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Comments about ‘Change in missionary age inspired, life-changing’

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Published: Saturday, Oct. 6 2012 8:21 p.m. MDT

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panamadesnews
Lindon, UT

My wife and I served as full time senior missionaries in the Canary Islands from fall 2004 to spring 2006. There came to our mission an 18 year old young man, whose father was a mission president in Mexico. As I observed him, he compared very favorably with the 19 year olds, and in some cases, I felt his maturity surpassed many of the 19 year olds. He was very humble, teachable, and a hard worker, throughout his mission service, as long as we were there. As I recall, he handled a very difficult situation on one of the Islands while serving as a branch president. I believe this is a great decision, and know in my heart that it came through revelation to the brethren. As I read a few weeks ago about the 18 year olds serving in some of the foreign countries, I thought to myself, I wonder if we will receive an announcement that this program will be expanded to the whole Church, come conference time. This is great.

RanchHand
Huntsville, UT

*Swoons*

/sarcasm

So much ado about nothing.

Max
Charlotte, NC

This is a fantastic option. I have seen all too many times young men get into trouble or just while away their time in between high school graduation and their 19th birthday. There was too little time for getting a job and/or for college but too much time for just "hanging out" while watching the calendar. They would have been much better off spending that time in the mission field. I am also thrilled with the option for young women. So many of them can now plan for a mission instead of merely looking at it as an option if nothing else has worked out. I have also seen young women, in committed relationships but wanting to serve a mission, have to wait so long to be able to do so. The new policy does indeed greatly facilitate young men and young women in moving forward with their lives. There is much to be excited about here.

fowersjl
Farmington, Utah

What a great change! This impacts our family in a huge way, as our youngest son, advanced in school, faced attending college for two years before being eligible to go on a mission. He also would not see his friends for four years, and after his mission would have to take the MCAT immediately. Now, he can leave for the mission field after his freshman year at BYU, with everything else falling into place. This has us all smiley-faced at our house. A so very direct answer to prayers for this son of ours.

Esquire
Springville, UT

The enthusiasm is obvious, but I don't think this is that big of a deal. It was a decision based on pragmatism, that's all. The brethren even said that they need to see how it works. And for those affected, it only means a change in the paradigm of making decisions in managing ones life, something we all have to do anyway.

Tim
Villa Rica, GA

This decision far less about revelation and much more about numbers. The amount of men interested in serving missions is dropping especially among those that graduate high school well before their 19th birthday. At age 21 it is less an option for woman since many are become established in their post high school lives or married. On paper it should increase the numbers.

What's the downside? Now you will have 18-21yr old males serving along side 19-21yr old women. The amount of missionaries being sent home will rise. There is a big difference between a 22yr old woman's opinion of a 19-20yr old man and a 19yr old woman's opinion of a 20yr old man. The dynamic will change and probably not for the purposes the church is hoping.

O'really
Idaho Falls, ID

I wonder why some even bother to comment here, mocking and belittling something that oviously doesn't factor into their lives or matter one way or another to them personally... unless somewhere deep inside, it does. Left the Church but not completely? YOu know you can always come back.

I think this cahnge in policy is wonderful and could petentially impact our family in a big way. A positive way. I've always wondered why young women were made to wait two years longer than the young men when girls (by most accounts) tend to mature earlier than boys.

Yes there will be some negatives to this but no more than there are at present. It's going to be even more important now to emphasize the preparation aspect of being a missionary. Hopefully getting a jump on that before the guys turn 18 and drift off into the land of greater temptation will be a big positive.

The Caravan Moves On
Enid, OK

I am sure that a big part of this change is the wise desire to get men out on a mission as soon as possible after graduating from high school and not getting distracted with college and the other things that college brings (grades, part-time jobs, careers, and girls).

My wife and I have one sone out right now (he returns next August) and another son who is 15 1/2. He'll turn 18 during his senior year. It means we need to work more dilligently to get him ready to go as soon as possible after graduating high school in the spring of 2015.

Is there a time for all these things? Of course: AFTER a mision.

I hope our son is ready and willing to go as soon as possible so he can help the carvan move ever onward. The church IS TRUE!

Canyontreker
TAYLORSVILLE, UT

I have two sons that graduate from high school at 17. This won't change their plans to finish a full year of college and now hope to serve a couple of months before their 19th birthday. This will allow them to get right back to school after their missions instead of waiting 5 months for the next semester.

On the other hand, they have several friends that were in limbo for six months between high school and turning 19. This is a great option for them too.

I imagine their will be a surge of missionaries from the northern hemisphere each summer and another smaller surge from the southern hemisphere each winter to fit into school breaks.

IndependentLiberal
Salt Lake City, UT

The local sports radio pundits are going crazy over this determining what it does to our local college recruiting. Before or after the missions, eligibility, red-shirting, snagging recruits during their missions, no fit young men in programs for a year going away to soften up on missions…all aside from the ecclesiastical ramifications mentioned here

Claudio
Springville, Ut

I think it's pretty sad that parents think so poorly of their children. We're glad that children can get on missions before they're overcome with temptation from the big, scary college? The inference that our children are so poorly raised with such a low level of moral character is shocking. Certainly, that would cause the Church to NOT want to send out these youth to work in such a morally demanding field.

Is there more "temptation" at college than in high school? Depends on the kid; if he's never had to make choices between right/wrong before because mommy and daddy made the choices for them (i.e. going to Church, keeping chaste, leaving bad situations, etc.) then yes, the temptation is dramatically increased for the kid because he's never really encountered it before. For others, it's no different because they've already made choices in their lives.

Perhaps the reason these parents are using to explain the Church's decision would be more appropriately applied to themselves. Now, kids won't have to suffer as intensely the negative affects of helicopter parents.

Jeff
Temple City, CA

I wonder why anyone would criticize this announcement. It is especially strange that someone would criticize reaction to something that, they suggest,is "no big deal" or "much ado about nothing." Even beyond the religious significance for Latter-day Saints, there is a huge cultural impact on Mormons and the communities they live in.

Personally, I always find it exciting to see a significant change in Church practice. It reminds me that the Lord is in charge. (Is anticipation of that feeling the true target of critics? Probably.) I am excited for the young men and women I know who will take advantage of this change.

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