Latter-day Saint Church announces new options for missionaries to complete service at later time

Missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

SALT LAKE CITY — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced additional guidelines for missionaries returning home from countries impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The options were described in a letter sent to church members Tuesday night from the faith’s top leadership.

Missionary returning to the Salt Lake City Airport (Courtesy: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

A portion of the letter stated that the cornavirus outbreak has required many adjustments to missionary service, including the need for large numbers of missionaries to return to the United States and Canada from around the world. However, changing conditions have limited the church’s ability to reassign these missionaries, even on a temporary basis.

The letter explained that missionaries returning to North America from international assignments will now be temporary released. They can then choose whether to be reinstated to their original or temporary assignment as soon as conditions allow. They can also choose to defer their mission for 12 to 18 months.

Similar options were also outlined for those who are currently training in preparation for their service, those who have received their mission calls and prospective missionaries.

During the last thee weeks, the Church has been sending full-time missionaries serving in foreign countries back to their homes to self-quarantine for 14 days. It has also suspended all regular worship services and activities, along with announcing that there will be no attendees at its General Conference, April 4-5. Deseret Industries’ stores have also been closed.

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