The top leadership of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Wednesday ordered mandatory use of face masks in its temples around the globe to fight COVID-19 and again called for members to get vaccinated, citing church history in prior pandemics.
Cases in the church’s home state of Utah and neighboring states are on the rise again and hospital capacity is stretched but the order is international.
“We are grateful that in recent months, some level of ordinance work has resumed in every temple,” Russell M. Nelson, Dallin H. Oaks and Henry B. Eyring said in a statement issued in Salt Lake City. “Our desire is to keep temples open.”
“Effective immediately, all temple patrons and workers are asked to wear face masks at all times while in the temple,” they wrote.
The church leaders, known collectively as the First Presidency, also wrote: “Our urging Church members to be vaccinated and to protect themselves and others from the spread of disease has precedent.
“Prior First Presidencies shared similar messages in 1900 about smallpox and in 1957 regarding polio. Please do all you can to protect yourself and others so the work of the Lord on both sides of the veil can move forward.”
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