Priests are now authorized to perform baptisms for the dead in LDS temples and young women can assist in other tasks in temple baptistries. The First Presidency announced these changes in a letter read in sacrament meetings across the Church today.
The letter announced the following changes in temple policies, beginning January 1, 2018, to give young women and young men more opportunities in temple work:
- Young women may be asked to assist with tasks in the temple baptistry currently performed by adult sisters serving as temple ordinance workers or volunteers, such as recording baptisms and confirmations, greeting and welcoming patrons to the baptistry, issuing baptismal clothing, and assigning lockers.
- Priests may be asked to perform baptisms for the dead and serve as witnesses.
“Our youth have accepted the invitation to engage in doing family history and temple work in amazing ways,” said Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson, Young Women General President. “These additional opportunities to serve in the temple will add meaning to their experiences as they perform baptisms for their ancestors. I am truly excited that they will be able to engage in this work in more ways.”
To help Primary children better prepare to serve in the temple, the Priesthood Preview (traditionally held once a year for 11-year-old boys and their parents to introduce and prepare them for the priesthood) will now become a combined Temple and Priesthood Preparation meeting (click this link for an outline of the meeting) for 11-year-old girls and boys and their parents.
For more information, see “Church Adds New Opportunities for Youth and Children to Prepare for and Participate in Temples.”