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'We're learning a whole different way to communicate': President Ballard on connecting with Church members virtually

by | Sep. 22, 2020

In-person ministering has been impacted by the pandemic, especially in regard to travel restrictions, closed borders, and social distancing. But that doesn’t mean Church leaders aren’t keeping in touch with Latter-day Saints. In a recent interview with Church News, President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, shared how they are keeping up to date with Latter-day Saints virtually.

“It is what we are doing now—every day,” President Ballard told Church News in a recent interview. “In fact, this morning we held our Quorum of the Twelve meeting—half of us were on the fifth floor and the other half were home getting on via Zoom or in their office via Zoom.”

Technology is also the Church leaders’ means of connecting with people worldwide. Meeting with missionaries, visiting with priesthood and sister leaders, or having leadership conferences can all be done without physical travel.

“It is not like being in the same room where you can see their faces and shake their hands. But it is wonderful that you can do it, when you can get to them any way you can,” President Ballard said.

President Ballard recently presided over the Cusco Peru Leadership Conference with Elder Patrick Kearon of the Presidency of the Seventy and Elder Jorge T. Becerra, a General Authority Seventy and counselor in the South America Northwest Area. Although they were meeting from a distance, the Church leaders were able to counsel with members in the area. President Ballard added that when the pandemic subsides, Church leaders will likely continue to use videoconferencing as a tool to connect with members.

► You may also like: What Elder Gong has learned about staying connected while social distancing

“I think we’re learning a whole different way to communicate,” he said. “I think the expediency of being able to pull together a group of priesthood leaders or sister leaders and to see that group and teach them, and not have to take, say, three days to get to New Zealand and three days to get back and to be able to sleep in your own bed—that’s not too bad.

“Especially when you’re 92, which I will be in another month. So I think it’s been designed for President [Russell M.] Nelson and me,” he joked. “We get out by technology—and it’s a tremendous, tremendous blessing.”

Read more about the Cusco Peru Leadership Conference at Church News.

Photo by Intellectual Reserve, Inc.
Danielle christensen

Danielle Christensen

Danielle is a features writer and editor for LDS Living. Previously, she served as web producer for Church News, where she managed their website and social media platforms. Danielle is a graduate of Brigham Young University in English and has been published with Deseret NewsChurch NewsBYU Magazine, and Spires Intercollegiate Arts and Literary Magazine.

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