SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, March 29, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Monday released a summary of the status of its “measured return to normal operating procedures disrupted by COVID-19.”
The Church is moving forward in all areas of the world with ample caution, always strictly following the guidance of governments to prevent the spread of the pandemic, the statement says.
“Your safety and well-being will always be our utmost concern,” Church President Russell M. Nelson in May of last year.
Here’s the update:
Which Church functions have begun phases of reopening?
- Church Distribution Retail Stores and Deseret Book (Updated October 5, 2020)
See a status list for each store.
- Deseret Industries Stores (Updated September 22, 2020)
As of September 22, 2020, all Deseret Industries stores have reopened. Each location strictly follows local government safety guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Customers should visit deseretindustries.org/reopen to schedule a donation and to see the hours of operation for each store.
- Missionary Work (Updated November 4, 2020)
The process of reassigning missionaries to missions in their home countries is underway, and they have started receiving their new assignments. The Church has issued travel guidelines for missionaries.
Church spokesman Daniel Woodruff shared the following statement with media on August 7, 2020, about a small number of missionaries returning to parts of Europe and Asia:
Over the last several weeks, the Church has been able to send a small number of missionaries to their original assignments in some places in Europe and Asia. In these circumstances, missionaries have proper travel documentation and strictly follow local requirements concerning self-isolation or quarantine. As they continue their service in these areas, the missionaries take part in activities appropriate to local circumstances. Additional travel of missionaries to assignments outside their home countries is dependent upon local conditions and travel restrictions.
The Church also released a statement on November 4, 2020, about sending missionaries to assignments outside their home countries.
- Temple Worship (Updated March 29, 2021)
- Weekly Worship and Activities
In May 2020, the Church authorized a phased return to some aspects of its weekly worship services and activities. As of September 11, 2020, the First Presidency has provided updated guidelines to help leaders and members safely increase engagement in worship and other activities during the pandemic. This includes guidance on the resumption of stake conferences and weekly worship.
Which Church operations are still temporarily paused, postponed, or closed to the public?
- Church Educational System (large gatherings paused)
- Church Historic Sites
- Pageants (2021 pageants canceled)
- Perpetual Education Fund loan payments and interest charges are being deferred until April 1, 2021.
- Temple Square
- The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square (2020 Heritage Tour has been rescheduled; Weekly broadcasts are closed to the public; 2020 Christmas concert and auditions are canceled)
- Youth Camps, Conferences, and Treks (see here and here)
You can find answers to other questions in the documents “Responding to COVID-19: Answers to Questions” and “Directions for Essential Ordinances, Blessings, and other Church Functions.”
Preventative Measures for Members*
- Regularly and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water or clean them with an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick (this may include avoiding shaking hands or other customary greetings).
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Maintain at least six feet (two meters) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Follow public health agency recommendations for using a face mask.
Local leaders should encourage members to follow these guidelines.