SALT LAKE CITY — Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have mandated masks or face coverings in all of the church’s temples worldwide. The announcement was made by the faith’s First Presidency in a letter to local leaders.

A portion of the letter stated: “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 These safety protocols are temporary, based on COVID-19 conditions, and will be rescinded as soon as circumstances permit.”

The letter from Russell M. Nelson, Dallin H. Oaks and Henry B. Eyring came as cases of COVID-19 increase in many areas including Utah. The cases have surged due the delta variant.

In August, the First Presidency encouraged Church members around the world to wear face masks when necessary and to get vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. Nelson and other Church leaders have repeatedly encouraged members to wear masks and get the COVID-19 shot. They were vaccinated on Jan. 19.

Church members have been encouraged to be vaccinated and to protect themselves before during previous pandemics. Prior First Presidencies shared similar messages in 1900 about smallpox and in 1957 regarding polio.

The letter concluded with a plea for members to do all they can to protect themselves and others so the Church’s work can move forward.

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