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From campus to mission field: Missionary age impacts wards and young people

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  • J-TX Allen, TX
    Oct. 9, 2012 7:18 a.m.

    Certain countries have been able to send out young men at 18 for decades. Mexico did it because they have mandatory military service that must begin before their 21st birthday.

    I often have wondered why we in the US did not have that option, especially since I was ordained an Elder 3 months after my 18th birthday and was sorely tempted by Satan before I left on my mission.

    Certainly this is a great announcement for 2 reasons:
    1) The number of young men going on missions will increase because they won't have that cooling off period after Seminary and
    2) The number of young women going on missions will increase because there is no longer that unspoken attitude that "we would like you to go on a mission if you reach the age of 21 and marriage is not forthcoming..."

    It is truly a different world. I see 75,000 in the field.

  • Jeromeo Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 9, 2012 7:58 a.m.

    Seminary. I almost figured it out. Dealer's choice. College or Mission? Athletic College Degree or "Good Morning Indonesia!" What a difference a year makes...

  • 1aggie SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Oct. 9, 2012 8:58 a.m.

    Why 19 for girls and 18 for boys? Can anybody explain the logic?

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    Oct. 9, 2012 9:09 a.m.

    Laggie, Elder Holland explained it well in the Saturday news conference. In effect he said: "We've been sending out missionaries for a long time and we've learned some things. We're going to do what is best for the missionaries and the work." I'll trust him that they know what they are doing.

    Lots of young men graduate from high school and wait around several months before going on a mission and often this time is just a waiting period and not much is accomplished. The new program lets a missionary leave at 18 and at 20, they will be in college, much better prepared for that experience than before. They will get more out of their college training,earn their degrees earlier and be better prepared for a worthwhile career. It is an inspired decision.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Oct. 9, 2012 9:41 a.m.

    A dramatic increase in the number of missionaries coinciding with the Presidential campaign of a Latter-day Saint could be a massive expansion booster for Church membership and the Church tithing base. For wide-eyed innocent Mormon youth at an age of intense yearning to be somebody who makes a difference, it’s exciting. May God guide them as they go out into a cynical world.

  • rogerdpack2 Orem, UT
    Oct. 9, 2012 10:14 a.m.

    It's awesome to see some young people excited to go. Go get 'em :)

  • Mayfair City, Ut
    Oct. 9, 2012 11:10 a.m.

    Had somebody say they thought it significant that this option will be operating and be set in place--in the event of a possible military draft in the future--because men must register for US Selective Service when 18.

    Does missionary service defer the draft? Anybody know?

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Oct. 9, 2012 11:26 a.m.

    Mayfair,

    4-D was the Selective Service classification for ministers during the Vietnam War which was the last time we had a draft. Serving an LDS mission met that requirement. Mitt Romney was among those so classified.

  • donn layton, UT
    Oct. 9, 2012 1:44 p.m.

    RE: Craig Clark,4-D was the Selective Service classification for ministers during the Vietnam War which was the last time we had a draft. Serving an LDS mission met that requirement. Mitt Romney was among those so classified.

    I served in Vietnam and NKP from 1969-70. There were ministers (Chaplains) with us serving communion and Worship services . In fact during Vietnam several Chaplains received the Congressional Medal of Honor.
    There were Catholic nuns, who were running orphanages and feeding the poor in combat zones. Some were killed sharing Christ’s love.

    A lot of my peers chose to have a child to avoid the draft.