LDS Church issues guidelines for return to worship services, group activities

Salt Lake Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. File photo: Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, May 19, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced plans for the phased return of some of the Church’s weekly gatherings and activities.

A letter issued Tuesday details the plan, to be enacted “only when local government regulations allow and after the faith’s Area Presidencies provide additional guidance to local Church leaders,” the statement says.

A two-phased approach will be used when the time comes for different locales. Stake presidents, counseling with bishops, will determine the specific timing for resumption of meetings and activities, the statement says.

Phase 1

  • Shortened meetings at the meetinghouse with up to 99 individuals, following local government regulations, will be allowed
  • Shortened meetings, following local government regulations, may be held remotely using technology.

Phase 2

  • Meetings at the meetinghouse with 100 or more individuals, following local government regulations, will be allowed.
  • Meetings at the meetinghouse will follow 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,” a statement from the First Presidency said.

General Guidelines

The LDS Church provided the guidelines listed below:

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:

  • 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, 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 practices described in “Preventative Measures for Members.”
  • Follow government regulations in each location regarding public gatherings, including meeting size, frequency and duration. Please apply government regulations.
  • Please return to regular practices slowly, continuing to function remotely using technology while beginning in-person meetings in a phased approach, as described above Priority for in-person gatherings should be given to meetings during which ordinances are performed, such as baptisms and sacrament meetings.

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.

See the issued letter and guidelines below. Click on “pages” and “+” at the bottom of the document to see subsequent pages.



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