The following is excerpted from the Church News. To read the full article, CLICK HERE.

As the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated across the world, leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints turned their attention to the health and safety of 67,000 full-time missionaries and those they teach and serve.

The First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles — with information directly from and in close coordination with area presidencies and local leaders, the missionary department, and an army of volunteers — counseled and prayed for solutions.

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“When we decided about moving missionaries from or to certain countries in the morning, we had to change it in the afternoon,” said Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and chairman of the Church’s Missionary Executive Council. “When we evaluated governmental or other travel restrictions in a meeting, the situation had already changed when we left the meeting.”

With information and circumstances in constant flux, Church leaders and “especially the missionary department staff and our precious volunteers” had to adapt quickly, he said.

The prospect of returning thousands of missionaries to their home countries caused great heartache, explained Elder Uchtdorf. All involved learned quickly that is was not enough to ponder only with their heads, but that they also had to ponder with their hearts. The Lord expanded their vision of the great opportunities and possibilities for missionary work to go forward under these stressful circumstances, he said.

“We have to accept there is a lesson in all of this,” said Elder Uchtdorf.

To read the full article, CLICK HERE.