participate in sacred temple work prayerfully and gratefully.
As of right now, the Church has planned for 125 of the 168 temples worldwide to be open or scheduled to be open for limited operations as of July 27. Temples will be opened through 4 different phases, outlined below.
The Church’s phased reopening of temples includes:
Phase 1: Open for restricted living sealings only. Temple workers will perform living sealings only for previously endowed members under strict guidelines and safety precautions.
Phase 2: Open for all living ordinances only. Temple workers will perform all temple ordinances for living individuals, but will maintain closure of patron housing, clothing, and cafeteria operations.
Phase 3: Open for all ordinances with restrictions. Temple workers will continue providing ordinances for living individuals and provide proxy ordinances for ancestors in a restricted manner. The Church will open patron housing, clothing, and cafeteria operations as needed.
Phase 4: Open for full operations. The Church will resume regular temple operations.
To read more about this, go to the Church News website.