Friday 5 June, 2020

Coronavirus: LDS Church to host global fast on Good Friday

iStock photo

iStock photo

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is inviting its members as well as people of other faiths from around the world to participate in a fast on Good Friday aimed at mitigating the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The announcement was made during the Saturday night session of the 190th Annual General Conference of the Church.

"Let us unite in pleading for healing throughout the world," Russell M Nelson, the president of the church, told an audience of millions who followed the conference virtually, on radio and television.

"I invite all, including those not of our faith, to fast and pray on Good Friday, April 10th, that the present pandemic may be controlled, care givers protected, the economy strengthened and life normalised."

Nelson made reference to several passages of scripture where the importance of fasting is taught, including: "...to lose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke..." (see Isiah 58:6)

"During times of deep distress, as when illness reaches pandemic proportions, the most natural thing for us to do is to call upon our Heavenly Father and His son, the Master Healer, to show forth their marvelous power, to bless the people of the earth," said Nelson.

Fasting, for all whose health may permit, consists of foregoing two meals, and not partaking of food or water for a period of 24 hours, joined with earnest prayer for a special cause.

"In this case it would be to join in fasting and prayer as we unite our faith and prayerfully plead for relief from the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects," the church said in a press release.

This is the second occasion (most recently on March 29th) in which the president of the church has invited its total membership and the entire world’s population to join in fasting and prayer as an action of faith in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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