All temple visitors and workers, led by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, must wear a face mask in the temple “at all times,” according to a letter from senior church leaders to local church leaders around the world. . Wednesday.

Church President Russell M. Nelson and his two best counselors, Dalin H. Oaks and Henry B. “We want to do all we can to keep the temple open,” wrote Eyring. “This security protocol is preliminary, based on the provisions of COVID-19, and will be lifted when circumstances become favorable.”

Mr. Nelson, 97, is a retired cardiac surgeon and is revered as a prophet by Latter-day Saints, also known as Mormons. He has repeatedly asked the 16.6 million church members worldwide to wear masks and be vaccinated. In a letter in August, he wrote that the approved vaccine was safe and effective, adding, “We can win this war if everyone follows the wise and careful recommendations of medical experts and government leaders.

According to the Church, there are 167 temples worldwide and dozens more are being built or planned. The church closed it in March 2020 to stop the spread of the coronavirus and gradually started opening in May this year.

The temple is not used by Latter-day Saints for Sunday services and, unlike other Church meetinghouses, is not open to the general public. It is usually only available to members who have a recent “temple recommend,” a card stating that they believe in Church teachings and follow certain rules such as tithing and alcohol. Help. Members visit the shrine for various rituals, including pseudo-baptism for the dead.

Ian Rees, senior columnist for Religion News Service, said, “The temple is the most important sacred place in modern Mormonism. send a great message. “He wrote about the Church.

Although the letter states that the Church only asks its members to wear masks in temples, Reese said that could be interpreted as a “non-policy”.

In August, Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, announced that students and staff must wear masks on campus. The church-run private school also called on the public to be vaccinated “so that the fall semester can go as planned”.

Wednesday’s letter stressed that there was enough precedent to urge church members to protect themselves from the spread of disease. In 1900, church leaders asked members to get the smallpox vaccine, and in 1957 they issued a similar message about the polio vaccine.