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Public not allowed to attend LDS Church’s April general conference due to coronavirus

Salt Lake City Temple
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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (KIFI/KIDK) - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is making major changes to its upcoming April general conference session, missionary training and stake conferences.

According to three letters issued by the Church leadership on Wednesday, the public will not be allowed to attend all five sessions of April's conference at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City.

Members will also not attend conference in stake centers or meetinghouse in areas where contagion is a concern.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

We are deeply concerned about the global spreading of illness caused by COVID-19. We have counseled with worldwide governmental, ecclesiastical, and medical leaders and have prayerfully considered the current circumstances. We want to be good global citizens and do what we can to control this contagious illness. We are most grateful for the many who are working tirelessly to address this health hazard. We pray for them and for all who may be suffering.

To help control this problem, we feel it wise to limit attendance at the upcoming April 2020 General Conference. We plan to conduct all five sessions of that conference at the Conference Center. General authorities, general officers and their spouses, musicians, choirs, technicians, and others will participate as assigned. But, proceedings of the conference will be distributed throughout the world via technology only. The public will not be admitted in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City, or in stake centers or meetinghouses in areas where contagion is a concern. Questions about other large gatherings of Church members will be answered in separate announcements.

We live in a remarkable age. The Lord has blessed us with the technology and capacity to participate in and receive messages from Church leaders in all parts of the world. This special conference will commemorate the bicentennial of the First Vision and the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in these latter days.

We invite all to continue to prepare for this conference. As we do, we will be blessed to hear the word of the Lord and participate in a general conference experience that will remain not only memorable, but unforgettable.

Sincerely,

The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

In addition, stake and leadership conferences and other large gatherings will be temporarily postponed in areas where illness caused by COVID-19 is a challenge:

  • Asia
  • Asia North
  • Europe
  • Europe East
  • All Areas in the United States and Canada

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

With the recent announcement changing the attendance at the April 2020 General Conference, we are providing the following guidance related to large gatherings of Church members.

After considering the counsel of governmental, ecclesiastical, and medical leaders around the world and our own prayerful reflection, we will postpone stake and leadership conferences and other large gatherings in Church Areas where illness caused by COVID-19 is a challenge, including,

Asia
Asia North
Europe
Europe East
All Areas in the United States and Canada

These temporary adjustments will take effect March 16, 2020. Large gatherings in other areas of the world may continue as usual unless directed otherwise by Area Presidencies, who counsel with their leaders.

In relation to weekly worship services, activities and other meetings, members should follow the guidance of their local leaders, who will receive direction in the usual manner.

As this constantly changing situation develops, we will provide further guidance on this topic.

Sincerely,

The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

The final letter by leadership announced changes to missionary training centers. Missionaries scheduled to enter missionary training centers in Provo, Utah, or Preston, England, will be trained remotely by video conference. Other missionary training centers will continue to function as usual, but they will not receive any missionaries from regions where government officials are restricting activity.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Caring for the health and safety of our missionaries and those with whom they meet is vital to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We have counseled with governmental, ecclesiastical and medical leaders worldwide on the spread of COVID-19. We have prayerfully considered this evolving circumstance and are taking additional steps at missionary training centers to protect missionaries and prevent the possible spread of the virus.

Beginning March 16, 2020, all missionaries scheduled to enter missionary training centers in Provo, Utah, or Preston, England, will be trained remotely by video conference. Other missionary training centers will continue to function as usual, but they will not receive any missionaries from regions where government officials are restricting activity. Missionaries from those areas will also be trained by video conference.

We believe this temporary virtual training program will help to prepare missionaries for the field while minimizing risks related to communicable disease.

Each missionary will receive specific information regarding the length of training, schedules, and other logistics as his or her starting date approaches. Once missionaries complete their online training, they will travel directly to their mission assignments.

We will continue to follow developments closely and make any needed further adjustments.

We love our missionaries and their families and are grateful for their willingness to serve the Lord. We hope they will take advantage of this unique training experience to prepare for a wonderful period of Christlike service.

Sincerely,

The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

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