Video: Elder Uchtdorf on how missionaries stay 'socially close' during 'physical distancing'

by | Jun. 15, 2020

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The pandemic has brought unprecedented changes to missionary work, according to Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and some of those changes will teach us lessons for the future. In a video published Sunday, June 14, Elder Uchtdorf shared how missionaries have embraced technology and social media during the pandemic.

Elder Uchtdorf serves as the chairman of the Church’s Missionary Executive Council. In a post on Church Newsroom, he discussed the immense good that can come from the righteous and intentional use of technology.

“Our goal for the future is to continue to learn and become better at using the Internet to proclaim the gospel and to bless God’s children,” Elder Uchtdorf wrote. “It is through our everyday actions—including our social media interactions—that we invite others to come and see, come and help, and come and belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

The Apostle also discussed how it has been a blessing for missionaries to regularly communicate with their families during this difficult time. In a Facebook post that accompanied the video, Elder Uchtdorf wrote about his own experience connecting with his three grandchildren who are currently serving as missionaries: “We are physically distant from them, but socially we are close to them—through technology. That’s why I prefer to call the efforts to stay safe during this COVID-19 phase ‘physical distancing,’ not ‘social distancing.’”

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Elder Uchtdorf concluded his post on Church Newsroom by saying the future of missionary work is bright.

“We are learning much and the Lord has lessons in store for all of us as we seek to hear Him and find new ways to share His gospel,” Elder Uchtdorf wrote. “Now, is our turn to make the best we can out of this. I hope that we will not yearn to move back to something that didn’t work well in our lives before COVID-19, but rather look to the future with hope. May we each use this time to become more refined, edified, empowered, and refreshed to move forward.”

► You may also like: 5 Tips for Missionaries Coping with COVID-19 Changes Shared in Virtual Fireside

Lead image: Facebook video screenshot
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Lindsey Williams

Lindsey Williams joined the LDS Living team with a passion to find the stories that matter most. Previous stops in her career include BYU-Pathway Worldwide, the Special Projects Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Utah Valley Magazine. When she's not searching for stories to write, the Colorado Springs native is most likely on a hiking trail. 

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