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Latter-day Saint church leaders say normal is ‘getting closer’ in Utah

Apr 9, 2021, 9:16 AM
Latter-day Saint church...
Chapel pews sit empty in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Salt Lake Stake Center in downtown Salt Lake City during the COVID-19 pandemic on Tuesday, May 19, 2020. Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint says local leadership in Utah can now start developing plans to return to regular church worship and activities.

The Utah Area Presidency said it is deeply grateful for the work of local lay church leaders throughout the pandemic.

“As infection rates in Utah continue to decrease and vaccinations significantly increase, we are getting closer to a time when we can return to our normal church meetings and activities,” they said on Thursday.

Church leaders said stake presidents, who oversee multiple congregations, and bishops, who oversee neighborhood congregations, should start discussing that return. 

“In counsel with senior Church leaders, and taking into consideration the cautions outlined below, we now ask stake presidents, in consultation with bishops and others, to develop plans and take responsibility for how members in their stakes return to in-person church meetings and activities for all organizations,” they continued.

Those considerations and cautions included complying with all directives from state and local government agencies. They also mean continuing safety guidelines such as masking and social distancing as determined by stake presidencies.

Latter-day Saint Church handbook update, vaccines “protect health and preserve life”

They also asked that Utah wards continue to broadcast Sunday worship services and provide options for members  to continue to administer the sacrament in their homes.

As for second-hour Sunday school classes, the area presidency said stake leadership can continue to direct wards to hold them virtually. Those classes may also meet in larger spaces if multiple congregations meet in the same building or overlap. 

Bonneville International Corporation, the company that owns KSL NewsRadio, is a subsidiary of Deseret Management Corporation, which is owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

General Conference Special, Faith and Science: How the church used both to fight COVID-19

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Latter-day Saint church leaders say normal is ‘getting closer’ in Utah