As concern over COVID-19 continues and worship services of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are suspended worldwide, President Russell M. Nelson shared a message of hope on his social media channels on Saturday, March 14, encouraging members to look to the Savior for peace and comfort during the continued COVID-19 outbreak.
A Message of Love and Promises of Hope
“My dear friends, our Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ know us, love us, and are watching over us. Of that we can be certain,” President Nelson began.
Speaking on the impact of the COVID-19 virus on thousands of lives, President Nelson said, “We pray for those who are suffering and for those who have lost loved ones.”
He emphasized the Church’s desire to be part of “the solution to this challenge” and the prayerful consideration in making the recent temporary adjustments to worship.
“These unique challenges will pass in due time. I remain optimistic for the future. I know the great and marvelous blessings that God has in store for those who love Him and serve Him. I see evidence of His hand in this holy work in so many ways.”
President Nelson continued, “So, during these uncertain times, be comforted by this promise from the Savior. He said, ‘I the Lord am bound when ye do what I say’ (Doctrine and Covenants 82:10). I promise you that joy is always within the reach of everyone who will hear Him and obey His laws.
Take Care, Minister, and Learn to Hear Christ
President Nelson encouraged Church members to take care of themselves and loved ones, and to minister to neighbors near and far.
“Temporary changes in our normal routine may allow additional time to experience how precious home-centered gospel study can be,” he said, suggesting the use of the Book of Mormon Videos and other technology to study the gospel.
President Nelson emphasized, “We are all looking forward to general conference. Then we will focus on the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ in its fullness. That gospel provides certain hope and help to a troubled world.”
He ended his message by saying, “I love you. I pray for you. And I promise that you will receive comfort and peace as you continue to hear Him.
March 12, 2020 Letter of Directions
The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sent the following letter March 12, 2020, to Church members worldwide:
“Dear Brothers and Sisters,
“As promised in our letter of March 11, 2020, we continue to monitor the changing conditions related to COVID-19 throughout the world. We have considered the counsel of local Church leaders, government officials and medical professionals, and have sought the Lord’s guidance in these matters. We now provide the following updated directions.
“Beginning immediately, all public gatherings of Church members are being temporarily suspended worldwide until further notice. This includes:
· Stake conferences, leadership conferences and other large gatherings
· All public worship services, including sacrament meetings
· Branch, ward and stake activities
“Where possible, leaders should conduct any essential leadership meetings via technology. Specific questions may be referred to local priesthood leaders. Further direction related to other matters will be provided.
“Bishops should counsel with their stake president to determine how to make the sacrament available to members at least once a month.
We encourage members in their ministering efforts to care for one another. We should follow the Savior’s example to bless and lift others.
“We bear our witness of the Lord’s love during this time of uncertainty. He will bless you to find joy as you do your best to live the gospel of Jesus Christ in every circumstance.
“The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles'