SALT LAKE CITY — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has started reassigning missionaries who were forced to return home early because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The announcement came as leaders also cancelled all church pageants and youth camps.
Church spokesman Daniel Woodruff said, in the wake of the coronavirus, many missionaries around the world returned to their home countries to self-isolate, while others completed online instruction for their missionary training center experience. Since that time, most missionaries have expressed a desire to begin or continue serving as soon as possible.
“The process of reassigning these missionaries to missions in their home countries is underway, and they have started receiving their new assignments,” explained Woodruff. “Many missionaries throughout the world have already begun their new assignments, and some missionaries in the United States and Canada will depart for their new assignments beginning next week.”
The Church is staggering missionary travel to missions throughout the next several months, based on local circumstances. Once in their new assignments, missionaries will take part in activities appropriate to the local communities where they will serve. They will be encouraged to follow local and national public health guidelines relating to travel, personal interaction, and preventing any further spread of COVID-19.
In a separate letter to local leaders, the Church’s First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles reiterated its suspension of all youth camps and conferences until further notice. The faith’s recreational properties in the United States and Canada will remain closed.
Local leaders were recommended to consider technology-based experiences if customary camps and conferences are not held. The events are meant to be fun and meaningful, and provide opportunities to connect with one another.
The letter also advised that the Nauvoo and Hill Cumorah pageants will not be held in 2020. Both are planned to resume in 2021.