Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint Prophet Russell M. Nelson released a video Saturday afternoon urging Church members to remain positive and faithful while dealing with the disturbances caused by the COVID-19 Virus.
“I remain optimistic for the future,” Nelson said. “These unique challenges will pass in due time. Temporary changes in our normal routine may allow additional time to experience how precious home centered gospel study can be. Don’t hesitate to use the new Book of Mormon videos (available on YouTube) and other technology to study the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Earlier this week, Nelson and the First Presidency announced they are temporarily suspending Sacrament meetings as well as other large Church gatherings like Stake Conference for the foreseeable future. They also announced that Temple ordinances and worship would be limited.
Earlier this month, the First Presidency announced that no visitors would be allowed inside the Conference Center during the April General Conference. Only apostles, speakers, the Tabernacle Choir and musicians would be inside the center broadcasting the conference via technology.
According to LDS Living Magazine, the last time the public wasn’t allowed to attend General Conference was in April 1942. According to the magazine, the conference report from that year stated the following:
“Owing to conditions incident to War emergency, the general public were not invited to attend this Conference; those present consisted of the General Authorities of the Church, Presidents of Stakes and their counselors, and Presidents of the High Priests quorums,” it said. “Through the courtesy of Radio Station KSL of Salt Lake City, the proceedings of the Sunday morning and Monday morning meetings were broadcast for the benefit of the general public.”
The magazine also stated that conference had only been cancelled once before, and that was in October 1957 during the Asian flu epidemic. The 1919 Spanish Flu Epidemic postponed that year’s conference.
In his video, Nelson told Latter-day Saints that they live in a remarkable age.
“Our Heavenly Father and Son, Jesus Christ, know us , love us and are watching over us. Of that we can be certain,” he said.
Nelson noted that the virus had impacted thousands of people and interrupted regular routines. Nelson urged everyone to take good care of themselves and their loved ones.
“Look for opportunities to help those around you, near and far. We have the great privilege of ministering to our neighbors wherever they live,” he said.
Nelson also invited everyone to watch the upcoming April 2020 General Conference via various forms of technology.
“We are looking forward to General Conference, and 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. I love you , I pray for you, and I promise you will receive comfort and peace as you continue to hear Him,” he said.
To watch the Nelson’s video visit https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/.