Women with Minor Children can now Serve as Temple Ordinance Workers

A year and a half ago, I wrote about changes to the weird restrictions on temple ordinance workers.   Specifically, I explained that longstanding church policy forbade divorcees within five years, single men over 31, and women with minor children from serving as ordinance workers.   (The same individuals were permitted to “volunteer” for temple shifts, just not perform ordinances.)

In August 2017 the Church removed the restrictions on divorcees and single adult men.  Today, the Church removed the restrictions on mothers.  I am thrilled for the thousands upon thousands of women this blesses.


  1. Gregory K McCall says:

    Bishops and members of Stake Presidencies might be able to serve, too.

  2. Someone please walk me through the veil worker thing. Is it just saying everyone will be a general ordinance worker rather than specializing? It can’t be saying nobody will work at the veil anymore, but that’s how it reads.

  3. Dane Laverty says:

    I was a veil worker at the Oakland temple in 2001. As a veil worker I was limited in what I could do. For example, I could bring participants through the veil but I couldn’t officiate an endowment session. I was also able to act as one of the people in the initiatory sequence.

  4. Dane Laverty says:

    …as a tangent, now that I’m reminiscing about it, the Oakland temple offered a spiral bound “secret history” book to temple workers (and maybe also to general members? I’m not sure…) I think it cost a couple bucks to cover their printing costs. It contained inspirational and miracle stories that were connected with the Oakland temple. I wonder if it’s still available, or if other temples have similar books of stories…I’ve got no idea where my copy ended up.

  5. Matt Harmer says:

    @ Adano — there was a time (roughly 15 years ago but I could be off a bit) when there were no set apart or called veil workers in the Bountiful temple. At the end of the session they just invited anyone in the company who felt comfortable to come up and assist at the veil if they wished. I agree with you that it is unclear but the prior practice in the Bountiful temple could be what they are getting at (I do not know whether that practice was applied church-wide).

  6. Benjamin says:

    I think (but I’m not sure) veil worker was a position that was dreamed up so that they could solicit more help from casual temple goers who weren’t willing or able to commit to specific and regular shifts as ordinance workers.

  7. This is amazing! I have friends with children who have been volunteering in the Temple for as many hours a week as ordinances worker do but couldn’t have that calling until now. It is huge to have that restriction removed.

    In one ward I was in, veil workers were called to work just the veil and were only expected to work on ward temple night. It allowed the temple to be staffed at a steady number without having to worry about the need for several extra men to be available when our ward came. Sounds like this change gets rid of that local calling but still allows for flexibility for people called through the typical temple workers route.

  8. I served as a called veil worker in the provo temple. They asked our ward for people who could service 2x a week. I recall if it was a 2hr or 4hr shift. I assume it was specifically because that’s where they needed more workers and it required less training. We attended the same prayer meeting at the start of the shift with the ordinance workers. It was great.

  9. FYI, my mother was a temple worker at in the heart of the Zion Curtain, Provo Temple thru the 80s and nineties with newborn and young children.

  10. Wilson J says:

    They are preparing themselves to meet the increasing demand for temple workers in the wake of older folks dying off and decreased devotion among younger folks. Hence the shortening of the endowment ordinance and the reduction of restrictions on workers. I am sure that this will be quite a blessing since pressure will likely increase on women with kids as home to take on the responsibility of being an ordinance worker.

  11. Barbara says:

    The backlog in names shared with the temple through familysearch might be behind some of this. As the software gets better at providing hints and the number of records being indexed has grown exponentially, we now have available many more deceased individuals whose temple work needs to be done than we currently have workers to complete. This will continue to become a larger problem. We need to greatly increase the amount of temple work we are accomplishing in order to keep up.

  12. Wilson J says:

    Barbara, I thought a major issue was recycling names, meaning doing ordinances for names that have already been done before, and in many cases as many as four or five times before. Am I wrong? Are there a lot of fresh names just sitting around for people to do?

  13. Wilson J

    Based on my experience as an ordinance worker, both of those problems exist, and they are not mutually exclusive. There are a lot of names that the temple has that need to be done. At the same time, some names (particularly people who have multiple lines of descendants who are now active members) come up multiple times.

  14. I saw this rumor a few weeks ago with a list of others (temple recommend interviews moving to online format with Bishop/SP approving electronically, elimination of all auxiliary stake callings, changes to many temple recommend questions, young women passing the sacrament, micro temples, temples open on Sunday afternoon, public/civil marriages for all and elimination of the one year waiting period for temple sealing, cannonized Proc, shorter missions).

    Now I wonder how many of the other rumors are true?

  15. Bro. Jones says:

    Amy–where’d you see that list? I’m intrigued. (And also wondering what a microtemple is. I’m imagining a missionary rolling up a wheeled suitcase that has VR goggles for ad hoc temple sessions in a room of the stake center!)

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