Saturday, October 6, 2012

LDS Church Lowers Minimum Age for Missionary Service to 18 for Men and 19 for Women

In an official announcement this morning, LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson reported that the Church has lowered the minimum age for missionary service worldwide from 19 to 18 for men and from 21 to 19 for women.  As indicated in his announcement, President Monson reported that the Church has lowered the minimum age for missionary service for several specific countries - often to accommodate mandatory military service and education constraints - such as in Venezuela and the United Kingdom.  An analysis of the history of LDS missionary work and trends in the growth of the number of members serving missions can be found here.

5 comments:

Connor Carpenter said...

Hey Matt, could you do some number crunching and estimate what kind of a temporary swell in the number of full-time missionaries will result because of this?

If all full time missionaries were Elders, and everyone who would've put their papers in at 19, and are of age now, put their papers in now, that would result in around 26,000 extra missionaries for the next 2 years, right?

However, including Sister missionaries, I feel like this number will be somewhat larger, right?

Downtownchrisbrown said...

I think this policy will catch some of those that normally fall through the cracks in the years between finishing high school and turning 19. Hopefully this will lead to higher activity rates, and lead more to marry as active members of the church.

Brandon Plewe said...

Many current 18 yerar olds already have plans, but I'm sure there will be a huge spike for the next year, before it settles down to a little higher than now.

For sisters, I wouldnnot be surprised if their numbers
permanently doubled.

Ed Clinch said...

I was one of those who got my mission call while 18. And I didn't even have the Melchizedek priesthood yet! I turned 19 a couple weeks before entering the MTC. I was the only one of my Spanish class of 10 who had not attended a college. But I did okay over the two years. One of the most immature things I did on my mission was right after turning 21 or so, and it was small but still embarrassing to me. Basically, it was not showing proper respect in a house with a match. Immature things can pop up at many ages. This will be interesting to watch play out for the priesthood to enact. I think it will give bishops more power,really, to assess their youth.
Great news, I hope.
For everyone.

Jeron Jackson said...

I would like to know the statistics on the number of 18 year olds out of high school that leave the church, especially those thatdo not attend college. When you don't have structure in your life it is really easy for you to get into some bad stuff. Also this puts the emphasis on using the Aaronic Priesthood to prepare for a mission earlier.

As for the 19 age for sisters I think that is great. Before you have great sisters starting their missions at 21 and finishing at 22-23 or older. This puts off starting families even longer.

Also the church knows that sisters can be powerful witnesses and in many cases incredibly affective In areas that Elders have struggled in. This is good. Im also glad to see the church finding somethingthathas worked for them internationally and applying to the entire church.