First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, (left to right, Dallin H. Oaks, Russell M. Nelson and Henry B. Eyring).

SALT LAKE CITY — The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints encouraged Church members around the world to wear face masks when necessary and to get vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus.

In a letter for all Church members Thursday, Russell M. Nelson, Dallin H. Oaks and Henry B. Eyring addressed the “war” against the virus.

The message read, “We can win this war if everyone will follow the wise and thoughtful recommendations of medical experts and government leaders.”

Nelson and other Church leaders have previously encouraged members to wear masks and get the COVID-19 shot. They were vaccinated on Jan. 19.

As COVID-19 infections rise across the nation, The First Presidency acknowledged the variants and noted their efforts to do everything they can to limit the spread of these viruses.

The message said in part, “We know that protection from the diseases they cause can only be achieved by immunizing a very high percentage of the population. To limit exposure to these viruses, we urge the use of face masks in public meetings whenever social distancing is not possible. To provide personal protection from such severe infections, we urge individuals to be vaccinated. Available vaccines have proven to be both safe and effective.”

The message was the latest in a series of statements from church leaders encouraging vaccination efforts against COVID-19. It stopped short of issuing any new mandates for local church meetings.

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