Elder and Sister Gong test positive for COVID-19

Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Sister Susan Gong, have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, according to a spokesman from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“As shared in General Conference this weekend, Elder Gerrit W. Gong was recently exposed to COVID-19 and did not participate in conference in person,” said Church spokesman Eric Hawkins on Tuesday, Oct. 6. “He and Sister Gong have now tested positive for the virus. Their condition is mild, but they are being cautious and their health is being carefully monitored by doctors.”

Elder Gong did not attend the recent October 2020 general conference. His remarks at the conference were prerecorded and shown during the Saturday afternoon session.

Hawkins said the Church will follow all appropriate health protocols for contact tracing and will continue to follow health guidelines for this virus to protect Church leaders, including self-isolation, as appropriate. “We continue to encourage all Church members to take steps to protect themselves and one another during this global pandemic,” he added. 

Contemplating a world changed by coronavirus distancing, Elder Gong and his wife, Sister Susan Gong, spoke to the Church News about the pandemic via telephone in May. “One of the things I have felt deeply during this time is that the Lord is close to us and we can be close to each other,” said Elder Gong. 

“The Lord is aware of [God’s children] and blessing us and helping us in the things that are happening each day,” he said.

Elder Gong said during his general conference address that the tender mercies of the Lord are found among life’s daily challenges for those with “faithful hearts and eyes to see.” Through challenges and sacrifice, the blessings of heaven can be found in mortality.  

As disciples of Christ, “We are invited to change the world for the better, from the inside out, one person, one family, one neighborhood at a time” by living and sharing the gospel. And the contributions of each individual in the service of the Lord are valuable. 

“As we hearken to the Lord’s spirit of prophecy, we can become in our own way part of the fulfillment of His prophecies and promises — part of the gospel blessing the world.”