SALT LAKE CITY — Saying the gospel of Jesus Christ provides hope and help to a troubled world, President Russell M. Nelson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, on Saturday shared a three-minute videotaped message regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
The leader considered a prophet by 16.3 million Latter-day Saints around the world spoke directly about concerns regarding COVID-19.
“As you are well aware, we as a global church are facing a unique challenge,” President Nelson said. “COVID-19 and its resulting illness has affected thousands of lives and interrupted many regular routines. We pray for those who are suffering and for those who have lost loved ones.”
President Nelson, his counselors in the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles earlier this week suspended all gatherings for church worship services, meetings and activities to join the effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus. They also suspended all proxy work at Latter-day Saint temples.
“After prayerful consideration, and with our deep desire to be part of the solution to this challenge, we have recently made many temporary adjustments to the way we worship and serve the Lord,” he said in the video. “We are most grateful for your faith, your prayers, your cooperation and understanding.”
He spoke with energy and with a smile. He counseled church members that “Heavenly Father and his Son Jesus Christ know us, love us and are watching over us. Of that we can be certain.”
“During these uncertain times,” he continued, “be comforted by this promise from the Savior. He said, ‘I the Lord am bound when you do what I say.’ I promise you that joy is always within the reach of everyone who will hear him and obey his laws.”
He encouraged members to take care of themselves and their loved ones. Then he asked them to serve and minister to others. He also talked about how church members could move forward during the temporary suspension of church services.
“Temporary changes in our normal routine may allow us additional time to experience how precious home-centered gospel study can be,” he said. “Don’t hesitate to use the new Book of Mormon videos and other technology to study the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Finally, he noted that Latter-day Saints are looking forward to the church’s international general conference on April 4-5. Church leaders previously announced that it will be a virtual conference due to concerns about COVID-19.
“We will focus on the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ in its fullness,” he said. “That gospel provides certain hope and help to a troubled world. I love you, I pray for you and I promise that you will receive comfort and peace as you continue to hear him.”