LDS mission calls to continue amid global changes in the fight against COVID-19

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ST. GEORGE — While many countries around the world have begun placing restrictions on citizens and making adjustments to daily life in response to COVID-19, the nearly 70,000 full-time missionaries serving on missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will continue their work.

LDS missionaries serve on 399 missions throughout the world and come into contact with people in many ways, most notably, by knocking on people’s doors. According to a press release by the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, it is their “sacred priority” and will remain so, even during the evolving circumstances relating to the new coronavirus pandemic.

“Mission calls will continue to be made worldwide as temporary adjustments are implemented,” the release stated. “We continue to monitor the spread of this condition and its impact on missionaries worldwide.”

Leaders stated that they take the health and safety of missionaries and those who teach very seriously, and they will continue to adapt to the constantly changing conditions around the world. Recently, they announced going ‘virtual’ for this year’s general conference and temporarily canceling services while the crisis continues.

“Missionaries will continue to be called to serve and assigned to labor in missions worldwide. Missionary recommendations will continue to be received, and missionary assignments for worldwide service will continue to be made,” church leaders stated.

However, they announced some changes are necessary out of an abundance of caution. The changes include:

  • Senior missionaries and young missionaries with health conditions may be released from service.
  • Missionaries who have been assigned missions, but are unable to travel due to worldwide restrictions, may be reassigned to new locations.
  • Young missionary elders currently serving on missions in the United States and Canada who are slated to complete their mission by Sept. 1 may be released after serving 21 months.
  • Some missionaries may have to be temporarily reassigned.

The release further states that missionaries working from their residence will continue teaching using technology. Studying the scriptures, learning languages, working on family history, online community service and all other activities will continue as directed by the mission president.

Throughout the duration of the pandemic, missionaries are encouraged to stay in contact with their families and leave their residences for some exercise and fresh air when possible while observing all local guidelines for social distancing.

“As a church, we express our love and appreciation for all missionaries as they strive to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ and share his love wherever they serve.”

Church leaders said they will continue to monitor worldwide conditions and make changes as necessary.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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