According to the Deseret News, the First Presidency has announced that LDS boys and girls will have new opportunities to serve in the 159 temples around the world. The announcement was made through a letter to church leaders that will be read to congregations on Sunday in worship services.
Beginning Jan. 1, young women ages 12-18 will be able to assist with tasks in the temple baptistry currently performed by adult women who serve as temple ordinance workers or volunteers.
Priests will be able to perform baptisms for the dead and serve as witnesses for those proxy baptisms. That’s a change in church policy. Until now, priests could perform baptisms for the living, but baptisms on behalf of the dead were performed only by adult men.
Mormons 12-18 long have been able to receive limited-use temple recommends for baptism, which meant they could go to the temple to be baptized as stand-ins for the dead.
The First Presidency also announced a change for 11-year-olds.
The annual priesthood preview meeting to introduce 11-year-old boys to the priesthood will now become a combined temple and priesthood preparation meeting for 11-year-old girls and boys.
According to information now published at primary.churchofjesuschrist.org, the purpose of this meeting is to help children understand the blessings of temple service, priesthood service and making and keeping covenants. One topic will be encouraging 11-year-olds to receive a limited-use temple recommend.