‘Get vaccinated,’ Church urges Latter-day Saints in new letter

Religion

The spires of the historic Salt Lake Temple are shown here during the 186th Annual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on April 2, 2016 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is calling on its members to wear face masks when needed and to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

“To provide personal protection from such severe infections, we urge individuals to be vaccinated. Available vaccines have proven to be both safe and effective,” the First Presidency says in a Thursday letter to members.

All three members of the First Presidency and five members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles received their COVID-19 vaccines earlier this year. In April, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints called on missionaries to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

They go on to encourage mask-wearing in public meetings when social distancing is not possible.

“We find ourselves fighting a war against the ravages of COVID-19 and its variants, an unrelenting pandemic. We want to do all we can to limit the spread of these viruses. We know that protection from the diseases they cause can only be achieved by immunizing a very high percentage of the population,” the letter reads. “We can win this war if everyone will follow the wise and thoughtful recommendations of medical experts and government leaders.”

This announcement comes just days after the president of Brigham Young University’s Idaho location urged students to consider getting their COVID-19 vaccine.

“Usually, I try to be funny in videos, as you know,” President Henry J. Eyring says. “At this time, though, we face serious medical threats and associated decisions.”

In a 7-minute video message to university students and staff, Eyring warns there is a “real possibility” that the university could return to limited in-person classes with physical distancing.

BYU in Provo recently announced all students and university employees will be required to disclose their vaccination status.

In June, BYU’s Hawaii campus announced it will require COVID-19 immunization for students beginning in the fall semester.

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