LDS Church president calls on members, friends of faith to fast and pray for relief from pandemic

President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Russell M. Nelson speaks at a conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Intellectual Reserve Inc, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — In a second video addressing the COVID-19 outbreak, Church of Jesus Christ or Latter-day Saints President Russell M. Nelson invites Latter-day Saints and friends of the faith the world over to join in a day of fasting for relief from the pandemic.

The St. George Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, St. George, Utah, date unspecified | Photo courtesy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, St. George News

The church released the video Thursday in which the 95-year-old church president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints asked others to join in a worldwide fast this Sunday and pray for relief from the physical, emotional and economic impacts of the virus.

“As a physician and surgeon, I have great admiration for our medical professionals, scientists and all who are working around the clock to curb the spread of COVID-19,” Nelson said in the video, noting his own medical background. Over 60 years ago, he performed the first open-heart surgery in Utah.

“I am also a man of faith, and I know that during these challenging times, we can be strengthened and lifted as we call upon God and His Son, Jesus Christ, the Master Healer,” Nelson said.

Nelson first addressed Latter-day Saints in a video on March 14. He mentioned recent adjustments the church had made in order to help lessen the spread of COVID-19, such as suspending church services worldwide.

“These unique challenges will pass in due time,” Nelson said in the March 14 video, adding, “I remain optimistic for the future.”

The LDS prophet also asked church members to take care of themselves and their families while also looking for opportunities to serve their neighbors.

Set for the weekend following the day of fasting, Nelson called for the church’s semiannual general conference, a two-day event in which members of the Utah-based faith will hear from the president and other high-ranking church leaders.

Due to the pandemic, the conference, which draws tens of thousands of people to Salt Lake City twice a year, has been closed to the public and will be broadcast only.

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

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