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SALT LAKE CITY — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced Wednesday that April's general conference sessions will be held virtually, some incoming missionaries will train remotely, and gatherings of multiple congregations in some areas will be postponed.
General conference changes
Leaders, speakers, musicians, choirs, technicians and others assigned to assist with general conference will participate in all five sessions at the Conference Center in Salt Lake, but the public will not be admitted to the building.
"Proceedings of the conference will be distributed throughout the world via technology only," according to the church's news release. "Members will not gather at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City or at stake centers or meetinghouses in areas where COVID-19 is active."
The church previously discouraged members from traveling internationally to attend the conference.
"We are deeply concerned about the global spreading of illness caused by COVID-19. We have counseled with worldwide governmental, ecclesiastical, and medical leaders and have prayerfully considered the current circumstances. We want to be good global citizens and do what we can to control this contagious illness. We are most grateful for the many who are working tirelessly to address this health hazard. We pray for them and for all who may be suffering," the news release reads.
Large church meetings postponed
Beginning March 16, the church will also postpone stake and leadership conferences and other larger gatherings of members in Asia, Europe, the United States and Canada. Members should follow the guidance of their local leaders in relation to weekly worship services and activities, the church suggests.
Missionaries to train remotely
Missionaries scheduled to enter the missionary training centers in Provo or Preston, England, will be trained remotely via video conference, also beginning March 16. Other training centers will continue as usual but will not receive any missionaries from regions where officials are "restricting activity," another news release from the church reads. These missionaries will also train remotely.
"Each missionary will receive specific information regarding the length of training, schedules, and other logistics as his or her starting date approaches. Once missionaries complete their online training, they will travel directly to their mission assignments," the news release explains.
The church has restricted missionary activity in some areas and has completely removed missionaries in others.