News Release

Italian Latter-day Saints experience spiritual surge in midst of coronavirus epidemic

Living rooms became places of worship in many parts of Italy last weekend, as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gathered in their own homes instead of Church buildings. In an effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus in the Mediterranean country, congregational leaders were instructed to either broadcast sacrament meeting or to allow families to have their own service at home.


“We sure missed associating with other members, but we did not feel a lack of the Spirit of the Lord and were able to renew our covenants with the Lord and commitment to staying faithful,” said Elder Alessandro Dini-Ciacci, an Area Seventy in Italy, whose family held their own sacrament meeting. “Of course, there are many inconveniencies related to this virus, and many are mourning the loss of loved ones, but there seems to be an incredible surge of spiritual power and commitment”, he added.

Each family was asked to report the number of participants. Stake presidents in Italy report that more people gathered in homes for services than usually are at Church. The Bolzano Ward in the Northern Italian province of South Tyrol went from an average of 94 people in attendance to 122 last Sunday.

“People who would usually not come to church, yesterday had the opportunity of being in a sacrament meeting and feel the spirit. Ministering brothers went out of their way to tend to those families where no one could bless the sacrament,” Elder Dini-Ciacci explained. As soon as the crisis is over, Sunday meetings will resume to their normal schedule in the meetinghouses of the Church across Italy.

Until further notice, missionaries in Italy are instructed to take caution and avoid public engagement. Even so, they report noteworthy success with new and innovative approaches to sharing the gospel. Some record and post short videos on social media, others make phone calls or use messaging services to reach out to members and friends of the Church. Some report teaching more lessons now than before, as more people seem willing to connect online. In addition, missionaries engage in a more in-depth gospel study and in online family history research.

Policies safeguarding Church members, missionaries and the general public will continue to be in place in Italy for some time. Once the health situation relating to the coronavirus changes and government guidelines are revised, public services will again be offered, and missionaries will follow their usual routine.

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