Elder Bednar Reflects on the Role of Religion in the COVID-19 Crisis

Apostle speaks of the powerful possibilities of partnership between secular and sacred institutions during the virtual gathering, hosted by Saudi Arabia

Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said Wednesday, October 14, 2020, that the labeling of religion as a non-essential activity by some governments has placed an unfortunate stumbling block along the path to recovery during the COVID-19 pandemic. Full text of his address is available at Church News.

In his remarks, Elder Bednar urged policymakers to consider the implications of their actions on faith communities and encouraged all to remember the centrality of faith in the lives of believers. Here are five quotes from his address, “Understanding Religion As Essential—Reflections on the COVID-19 Crisis and the Place of Religion.”

1. “No one has a right to spread a dangerous virus. But that is not the end of the matter.”

2. “Our faith calls upon us to love God above all else. It defines who and what we are, how we understand the meaning of our lives, and how we live each day. It is the source of our strength, consolation, and hope amidst sorrow, travail, and death. Faith traditions are the incubators and shapers of family and community life, creating and sustaining the spiritual ties that link and bind people together. Religion transmits moral and social truths to the next generation. Can anything be more vital?”

3. “Severing people from their religious communities threatens people’s spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical health.”

4. “Misinformation is a major obstacle in a health crisis. Faith communities can debunk rumors, calm fears, and facilitate accurate information. Many will be fearful of vaccines. Religious leaders can be helpful in the fight against the coronavirus.”

5. “Choosing to disrespect religion rather than find ways to safely accommodate it has serious consequences. It infringes on the dignity of believers.”

Read Elder Bednar’s full remarks at Church News.

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