Elder Gerrit W. Gong, an apostle for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and his wife, have tested positive for COVID-19.
Leah Franklin, a member of the Church, said, “I saw that their case was pretty mild, so it seems OK for now. I hope that they get better soon.”
Prior to general conference last weekend, Elder Gong chose to self-quarantine due to possible exposure to COVID-19. He did not attend the conference in person and instead pre-recorded his remarks.
“Obviously you’re concerned with anybody who has COVID-19,” said long-time Church member Bill Kerr. “But without risk factors, and the fact that he was speaking, I would assume that he and his wife were just fine.”
Elder Gong invited those listening to change the world for the better and offered messages of hope.
“As we come to trust God, sometimes through pleading in our darkest, loneliest, most uncertain moments, we learn He knows us better and loves us more than we know or love ourselves,” he said in his conference talk.
Church members have expressed their concern regarding the Gongs’ health and gratitude for his conference message, despite his diagnosis.
“I like how they addressed that everyone is going through a hard time this year, but at the same time, we can still be optimistic and be hopeful that eventually it’s all going to be okay,” said Leah.
Church spokesman Eric Hawkins issued a statement Tuesday that said: “Their condition is mild, but they are being cautious and their health is being carefully monitored by doctors.”
Lauren Linford, another member of the Church, upon hearing the news said, “Initially I feel sad, and I hope that they are able to fully recover from that with them being older, and that it doesn’t affect them greatly.”
The Church statement also encourages members to continue to take steps to protect themselves, and others, during this global pandemic.