Dave B. did a post about possible long term changes to the missionary program that could be coming as a result of the “Great Pandemic of 2020”. That got me to thinking about what other changes we’ll see as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. I’m not talking about the short term, close churches and temples for a few months (or longer), but what permanent, long term changes will we see?

Some thoughts I had when I read Dave’s post was about what will be acceptable behavior going forward, and how will it conflict with LDS church culture, or maybe even doctrine?

  1. Will it one day be unacceptable to just “drop by” somebodies place of residence without an invitation? Will more “ministering” be online?
  2. Will shaking hands go away? Not a big deal for Sunday meetings, but could require a “revelation” to change the temple endowment.
  3. Will there be less “meetings”. We have been moving that way, will this be the push to finally do away with all the in person Presidency meetings, Ward Council, Bishopric, High Council, etc. Could these all take place online?
  4. Pot Lucks were always kind of iffy anyway (as far as cleanliness), but maybe they will survive because this was not a food born illness?
  5. Will sitting shoulder to shoulder in the Chapel, Stake Center, Temple or Conference center be allowed? Will physical distancing be the new normal for non-family members, requiring theaters, arenas, stadiums, and churches to remove some seats?
  6. Will the church allow live video feeds of baptisms and ordinations for family and friends that can’t attend due to distance or health? I have a grandchild getting baptized in another state, and the stake is limiting attendance to 10 people. The SP authorized my daughter to video tape the event (but no live feed)
  7. Allow sacrament prayers to be given via phone? [1]
  8. Will some countries cut back on the number of missionaries from outside? As Dave B. said in his post, will “Foreign-language missions” become a thing of the past?

What do you think? What changes do you see coming to the church from this pandemic?

[1] On Saturday our Stake Pres sent an e-mail to the Stake, saying the we are no longer allowed to take the sacrament to other homes. You can only do it for your own family. No visiting, blessings other than your own family, no meeting with others for Sunday School, no ministering in person.