LDS Church Suspends Gatherings Worldwide in Response to Coronavirus

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LDS Motootua Chapel, Apia Samoa.

 

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has supended gatherings worldwide “until further notice” in response to the spread of the new coronavirus.

With more than 16 million members world-wide the LDS Church is the largest religious group in the world to cancel worship services since the outbreak began.

The announcement means canceling all Sunday services and midweek activities for more than 30,000 congregations across the globe, including over 150 congregations and 80,000 members in Samoa.

In a news release on the church’s website, church leaders said they “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,” the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said in a statement online.

Suspended church gatherings are to include conferences, public worship services and branch, ward and stake activities.
The church has directed leadership to conduct any essential meetings through technology while bishops are asked to consult with stake presidents to determine how sacrament can be distributed at least once a month.
For the full letter, click here.
April 2020 General Conference 
The Church has also announced that it will go all-ditital for its General Conference in April this year.
The LDS Church holds 2 general conferences each year in April and October to deliver churchwide sermons and to discuss leadership and policy changes.
People enter the Conference Centre for the Sunday morning session of the 189th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City on Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019. PCredit: Laura Seitz, Deseret News
The Church website newsroom confirms that for this year’s conference scheduled for April 4 and 5, “Members will not gather at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City or at stake centers or meetinghouses in areas where COVID-19 is active”.
“The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sent a letter Wednesday March 11, 2020, to members of the Church worldwide. The Church leaders announced a significant change to the format of the April 2020 general conference.  Sessions will be done virtually. Members will not gather at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City or at stake centers or meetinghouses in areas where COVID-19 is active”.
LDS Motootua Chapel, Apia Samoa.