Bloggernacle Back Bench: Missionary age announcement reaction

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 16 2012 5:00 a.m. MDT

LDS missionaries react to the news that women can enter the mission field at the age of 19, Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

If I were to point to one specific defining moment of this last general conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I think most would agree with me that the big missionary age announcement that kicked off the conference Saturday morning would be it. Watching how the new “General Conference Highlights — October 2012” video (just more than 23 minutes of awesome conference summary) begins with the announcement actually gave me chills. Click in to see what I mean.

Not surprisingly, the Bloggernacle is still talking about the announcement and will for a long time to come as the impact becomes more apparent. Here are a few fascinating blog reactions:

“I wanted to share a few thoughts about the lowering of the age requirements for LDS missionaries…First about numbers: Church leaders are expecting a significant increase in the number of missionaries serving. I think it will have a greater affect initially on the number of women serving than the number of men, although it will affect both. We currently have 58,000 missionaries serving. Back in the '90s it was usually at 60,000 but was down to around 52,000 for a while in recent years. The trend will continue upward.” — Jared on “Lowering the Age and Raising the Bar.”

“More responsibility now rests on parents to prepare their children for missions. Because more missionaries will likely be serving, the time in the Missionary Training Centers will be cut by a third. I love this change and subscribe to the idea the lessons in the MTC should be a review, not a revelation. Cooking, cleaning, washing your laundry and ironing your shirts will receive more emphasis all through the teens.” —Michelle on “Bordering on the Giddy, General Conference.

“My thoughts have also turned to how we can help prepare our young missionaries, particularly our sisters. As a former Young Women leader, I see many opportunities to help our young women expand their gospel knowledge and preparation in ways that we have not done before, as that has been largely left up to the Relief Society since sisters normally had several years there before serving a mission. I see great potential in using the Personal Progress program, and in particular, mentoring of our young women in the program to aid them in their mission preparation." — Angie Gardner on “I Hope They Call Me on a Mission.”

“In the general conference of the (LDS) Church this weekend, the prophet (President) Thomas S. Monson announced that sister missionaries may now serve as young as 19 (instead of the former age requirement for women, which was 21). This is a huge deal for many girls who hesitate about serving because the timing is difficult or because they feel they should get married instead…as for me, I would have been able to serve in June anyway, but I honestly did not feel the inclination for a long time. I kept thinking about it and quickly pushing the thought away out of fear. Eighteen months is a long time, after all. And I have a life here in Provo, a very full life. But when President Monson made the announcement, I felt a surge of the Spirit telling me that not only was this divine revelation for the whole church, it was also a revelation meant just for me. It was the answer to my prayers.” — Lola on “I Hope They Call Me on a Mission.”

And finally, Larry Richman rightly points to the “Special Magazine on Missionary Preparation” from March 2007, available online for free for any potential missionaries just so excited to get out and serve.

Now let’s find other reverberating posts from the past week in the Bloggernacle:

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