Elder and Sister Gong continue to recover from mild COVID-19 symptoms; senior Brethren test negative for virus

Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Sister Susan Gong, continue to experience mild symptoms of COVID-19, while the other members of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles have all been tested for the virus, all returning negative results.

The updates on Elder and Sister Gong and the senior Brethren were provided Thursday, Oct. 8, by Eric Hawkins, spokesman for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Hawkins’ full statement reads: “Elder and Sister Gong continue to experience very mild symptoms of COVID-19 and are recovering at home. They are grateful for the many expressions of concern and love.

“Out of an abundance of caution, all members of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles have now been tested, and all tests have come back negative.

“Church leaders will continue to exercise caution and follow all health guidelines related to COVID-19 and encourage our members to do the same.”

The Gongs’ condition was reported during the October 2020 general conference weekend. Elder Gong did not attend the recent conference, and his remarks at the conference were prerecorded and shown during the Saturday afternoon session.

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.”