LDS temples worldwide will begin returning to ‘full operation,’ faith leaders announce

Temples have been running on a restricted basis due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

(Photo courtesy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) The Latter-day Saint temple in Arequipa, Peru, is photographed in 2019. Faith leadership announced Tuesday that temples around the world would begin gradually returning to full operation.

Latter-day Saint temples around the world will gradually begin to return to normal operations as more people are vaccinated against COVID-19, the Utah-based faith announced Tuesday, including eliminating face mask requirements and capacity limits.

The decision to return to full operations will be made by local church authorities “based on local circumstances,” The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ governing First Presidency said in a news release, which was also sent as a letter to church leaders worldwide.

“Thank you for your patience during restricted temple operations that occurred because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the letter read. “We are eager to return the temples to full operation as soon as possible.”

The Utah-based faith announced in March 2020 that all temples would either close or be open “by appointment only” across the globe, as the coronavirus pandemic upended worship practices.

Since then, the faith’s temples have been reopening in phases.

Latter-day Saints consider a temple to be a House of the Lord, where the faithful participate in rites that unite families for eternity.