What permanent changes in church will come from the current COVID pandemic? There is precedent for world events causing changes to our religious practices. In 1912 the First Presidency issued a letter to all Stake Presidents to not use a “communal sacrament cup” and begin using individual cups like we use today. This was precipitated by the new knowledge of germs and bacteria. But it was slow to be adopted. It took the flu pandemic of 1918 to fully push this as a standard practice.

The 1979 oil crises was a large part of why the church went to the three hour block in 1980. Gas was rationed where I lived in Central California, and a long drive to church three times a day [1] could really cut into your monthly budget.

So what long term or permanent changes do you see coming from the “COVID Pandemic of 2220-21”? One thing that came to my mind is a move to a permanent online option for church. But I think this is getting some pushback. The Leaders see this as a quick path to inactivity, and BIS (Butts In Seats) is the true indication of devotion. Without BIS, the fellowship is lost, callings dwindle, and the need for multi-million dollar church buildings is negated.

Some indication of this pushback is illustrated by a friend of mine telling me that in her stake, as of 1 Jan only people that are “homebound” will be given the Zoom code to log into Sunday meetings. All others will be expected to attend in person. Have any of you seen this in your Stakes? How will they police this? Will zoom codes be shared on the dark web?

What are some lasting changes (good or bad) you see in the church that are the direct result of the COVID pandemic?

[1] Priesthood meeting at 8 am, back home to pick up the women folk, and then back to church for Sunday School. Home for the afternoon, then back at 3 pm for sacrament meeting.

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