RACE, RELIGION + SOCIAL JUSTICE

First Presidency urge masks be worn at all times in temples

Sep 22, 2021, 9:08 AM | Updated: 9:32 am
masks in temples...
Crowds emerge following the first session of the dedication for the Provo City Center Temple Sunday, March 20, 2016. ©Scott G Winterton/Deseret News 2016

SALT LAKE CITY — The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has issued a letter to members urging that all members and temple patrons wear face masks at all times while inside the faith’s temples. 

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

We are grateful that in recent months, some level of ordinance work has resumed in every temple. Our desire is to keep temples open.

As cases of COVID-19 increase in many areas, we want to do everything possible to allow temples to remain open. Therefore, effective immediately, all temple patrons and workers are asked to wear face masks at all times while in the temple. These safety protocols are temporary, based on COVID-19 conditions, and will be rescinded as soon as circumstances permit.

Our urging Church members to be vaccinated and to protect themselves and others from the spread of disease has precedent. Prior First Presidencies shared similar messages in 1900 about smallpox and in 1957 regarding polio. Please do all you can to protect yourself and others so the work of the Lord on both sides of the veil can move forward.

Sincerely yours,

Russell M. Nelson
Dallin H. Oaks
Henry B. Eyring

Masks in temples just one tool to fight viral spread

In August, the church’s top leadership asked members across the globe to help limit the spread of COVID-19 variants by masking when unable to social distance and urged members to get vaccinated.

“We want to do all we can to limit the spread of these viruses,” they wrote, urging individuals to be vaccinated and saying that the available vaccines have been “proven to be both safe and effective.”

On Tuesday, the church also confirmed to KSL NewsRadio that they would not provide any religious exemptions for vaccines to its membership.

Church spokesman Doug Anderson referred to the church’s handbook, which reads in part, “Vaccinations administered by competent medical professionals protect health and preserve life. Members of the Church are encouraged to safeguard themselves, their children, and their communities through vaccination.”

 

This story will be updated.

 



Bonneville International Corporation, the company that owns KSL NewsRadio, is a subsidiary of Deseret Management Corporation, which is owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

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First Presidency urge masks be worn at all times in temples