Church leaders speak “pure truth”

Salt Lake City (AP) —The President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints urged members to listen to religious leaders seeking “pure truth” on Saturday and followed the church’s guidance during the pandemic. I thanked the people. This was to get a coronavirus vaccination.

President Russell M. Nelson admitted at a church meeting that the world “is still dealing with the damage of COVID-19 and its variants.” He made no mention of vaccines, but thanked the members for following the advice of church leaders, medical professionals, and government officials.

Utah-based beliefs have repeatedly encouraged 16 million members worldwide to limit the spread of the infection by obtaining vaccines and wearing masks.

“There are things that are really right and wrong, contrary to some people’s doubts. There is a really absolute truth, the eternal truth,” Nelson said in an almost empty conference center in Salt Lake City. I talked from. “One of today’s calamities is that too few people know where to direct the truth. What you hear today and tomorrow can guarantee to you that it constitutes pure truth. . “

Due to the pandemic, the conference will be held again without full attendance, but for the first time in two years, the leaders have returned to the 20,000-seat conference center of faith, which is directly watched by hundreds of people.

The famous Tabernacle Choir of the Church in Temple Square also met in person. However, the church said it had fewer members than usual due to social distance and all members were vaccinated.

The leaders spoke at the previous three meetings in a small building with no choir or attendees. These conferences were the first to be held without full attendance for over 70 years.

Most members of the faith, widely known as the Mormon Church, watch speeches from homes around the world on TV, computers and tablets during a two-day meeting. Before the pandemic, about 100,000 people gathered at the church headquarters for the event, listening to five sessions in two days.

The church is urging people to get vaccinated Divided faith, Similar to a larger society. Members who support the stance say they fear that some Latter-day Saints who refuse vaccination may allow a political view that replaces loyalty to faith, which prioritizes unity and obedience. increase. Other church members are angry that their leaders are not letting them exercise their own personal decisions about vaccines and masks.

About 65% of Latter-day Saints who responded to the survey earlier this year said they were recipients of the vaccine. This means that you have received at least one vaccination or are planning soon. Another 15% identified hesitation and 19% vaccinated, according to a survey this summer from the Washington-based polling agency Public Religion Research Institute and Pagan Youth Core. I said I wouldn’t.

The study found that 79% of white Catholics and 56% of white evangelical Protestants were identified as vaccine recipients.

In Utah, which is home to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and has nearly two-thirds of its 3.2 million members, the virus surges among unvaccinated residents in the summer, leaving hospitals nearly full. Reached. Cases peaked in mid-September and then declined in the past few weeks, reflecting national trends. According to state data, about 65% of Utah residents over the age of 12 are fully vaccinated.

The pandemic was not the central topic of Saturday’s conference speech, and most speakers focused on the issue of spiritual instruction. Some speeches were pre-recorded by international members of the Middle Class Leadership Panel who were unable to travel to the United States due to a pandemic.

In one of them, Germany’s Erich W. Kopischke begged members to better understand mental health issues and avoid being critical of those suffering from such illnesses. .. He said his son was unable to complete his church mission because he was suffering from panic attacks, anxiety and depression, which made him think of suicide.

Kopishke admitted that he and his wife were worried about the thoughts of others and were disappointed and saddened by their son’s failure to carry out his mission. Missions are considered a rite of passage for young members of the faith, and returning home early has long been a pain for young people and their parents.

“Parents may find it difficult to identify a child’s struggle, but we must educate ourselves. How to know the difference between the difficulties associated with normal development and the signs of illness. As parents, we have a sacred responsibility to help our children overcome life’s challenges, but few mental health professionals, ”said Kopishke. increase. “Nevertheless, when children strive to meet their proper expectations, they need to be cared for by helping them learn to be content with their sincere efforts.”

Brazil’s Ulisses Soares, who became the first Latin American member of the Supreme Governance Commission, called the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in 2018, also encouraged members to be considerate of others.

“Don’t judge fellow men and women harshly and cruelly because you understand the imperfections from your beloved Heavenly Father and need mercy,” Soares said.

Bonnie H. Cordon, president of the Church Program for Young Women, told young members to always remember God’s love for them. She was the only two women she spoke to during the Saturday session.

“Remembering this love helps to weaken your confidence in your divine identity and push back the turmoil of the world trying to blind your potential,” Cordon said.

Dallin H. Oaks has issued a strict reminder to encourage members to attend church on a regular basis. He is Nelson’s first counselor, the second highest ranked member of the Church, and a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

“If we stop evaluating the Church for some reason, we threaten our personal spiritual life, and a significant number of departures from God reduce God’s blessing to our country,” Oaks said.