The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sent the following letter Wednesday, March 11, 2020, to members of the Church worldwide. The senior leaders announced a significant change to service in missionary training centers in Provo, Utah, and Preston, England. (See also two other letters from the First Presidency, sent Wednesday, that address important updates to the format of the April 2020 general conference and restrictions on other large gatherings of members.)
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Caring for the health and safety of our missionaries and those with whom they meet is vital to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We have counseled with governmental, ecclesiastical and medical leaders worldwide on the spread of COVID-19. We have prayerfully considered this evolving circumstance and are taking additional steps at missionary training centers to protect missionaries and prevent the possible spread of the virus.
Beginning March 16, 2020, all missionaries scheduled to enter missionary training centers in Provo, Utah, or Preston, England, will be trained remotely by video conference. Other missionary training centers will continue to function as usual, but they will not receive any missionaries from regions where government officials are restricting activity. Missionaries from those areas will also be trained by video conference.
We believe this temporary virtual training program will help to prepare missionaries for the field while minimizing risks related to communicable disease.
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.
We will continue to follow developments closely and make any needed further adjustments.
We love our missionaries and their families and are grateful for their willingness to serve the Lord. We hope they will take advantage of this unique training experience to prepare for a wonderful period of Christlike service.
The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles