On Monday, December 7, the Church announced that some temples would soon begin Phase 3. Included in the announcement were three videos from Elders Dale G. Renlund, David A. Bednar, and Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. The videos shared powerful teachings about loving one’s neighbor, the blessings of temple worship, and adapting to pandemic circumstances. President Russell M. Nelson also posted about the announcement on Facebook promising miracles to those who make sacrifices and worship in His temples.
Below are 18 quotes from Church leaders that accompanied the announcement. Whether you live near a temple entering Phase 3 or are patiently awaiting your opportunity to return to the temple, we hope these quotes will provide you with inspired counsel from our leaders.
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“The purpose of the Church is to bring the blessings of God to His children on both sides of the veil. Only in our temples do we receive the highest blessings that God has in store for His faithful children.”
“Even though temples have been closed, family history research has taken a huge leap forward; more names are being added.”
“As opportunities present themselves for temple attendance in coming months, I urge you to find a way to make an appointment with the Lord—to be in His holy house—then keep that appointment with exactness and joy.”
“I promise you that the Lord will bring the miracles He knows you need as you make sacrifices to serve and worship in His temples.”
“As individuals, as families, and as a Church, we will be judged by how we treat the vulnerable and disadvantaged in our societies. As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads around the world, it wreaks havoc among those who are already disadvantaged. Sadly, responses to the pandemic have been politicized and contentious. Ours need not be.”
“The Savior taught that the second great commandment after loving God, was ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself’ (Mark 12:31). As it relates to this pandemic, especially in temples, that means social distancing, wearing a mask, and not gathering in large groups. These steps demonstrate our love for others and provide us a measure of protection. Wearing a face covering is a sign of Christlike love for our brothers and sisters.”
“We will carefully expand temple operations, based on criteria that indicate that it is safe to do so. We will begin with a handful of temples, located in areas where the incidence of COVID-19 is low and local public health guidelines can be met.”
“We should not anticipate that these phases of temple worship will be short-lived. We should follow the counsel given to Saints heading into a temporary situation. The Lord said:
And I consecrate unto them this land for a little season, until I, the Lord, shall provide for them otherwise, and command them to go hence;
And the hour and the day is not given unto them, wherefore let them act upon this land as for years, and this shall return unto them for their good (D&C 51:16–17).
“If you act on these phases of temple worship as for years, not delaying but doing all you can to accomplish your temple worship now, it will turn to your good.”
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“Returning to the temples is something we have prayed for and looked forward to with great anticipation. We rejoice in the opportunity to again serve and worship in holy temples, even if our experience will be different because of constraining circumstances and additional sacrifices we are asked to make.”
President Thomas S. Monson: “Those who understand the eternal blessings which come from the temple know that no sacrifice is too great, no price too heavy, no struggle too difficult in order to receive those blessings. There are never too many miles to travel, too many obstacles to overcome, or too much discomfort to endure.”
“Because of our desire to follow the Savior, we are learning to do things in new and sometimes better ways. We are now preparing to enter Phase 3 of temple reopening. We are committed to reopen each temple in a careful and cautious way to avoid the spread of disease and protect both patrons and temple workers.”
“I invite every youth and adult member of the Church to obtain and hold a current temple recommend even if we live a great distance from the temple or cannot attend frequently because of present limitations.”
“Our participation in temple worship is a sacred privilege, not an entitlement or simply part of our established routine. We do not come to the temple to hide from or escape the evils of the world. Rather, we come to the temple to receive the power of godliness through priesthood ordinances that enable us to confront and conquer the world of evil.”
“For a while we may not be able to attend the temple as we did in the past—on a weekly or monthly basis. However, we will be blessed in remarkable ways as we honor and cherish the covenant relationship we have with our Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, and as we apply in our homes the principles we have learned and the patterns we have observed in the Lord’s holy house.”
“We do not know how long adjustments to temple worship will be necessary, but no power or influence can stop this glorious work from progressing and achieving its eternal purposes.”
“When making your appointment, please be straightforward and open as you verify you are free from any symptoms related to COVID-19. Your health and the health of ordinance workers are very important to us.”
“We have carefully and prayerfully adjusted temple procedures to enhance learning and to keep our temple patrons and workers safe.”
“The temple is the house of the Lord, where holy ordinances are performed and sacred, meaningful worship takes place. As you faithfully adhere with happy, cheerful hearts to the adjustments I’ve described, you’ll be blessed, uplifted, and strengthened. We ask for your continued faith and prayers, your kind regard for the needs of others and—in a special way—for your patience as we enter this new phase of temple opening.”