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Church leader calls for 2nd worldwide fast for COVID relief, unveils new symbol

President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sits during the April 2020 General Conference. IRI

SALT LAKE CITY — The President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is calling for a second worldwide fast of both members of the church and those not of the faith to be held on Good Friday, April 10, 2020, for relief from the COVID-19 VIRUS.

“Let us put our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ into action,” President Russell M. Nelson said during a special session of the Church’s 190th Annual General Conference, held to commemorate the 200th Anniversary of the beginnings of the church.

“During times of deep distress, as when illness reaches pandemic proportions,” said President Nelson, “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.

“I invite all, including those not of our faith, to fast and pray on Good Friday, April 10, that the present pandemic may be controlled, caregivers be protected, the economy strengthened, and life normalized.”

During the session, President Nelson also unveiled a new symbol for the church.  The name of Jesus Christ is prominently displayed in the symbol, with a representation of Thorvaldsen’s marble statue, the Christus, above the name, and, inside, an arch, which President Nelson said represents the stone rolled away from the tomb when Jesus Christ was resurrected.

 

“The symbol will now be used as a visual identifier for official literature, news, and events of the Church,” President Nelson said.

“It will remind all that this is the Savior’s Church and that all we do, as members of His Church, centers on Jesus Christ and His gospel.”

President Nelson spoke from a podium, inside a small, largely empty auditorium, rather than in the church’s Conference Center which seats 20,000 people.  Conference plans were altered as the church dealt with the world-wide impact of COVID-19.

On Saturday, church leaders expressed gratitude for electronic and digital technology which allowed the conference to be held, broadcast and streamed live throughout the world.