SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – Elder Dale G. Renlund from the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released a video Sunday morning addressing temples reopening amid the COVID-19 pandemic and discussing safety measures to show “Christlike love” to others during this time.
“Today, I speak to you, not as a former physician, I speak to you as an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ,” said Elder Renlund. “As individuals, as families, and as a Church, we will be judged by how we treat the vulnerable and disadvantaged in our societies. As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads around the world, it wreaks havoc among those who are already disadvantaged. Sadly, responses to the pandemic have been politicized and contentious. Ours need not be.”
Elder Renlund reminded people of the second great commandment: to love thy neighbor as thyself. Elder Renlund says during this pandemic, loving thy neighbor means social distancing, wearing a mask, and not gathering in large groups.
“These steps demonstrate our love for others and provide us a measure of protection. Wearing a face covering is a sign of Christlike love for our brothers and sisters,” Elder Renlund said.
In the video, the apostle further went on to say that COVID-19 is serious and that the consequences are not fully understood. He explained that the Church has been careful during the pandemic, closing all temples at the start of the pandemic in the spring and only cautiously reopening temples on criteria that indicate when it is safe to do so.
As temples reopen, masks, physical distancing, and other safety measures will be in place within the Church’s temples.
Elder Renlund and his wife, Ruth, both tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend. Elder Renlund reportedly has mild symptoms while Ruth is asymptomatic.
The church notes that the video that was released Sunday morning was pre-recorded ahead of the announcement of temples moving to phase 3.