President Russell M. Nelson invites the world to fast and pray

Church President Russell M. Nelson waves during The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' conference Saturday, April 6, 2019, in Salt Lake City. Church members are preparing for more changes as they gather in Utah for a twice-yearly conference to hear from the faith’s top leaders. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

SALT LAKE CITY — In a video message, President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints invited the world to join him on Sunday for a day of fasting and prayer for relief from the novel coronavirus. The message was sent to members of the faith Thursday night.

In the short video posted by the church, President Nelson expressed admiration for medical professionals and scientists that are trying to curb the spread of COVID-19. He asked people to join him in prayer and fasting for help from the virus.

“I invite you to join with me in a worldwide fast, for all whose health permits, to pray for relief from the physical, emotional, and economic effects of this global pandemic,” said President Nelson.

Thursday’s invitation came after the church announced earlier in the week the complete closure of its temples around the world. The faith has also temporarily suspended all worship services and activities, and prohibited attendees at its general conference in April. Full-time missionaries serving in foreign countries are also being sent home to self-quarantine for 14-days, and then being reassigned to serve in their native countries. Deseret Industries’ stores have also been closed.

President Nelson said he is a man of faith and knows that, during challenging times, people can be strengthened and lifted as they call upon God and His son, Jesus Christ.

“Let us unite our faith to plead for physical, spiritual and other healing throughout the entire world. The Lord understands the feelings you are experiencing. He loves and cares for you, as I do too.”

On March 14, President Nelson issued words of comfort saying that these unique challenges will pass in due time and that he is optimistic for the future.

Nelson was called as the 17th president and prophet of the church on Jan. 16, 2018. He is an internationally-renowned heart surgeon and medical researcher.

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  • pablo March 27, 2020 at 2:18 pm Reply

    Yeah, that will work….regardless of your faith, how in the world is fasting going to accomplish anything but leaving us less nourished in a time of crisis.

    • Jacob March 28, 2020 at 7:21 pm Reply

      When we fast we donate a “fast offering” from what we saved from the meals we didn’t eat, and that is used for humanitarian aid.

  • Steve schilling March 29, 2020 at 10:52 am Reply

    Oh please. J
    Your kidding, right?

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