The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced new guidelines Friday for safely increasing meetings in the Church during COVID-19.
According to a letter from The First Presidency, stake conferences can be held virtually or in-person with careful social distancing beginning in November.
“Under the guidance of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Area Presidencies approve meetings and activities in their areas,” the letter reads.
Wards can hold weekly sacrament meetings under the direction and keys of the bishop. Sacrament meetings can be held safely in person or by hybrid in-person and virtual broadcast, according to local needs and regulations. Broadcasts should not be recorded.
Since a broadcast does not include the administration of the sacrament, administering the sacrament should be considered before or after the broadcast so the virtual broadcast can go without interruption.
“Church leaders want as many Latter-day Saints as possible to have the opportunity to receive the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper—in person and from authorized holders of the priesthood,” according to the Church’s news release.
The letter goes through four principles of the gospel and how these principles guide the Lords work.
The first principle mentioned was to “remember members by name and nourish them spiritually and temporally.” The letter said wards should hold presidency and council meetings virtually or safely in person according to local conditions.
The second principle is tp “strengthen members and help bear their burdens.” Ward members should continue to minister to one another and hold ministering interviews. The sacrament should be regularly administered in the homes of those who wish to receive it, under the direction and keys of the bishop.
“Uplift one another and create unity through activities” was the third principle mentioned. Youth meetings, activities and service projects can be held virtually or safely in person according to local conditions.
The last principle is to “gather members often to fast, pray and speak concerning the welfare of their souls.” In addition to weekly sacrament meetings, members who need to continue home Sabbath worship should be supported.