SALT LAKE CITY — A day after announcing changes to its general conference and missionary training, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints suspended all worship services worldwide beginning immediately. The change comes as communities, schools and businesses take precautions against the spread of COVID-19.
In a letter sent to church members Thursday afternoon, church leadership stated that all public gatherings of church members are being canceled until further notice. This includes all activities, worship services, and sacrament meetings. Regional conferences and other large gatherings are also being suspended.
The letter from the Church’s First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles advised local leaders to conduct any essential leadership meetings via technology. Also, determine how to make the sacrament available to members at least once a month.
The announcement came a day after the church advised that the public will not be admitted into the Conference Center in Salt Lake City for the five sessions of its April 2020 General Conference. Missionaries scheduled to enter missionary training centers in Provo or Preston, England will also begin being trained remotely by video conference.
Thursday’s letter said church leaders were continuing to monitor the changing conditions related to COVID-19 throughout the world. They had considered the counsel of local leaders, government officials, medical professionals, and prayerful guidance in the matters. They also encouraged church members to care for one another, bless and lift others.
The church’s general conference will still take place April 5-6. The only people who will be admitted into the Conference Center will be church leadership, and those speaking or performing. Instead, the meetings will only be available throughout the world by radio, television and on-line.