The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recently released guidelines to help members and lay leaders navigate various religious rites during the coronavirus pandemic.
Virtual sacraments are out, a decision that has deprived some women and other members of regular communion. Baptisms, where permitted, are in. Priesthood ordinations and baby blessings still can take place. Temple recommend interviews can be conducted via video, even though the temples themselves remain closed. As for online worship services, well, some areas are holding them; others have been instructed not to.
On this week’s podcast, Neylan McBaine, founder of the Mormon Women Project, discusses how these functions of faith are operating amid all the COVID-19 restrictions and how some changes could boost the equity and efficacy of Latter-day Saint worship. McBaine’s 2014 book, “Women at Church,” challenged members to think outside the box when it comes to policies and practices within the faith — something a lot of leaders now find themselves doing.