During the pandemic, hours and ordinations are limited but the Rexburg Idaho Temple continues to be a beacon of hope for those that visit.
Dante Mears, a BYU-Idaho alumnus, shared his feelings toward being at the temple.
“I felt peace and clarity,” said Mears. “I also felt good about certain decisions that I was pondering at the time. Overall just felt calm and relaxed.”
Waldo Jones, a sophomore majoring in general studies, shared his thoughts on the temple closure during COVID-19.
“Well, like any other places throughout the world, the Church is doing the right thing by limiting temple attendance to the public, especially due to the severity of COVID-19,” Jones said. “I know the Church is trying to protect everyone’s health and wellness during this time. I would say it’s all about having faith and know that things will get better as time goes on.”
According to newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org the Church follows certain phrases when reopening each temple, these phases are:
- Living husband-and-wife sealings by appointment: “Perform living sealings only for previously endowed members under strict guidelines and safety precautions.”
- Open for all living ordinances only with restrictions: “Perform all temple ordinances for living individuals, with priority given for those who will be sealed. The next priority will be endowments for in-field missionaries (who left home prior to receiving their endowment), then followed by those departing for missionary service in the near future. These priorities will be addressed according to the capacity and scheduling ability of each temple.” This includes maintaining closure of patron housing, clothing and cafeteria operations.
- Open for all ordinances with restrictions: “Continue performing ordinances for living individuals, Perform limited proxy ordinances and open patron housing, clothing, and cafeteria operations as needed.”
- Open for full operations: “Resume regular temple operations.”
The Rexburg Idaho Temple is on phase two of the mandate. When there is evidence of reduced COVID-19 cases in Rexburg, the Church will issue the next phase until normal operations resume.
Despite the obstacles COVID-19 has placed on temple attendance, according to many students, faculty and locals, the Rexburg Idaho Temple is a place of peace, clarity, answers and hope.
“The feeling that I get knowing that I could attend the temple anytime that I want brings me so much peace and healing that’s within,” Jones said. “I know that times can be very challenging but I have a place that I can go and know that my Father in Heaven loves me and is protecting me.”