The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

High-ranking Latter-day Saint leaders all test negative for coronavirus

By Ryan Miller, | Posted - Oct. 8, 2020 at 12:49 p.m.

SALT LAKE CITY — The novel coronavirus has not spread among the senior leadership of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

After Elder Gerrit W. Gong, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and his wife, Susan, tested positive for the virus, all other members of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles were tested for the virus — all those tests came back negative.

Many of the faith’s highest-ranking leaders, including President Russell M. Nelson who is 96, are in their 70s, 80s and even 90s — ages considered high-risk for the disease.

“Church leaders will continue to exercise caution and follow all health guidelines related to COVID-19 and encourage our members to do the same,” church spokesman Eric Hawkins said.

As for the Gongs, they both continue to experience “mild symptoms” of COVID-19 and are recovering at home.

“They are grateful for the many prayers and expressions of concern and love,” Hawkins said.

Elder Gong, who is 66, had been exposed to the virus before last weekend's general conference. Due to the exposure, the decision was made for him not to attend the conference. His talk — "All Nations, Kindreds and Tongues" — was pre-recorded and shown during the Saturday afternoon session of the conference.

The faith announced on Tuesday that Elder Gong and Susan Gong had tested positive for the virus.

Elder Gong, who began his service as an apostle in 2018, is the first Asian American to be called to the Quorum of the Twelve.

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