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LDS Today - News & Resources
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March 31, 2020

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March 31, 2020

This Week’s General Conference Promises to Be Memorable (Church Newsroom) (March 31, 2020)
The 190th Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (April 4–5, 2020) will be unlike any prior conference in the history of the Church.

President Nelson Extends Invitation to Rejoice in Truth at General Conference (Church Newsroom) (March 31, 2020)
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect lives and disrupt normal activities, Church President Russell M. Nelson shared an invitation to all people to join in general conference this weekend through technology and to rejoice in the comforting power of the revealed truths of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.

Sister missionary in Australia becomes second to test positive for COVID-19 (Church News) (March 31, 2020)
A young sister missionary in Australia has tested positive for COVID-19, becoming the second missionary with a confirmed case behind Friday’s diagnosis for a missionary in Mexico City.

BYU–Pathway Offers Returned-Missionary Scholarship (Church News) (March 31, 2020)
Print Share ARTICLE HIGHLIGHTS Returned or returning missionaries are eligible for a 25 percent discount on their tuition of the PathwayConnect program. This offers returned missionaries a way to stay busy and continue their personal progress in a remote and virtual way. “With so many returning missionaries being impacted by COVID-19, we decided to accelerate the program for all returning missionaries to help them and their families get a head start.” —Clark Gilbert, BYU–Pathway Worldwide president

March 30, 2020

Video: Joy and peace can be found regardless of what is happening, President Nelson teaches (Church News) (March 30, 2020)
“When the focus of our lives is on Jesus Christ and His gospel, we can feel joy regardless of what is happening — or not happening — in our lives,” said President Nelson.

Young Missionary Dies in the Dominican Republic (Church Newsroom) (March 30, 2020)
Three missionaries serving in the Dominican Republic Santiago Mission were involved in a car accident this afternoon. Tragically, Elder Israel Emmanuel Ramírez Díaz, age 20, from Ecatepec, Mexico, passed away in that accident. He had been serving since April 2018.

Latter-day Saints find peace by accepting President Nelson’s global call to fast (Church News) (March 30, 2020)
Latter-day Saints who utilized Twitter on Sunday morning to gather the latest coronavirus news likely found peace in the words of a latter-day apostle.

Former Utah House speaker, auto exec Bob Garff dies of COVID (Daily Herald - Utah) (March 30, 2020)
Former speaker of the Utah House, auto executive and philanthropist Robert Garff died Sunday because of complications of COVID-19, his daughter and the automotive group said. Rep. Melissa Garff Ballard, R-North Salt Lake, posted on Facebook: “My loving dad passed away peacefully today from COVID-19. He has lived a long and happy life, full of vigor and love for our state and our families."

Finding My Way: Really Bad Behavior (Magic Valley - Idaho) (March 30, 2020)
Last Sunday, in a carefree defiance of now-standard Covid-19 protocols, hundreds of people crammed into a parking garage at the Salt Lake City International Airport to welcome home missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The missionaries were returning from the Philippines on a flight chartered by the Church, which is evacuating still-serving missionaries from around the world in light of the Covid-19 pandemic and returning them to their native countries.

March 27, 2020

Prophet Invites All to Fast and Pray for Relief from COVID-19 (Church Newsroom) (March 27, 2020)
In the new video message below, President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints invites the world to join him on Sunday, March 29, 2020, for a day of fasting and prayer for relief from COVID-19.

The World Will Win the War on COVID-19, President Ballard Says (Church News) (March 27, 2020)
As the progression of COVID-19 pandemic marches across the globe, President M. Russell Ballard spoke of times of turmoil in world history, the lessons learned and why he can look to the future with calm resolve.

Further Adjustments to Missionary Service (Church Newsroom) (March 27, 2020)
In our letter of March 20, 2020, we indicated that the original term of service for missionaries brought back early to the United States would likely be reduced to accommodate the large number of missionaries returning from around the world.

Parade of motorists welcome home missionaries while adhering to social distancing (Church News) (March 27, 2020)
On Thursday, a steady stream of vehicles crawled through the subdivisions traversing the South Jordan Utah Highland Stake. The sounds of honks and shouts could be heard on several streets as stake members welcomed home their recently returned full-time missionaries.

‘A common cause.’ Interfaith partnership provides food as coronavirus hits pantries (Durham Herald Sun - North Carolina) (March 27, 2020)
Even though volunteers were trying to stay six feet apart and a few were wearing face masks Thursday, it only took minutes for about 30 people to unload more than 20,000 pounds of provisions. Volunteers unloaded the pallets of beef stew, flour, macaroni, spaghetti and other kinds of long-lasting food from a truck supplied by the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The food was hustled into Durham’s Beth El Synagogue, from which Walltown Neighborhood Ministries will distribute to those in need.

March 26, 2020

First Presidency Temporarily Closes All Temples (Church Newsroom) (March 26, 2020)
After careful and prayerful consideration, and with a desire to be responsible global citizens, we have decided to suspend all temple activity Churchwide at the end of the day on March 25, 2020. This is a temporary adjustment, and we look forward to the day when the temples will reopen.

Church Updates Handbook Chapters on Aaronic Priesthood Quorums, Young Women and Primary (Church Newsroom) (March 26, 2020)
Under the direction of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints published updates today, March 25, 2020, to chapters in its General Handbook about Aaronic Priesthood quorums, Young Women and Primary (the Church’s organization for children). The chapters are available in English online and in the Gospel Library app.

Ethiopian Airlines flights return missionaries from Africa to Utah due to pandemic (KUTV - Utah) (March 26, 2020)
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is in the process of repatriating thousands of missionaries as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Thousands Of Missionaries Adjust To Being Home, Under Quarantine (KSL - Utah) (March 26, 2020)
A new day for thousands of missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints across Utah who are now home and under quarantine. “What do I do? I don’t know what to do,” said Elder TJ Holm who just returned from the Philippines and began a 14-day quarantine.

Utah missionaries — often absent for census — will be counted after return home (Deseret News - Utah) (March 26, 2020)
Lillian Wood spent months knocking on doors in city neighborhoods and along country roads lined with almond and olive trees. She toted the Book of Mormon and cultivated her own faith as she shared the gospel across Northern California.

March 25, 2020

Latter-day Saint Charities Responds to Coronavirus with Commodities and Financial Assistance Worldwide (Church News) (March 25, 2020)
In helping address global health concerns, Latter-day Saint Charities is assisting with commodities and financing worldwide—from Asia to North America and into Europe and the Middle East—while working with Church canneries and food-processing plants to help meet increased needs.

Church parking lots in Utah could be used as COVID-19 testing sites if needed (Deseret News - Utah) (March 25, 2020)
Parking lots at Latter-day Saint churches could become temporary COVID-19 testing sites if necessary, but the meetinghouses probably won’t become overflow hospitals with beds and patients, according to the faith’s Utah Area president.

Utah Man Who Died of Coronavirus Had Visited Mormon Temple (U.S. News) (March 25, 2020)
A Utah man who died from the coronavirus had visited a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints temple in the week prior to his diagnosis, church officials said. The temple in Bountiful, north of Salt Lake City, was closed Sunday after state health officials announced the man's death. It wasn't immediately clear how many people had visited the temple at the same time as the man or in the days before it was closed. Davis County Health Department officials have tried to find and contact

How FamilySearch is using computer technology to speed up the process of publishing record images (Church News) (March 25, 2020)
Last year, adding a new digital record image to the FamilySearch website took about six to nine months. Today, it can be done in 24 hours using computer technology. This means FamilySearch’s collection of now more than 4 billion historical images will continue to grow rapidly. And with FamilySearch’s new Explore Historical Images feature, users can browse these images easier than ever before.

Man wanted in Pasco for allegedly trying to rob Mormon missionaries (YakTriNews - Washington) (March 25, 2020)
Police say a man allegedly tried to rob two Mormon missionaries with a gun near Road 76 and Quadra Drive across from the Pasco Walmart on Wednesday, March 18. The Pasco Police Department said the missionaries were walking together on Road 76 around 8 p.m. when the driver of a red pickup slowed down next to them, pulled out a black semi-automatic pistol and asked if they had any money.

March 24, 2020

Utah Area presidency asks families to not congregate at airports as unprecedented numbers of missionaries return home (Church News) (March 24, 2020)
As large numbers of missionaries return home due to the global health crisis, the Church’s Utah Area presidency is reminding members and missionaries to follow instructions regarding self-isolation and congregating at airports.

Graphic shows which returning LDS missionaries will be released or reassigned (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (March 24, 2020)
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, tens of thousands of missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are on the move.

5 Ways You Can Watch April 2020 General Conference from Anywhere (Church News) (March 24, 2020)
While concerns surrounding the worldwide pandemic have led to cancelled and postponed events around the world, the 190th Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will go on—available entirely online and across radio waves for the first time.

Two Utah temples close after potential COVID-19 exposure (Church News) (March 24, 2020)
Church leaders announced Monday, March 23, the Oquirrh Mountain Utah Temple — closed for the past two weeks for maintenance — will remain closed for a week-long evaluation after a potential COVID-19 exposure.

All 10 MTCs are Closing, Nonnative Missionaries to Return from Mexico, Vietnam, and India (Church News) (March 24, 2020)
All 10 of the Church’s missionary training centers are temporarily closing and more nonnative missionaries are returning from missions worldwide, as the Church updated on Monday, March 23, its adjustments for missionary service because of global health concerns.

How Joseph Smith and the Early Mormons Challenged American Democracy (New Yorker) (March 24, 2020)
In Nauvoo, Illinois, Smith established a theocracy, ran for President, and tested the limits of religious freedom.

Yet, again: Has Richard Bushman declared the “dominant narrative” of Church history “false”? (Patheos) (March 24, 2020)
I first posted this blog entry back on 31 July 2017. However, since a claim about Professor Richard Bushman and the alleged “falsehood” of “the dominant narrative” of Mormon history has come up yet again, I think I should probably post it yet again.

March 23, 2020

More Temporary Adjustments Made to Missionary Work (Church Newsroom) (March 23, 2020)
In the coming weeks, based upon world conditions, substantial numbers of missionaries will likely need to be returned to their home nations to continue their service. This will be done in a systematic way based on the urgency of travel restrictions, the level of COVID-19 concern, and other considerations.

Church Emphasizes Self-Isolation Guidelines for Missionaries (Church Newsroom) (March 23, 2020)
As many missionaries return home in the coming weeks due to the COVID-19 outbreak, they will be asked to self-isolate for 14 days, regardless of where they traveled from. This is an important precaution in accordance with guidelines from the World Health Organization and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), even though many of these missionaries have already been self-isolating or come from areas where the virus is not as prevalent.

Coronavirus brings hundreds of LDS missionaries back to Utah (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (March 23, 2020)
Hundreds of missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints streamed through the doors of Salt Lake City International Airport on Sunday and were greeted by a large group of family and friends, marking an atypical detour in their religious service for the Utah-based faith.

88 temples now closed. Learn more about adjustments to temple work due to COVID-19 (Church News) (March 23, 2020)
In an effort to minimize community spread of COVID-19, Church leaders announced on March 18 additional adjustments relating to temple worship: Temples will only accept appointments for living ordinances from members residing within the local temple district. In states, provinces, or regions that have multiple temples, those temples can accept appointments for living ordinances from members within the state, province, or region....

3 Church Facilities and 12 Meetinghouses Damaged in 5.7 Magnitude Earthquake (Church News) (March 23, 2020)
Several Salt Lake City facilities of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints appear to have sustained structural damage during Wednesday’s 5.7 magnitude earthquake, the Church reported in an updated statement on Thursday evening, March 19.

This week in Mormon Land — and what a week it was: Coronavirus chaos, quake shake, and a calming voice (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (March 23, 2020)
Church President Russell M. Nelson had a message for a world shaken by a pandemic: Stay healthy. Serve others. Cling to hope. Look to God.

Trump appears to mock Mitt Romney over coronavirus isolation: ‘Gee that’s too bad’ (Independent - UK) (March 23, 2020)
Donald Trump has appeared to mock the threat of the deadly coronavirus facing Mitt Romney, the only Republican senator who voted to convict him on impeachment charges. The Utah senator and former presidential nominee said he was taking advice on self-isolation after spending time on Friday with Rand Paul, who announced on Sunday that he had tested positive for Covid-19.

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