Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints won’t provide vaccine exemptions

Sep 21, 2021, 6:03 PM
church vaccine exemptions temple square...
The Salt Lake Temple on Conference Weekend, April 2021. (Colby Walker, KSL NewsRadio)
(Colby Walker, KSL NewsRadio)

SALT LAKE CITY — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has confirmed to KSL NewsRadio that it will not provide religious exemptions for vaccines to its members.

No other details were provided, and when asked, spokesman for the church Doug Anderson referred to a section of the church’s handbook.

“Vaccinations administered by competent medical professionals protect health and preserve life. Members of the Church are encouraged to safeguard themselves, their children, and their communities through vaccination,” a segment of the handbook reads.

“Individuals are responsible to make their own decisions about vaccination. If members have concerns, they should counsel with competent medical professionals.”

Church among many faiths not offering exemptions

In recent days, a number of faith leaders across the country have addressed requests to offer exemptions to the COVID-19 vaccine. The Associated Press spoke to leaders of the Greek Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York in addition to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and none planned to offer religious vaccine exemptions. 

President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has repeatedly encouraged members to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. He and other senior church leaders publicly received their doses when they became available. 

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. 

How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronavirus spreads person to person, similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Wear a mask to protect yourself and others per CDC recommendations.
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet).
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities).
  • Obtain a flu shot.
  • Seek out the COVID-19 vaccine.

Local resources

KSL Coronavirus Q&A 

Utah’s Coronavirus Information 

Utah State Board of Education

Utah Hospital Association

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707

National Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization

Cases in the United States

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