First Presidency Provides Safe Guidelines for Returning to Activities and Church Meetings

First Presidency announces some meetings, activities to resume as world continues to respond to COVID-19

In a move certain to evoke joy in members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints worldwide, the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have authorized a phased return to some of the faith’s weekly worship services and activities. A letter sent today to general and local leaders around the world says this can be done only when local government regulations allow and after the faith’s Area Presidencies provide additional guidance to local Church leaders.

Related Content: Rules About Administering The Sacrament at Home

A two-phase approach will be used, always following government regulations to ensure the health and safety of all involved. The models below may be adjusted by Area Presidencies as local conditions require and as approved by their contact in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Presidency of the Seventy. Stake presidents, counseling with bishops, will determine the specific timing for resumption of meetings and activities.

Sabbath Day Worship Services: Phase 1

  • Shortened meetings at the meetinghouse with up to 99 individuals, following local government regulations
  • Other Meetings and Activities (including weddings and funerals): Phase 1
  • Shortened meetings, following local government regulations; may be held remotely using technology

Sabbath Day Worship Services: Phase 2

  • Meetings at the meetinghouse with 100 or more individuals, following local government regulations
  • Other Meetings and Activities: Phase 2
  • Meetings at the meetinghouse, following local government regulations

“We are grateful for the faith of our members as they have worshipped at home and are grateful for the blessings that will come as we gather for worship and activities,” said the First Presidency.

Church leaders are instructed to consult the First Presidency letter from April 16, 2020, “Administrative Principles in Challenging Times,” and its two enclosures (see here and here). They are also invited to consider these additional principles and guidelines to continue to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

Related: Amidst The Coronavirus Pandemic, God’s Promises Can Give Us Peace

The enclosure includes several other administrative principles and guidelines for local priesthood leaders:

  • Use an abundance of caution in protecting the health and safety of members. Pay particular attention to members whose health or age puts them at high risk.
  • Advise individuals who do not feel well, or who have been asked to self-quarantine, or who exhibit any of the following symptoms that they should not attend meetings: fever, cough, shortness of breath, headache, runny nose or sore throat.
  • Follow social distancing, handwashing, and other virus-preventive practices.
  • Follow government regulations in each location regarding public gatherings, including meeting size, frequency, and duration.
  • Return slowly to regular practices for in-person gatherings, giving priority to meetings where ordinances are performed, such as baptisms and sacrament meetings. Continue to utilize technology to function remotely, when appropriate.
  • The notice to leaders provides additional guidance on social distancing, what to do when more than the advised number of Church members want to attend a meeting, how to handle multiple congregations in a meetinghouse, appropriate sanitary procedures, safe administration of the sacrament and more. Read these details in the complete notice.

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