Comments about ‘LDS Church lowers age requirement for missionary service’

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Published: Saturday, Oct. 6 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Provo, UT

BYU campus is going to look very different in the future.

mclean, VA

Wow, this is fantastic.
I doubt that many of us can imagine the impact this will have.
It would not surprise me if the number of missionaries serving were to double!
It will dramatically increase the number of sisters serving, and in turn will strengthen so many marriages between two equal-feeling returned missionaries.
Mark this landmark day. Remember where you were when you heard it. Start thinking about your kids and grandkids and recounting the years!


This is great news for certain countries. For example, Brazilians will have more opportunities to work a mission around mandatory military service.

Mesa, AZ

If a young man's excuse for not going on a mission was his girlfriend, it won't be any longer. She'll be on a mission!

MiddleofNowhere, Utah

This is great for some, it's exciting news. It will also increase the amount of immature missionaries in the field. But, I believe the church knows what they are doing.

Springville, UT

So many young men get 'lost' in that time from when they graduate from high school and turn 19.

This is a great a change!

Changing the age for women will greatly change and expand the missionary efforts as well.

These are historic changes and the shift of the demographic of single and married students will be significant moving forward at the BYU campuses.

For those young men that were typically college bound at 18 or were focusing on work before their mission, this will now keep the majority focus of that mission with their ward bishop, not the singles ward bishop, as it should be.

I'm sure the home ward and singles wards bishop are ecstatic about these changes!

Scott Thought

It is official. The new age for young men to go on missions is now 18. The age at which young women can go is not 19. Isn't that great. Conference is so great. With the darkness in the world, it is so wonderful to see the strength of the gospel being set as a candle on a hill and not hid under a bushel. It is so awesome.

Ying Fah
Provo, UT

Don't they have enough missionaries already?

Bluffdale, UT

This makes it easier to serve a mission before U.S. military service too.

Bill in Nebraska
Maryville, MO

This is great news and one can see that Jesus Christ is at the Head of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It goes to show that the truth of the Doctrine & Covenants that by the weak things of the earth the Gospel of the Lord will go forth and be taught. What greater news than this and two new temples? As the bar has been raised so also has the greater need for the gospel to be taught and brought to the four corners of the earth.

A voice of Reason
Salt Lake City, UT

Bill in Nebraska,

Agreed! Jeffrey R. Holland just barely exclaimed how "giddy" this makes him feel. Who couldn't be giddy? This is great!

Salt Lake City, UT

@dr. bridell
"It would not surprise me if the number of missionaries serving were to double!"

For the first year probably since two years worth of guys (19 and 18 year old guys) will be starting the same year. I suspect it'd probably drop back down afterwards to something slightly higher than current levels. For women serving missions it might even triple at first (since 21 20 and 19 year olds might all start at the same time that first year) and then will drift down to whatever the more stable level going forward is. I suspect growth in missionaries will be most pronounced with women.

Virginia Beach, Va

Huge news. Wow !

Henry Drummond
San Jose, CA

I'm not LDS but I have many friends who are including one who served as an LDS Mission President. My feeling is that the most significant part of this announcement is the fact that women no longer have to wait until age 21 to serve. I suspect that is where the biggest increase in missionaries is going to come from. They certainly represent the Church well and I wish them all the best in their new adventure.

  • 1:13 p.m. Oct. 6, 2012
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Ogden, UT

As a mother who has raised two sons to adulthood, I am divided on this. While some young men are mature enough at 18 to serve, the majority are not. A lot of young men aren't mature enough until several years after. Our younger son began his mission as soon as he turned 19. Our older son wasn't ready until he was almost 21. We took a lot of grief becuase we alowed our older son to delay his mission until he was ready to go. Both had wonderful missions, but that is in large part because they went when they were ready to go and when Heavenly Father wanted them to go.

I trust the Bishops and Stake Presidents properly to evauate the maturity of prospective missionaries. I do not, however, trust that parents of young men will not try to push them out on a mission before they are ready to go. There is enough pressure to serve now, when the age of service is 19. I can see it getting worse when the age is lowered. A year between school and service gives the young men an opportunity to achieve the necessary maturity.

Steve C. Warren

We were in sort of a decline, so this may be helpful in returning the numbers of regular full-time missionaries and of convert baptisms to mid-1990s levels, when they were considerably higher.

I think one of the reasons the age is lower for young men is that church leaders have said it is a "responsibility" for young men to serve, whereas it is more of an "opportunity" for young women. It's interesting, though, that young women at age 18 are considered more mature than young men of the same age.

Kearns, UT

My son will be able to go right out of high school if he chooses.

Cowboy Dude

Furry 1993 "We took a lot of grief becuase we alowed our older son to delay his mission until he was ready to go."

That is really sad. My son didn't go on a mission and we took no grief from others. Hopefully this option of 18 after high school will give more opportunity to young men and women, not less. I don't expect there will be pressure for young men not ready to depart a year earlier. Some men need to live away from mom at college before jumping into a 2-year mission.

I expect more opportunities for the faithful young women is apparent, plus more options for those that want to serve the military, mature young men and women that graduate from high school early, countries that have different graduation years or mandatory military service, and for sports scholarships.

I hope that young women will get called to 2-year missions soon. 18-month missionaries may get home nearer the same time as 2-year missions which will help with 20-someting dating too. This is a good day.

South Jordan, UT

This is great news! But many posters in their exuberance seem to be forgetting a key statement:

"I am not suggesting that all young men will – or should – serve at this earlier age," President Monson said. Rather, he said, the option is now available based on individual circumstances and the recommendation of their local church leaders.

I sincerely hope that those who are not ready to go on missions at these earlier ages do not go until they are ready. A year away at college right after HS is great preparation for a mission for those who have never lived away from home. Some may need to work for a year after HS to earn the necessary mission funds. Many will be better off with the additional year that brings added maturity and spirituality.

I agree with Furry1993. Missionaries should go only when they are ready, whatever that age is. And nobody should be ridiculed or questioned for choosing to go later.

Holladay, UT

Continued revelation--so exciting. Will be great for many young men and women to have this option.

Furry 1993: You are so right. There is often a different timing for individuals. I have personally seen this. We all need to be more supportive and less judgmental of the correct timing for others.

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