Our Take: With the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announcing a lowered age for entering missionary service, many assumed the number of volunteer missionaries would increase. But very few predicted a 471 percent increase in applications, roughly half of them being women. The implications of such an influx suggest a revolution of sorts, affecting individuals, programs and organizations within and outside the Church. Allison Pond, an associate editor for the Deseret News and writing for the Wall Street Journal, highlights both the short-term and far-reaching effects of this slight, albeit impactful, two-year age adjustment.
"It has been quite a year for Mormonism in America. Outside the faith, the presidential candidacy of Mitt Romney sparked unprecedented levels of interest and attention. Meanwhile, church leaders have transformed how young Mormons start their adulthood, affecting everything from education to dating and marriage."