President Nelson calls for worldwide fast
The President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Russell M. Nelson, has opened an invitation to members of the church and anyone else to participate in a worldwide fast on Sunday, March 29.
The plea was made in a video posted on social media and on the Church’s official website.
The aim of the fast is to plead with the Lord for “physical and spiritual healing” in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As a physician and surgeon, I have great admiration for medical professionals, scientists, and all who are working around the clock to curb the spread of COVID-19,” he said.
He added that he is also a man of faith, and he knows that during these challenging times, “we can be strengthened and lifted as we call upon God and His Son, Jesus Christ—the Master Healer.”
“I invite you to join with me in a worldwide fast—for all whose health permits—to pray for relief from the physical, emotional and economic effects of this global pandemic.
“I invite members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints everywhere, along with our many friends, to fast and pray this Sunday, March 29.
“Let us unite our faith to plead for physical, spiritual, and other healing throughout the entire world. The Lord understands the feelings you are experiencing. He loves and cares for you, as I do, too.”
The Church has also confirmed that no full-time missionary has tested positive for COVID-19.
According to a statement from the Church, the global pandemic has affected the church’s missionary force.
It added that 50 percent of the global missionary force of 67,000 is being impacted by returning home for reassignment.
While other missionaries are released in the Church’s adjustments to missionary service due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Church’s National Communication Director in Samoa, Leiataua Letaua Price Sa’u told the Samoa Observer that some of the Samoan missionaries returned home in the previous weeks.
The Church’s Missionary Department is seeing a reshaping of mission work as elders and sisters are reaching out, teaching, and being trained in new ways.
Elder Brent H. Nielson, a General Authority Seventy who is executive director of the Missionary Department said that the “This is an adventure of a lifetime.”
He said that the Church’s missionaries will be the one to say, ‘I was a missionary during the coronavirus pandemic.”
“I served in the Philippines for a while, and we flew out, and I served in Nebraska—it was a different day and a different time, and we were those missionaries.
“When I see their pictures on the planes, they are today’s ‘army of Helaman’—they are very impressive.
“I hope everyone, in the middle of all this, doesn’t miss the historic experience this is for these young men and young women who were the ones who made it through the pandemic.”
All temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have closed in response to growing restrictions related to COVID-19, the Church’s First Presidency announced.
“After careful and prayerful consideration, and with a desire to be responsible global citizens, we have decided to suspend all temple activity Churchwide at the end of the day on March 25, 2020,” wrote the Church leaders.
“This is a temporary adjustment, and we look forward to the day when the temples will reopen.”