New missionary policy impacts LDS students as they change college plans and lives

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  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    Oct. 17, 2012 11:17 a.m.

    Re: Claudio Springville, Ut
    "And for the record, bitterness and hatred would certainly be considered "suffering" "

    No question about it. There are consequences attached to our actions that we can't escape. Certain behaviors will always generate the same end results. I sympathize with those who have made their bed on a pile of rocks but they are the ones who have to sleep on them.

  • ThatGirl Temple, TX
    Oct. 10, 2012 10:24 p.m.

    I wish I'd gone on my mission before I graduated college. I learned a foreign language and really learned how to really study. It will be exciting to see the effects of more sister missionaries, as hopefully more will take the opportunity to serve.

  • Alaskan Ute Fairbanks, AK
    Oct. 10, 2012 1:59 p.m.

    My daughter was in the audience when it was announced, and she said it was a sea of texting.

    Oh, and by the way, as a BYU Freshman, she's announced she plans to serve a mission after she completes her Freshman year, and I couldn't be more proud.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    Oct. 10, 2012 9:21 a.m.

    The Lord's plan is made by the Lord.

    He needs missionaries and for the next couple of years with these adjustments, He will have them in larger numbers, if people do what the Lord wants.

    Faith is what we have control over and the leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have their prayerful process to know the Lord's plan.

    Thank goodness we have great people, families and members that will do the Lord's will and realize the blessing of His plan.

    The Spirit is what we see in what people do and respond to what the Lord wants. Thanks for keeping this news in the real news.

  • J-TX Allen, TX
    Oct. 10, 2012 8:07 a.m.

    I completely agree with raybies. Other countries have been sending 18-yr-olds for years, with great retention numbers. We lose a lot of young men who leave home for that 1st year of college and get caught up in the world because they are so very focused on themselves.

    One of the great things missionary work does is enlighten one to the fact that he or she is not the center of the universe. It instills a different view of the world and its inhabitants.

    While some will still choose that 1st year of college - atheletes, or my son who has to wait to get his braces off - I think that for the majority of the boys NOT waiting that year "in limbo" is a very, very good thing.

    And as for sending girls earlier - I'm all for it. It will vastly increase the number of sisters serving and raise the bar again for the young men, since so many YW will have had the experience of a mission, they will want a man who can relate to all that means. I never understood the waiting until 21 anyway. Can you say 70,000 missionaries? :-)

  • raybies Layton, UT
    Oct. 10, 2012 5:36 a.m.

    The new policy will be a great blessing to the church. Already one of the things the homewards struggle with is what to do with young men when they first enter the Elder's Quorum--having graduated beyond High School, leave the Priest Quorum, and yet still have a year waiting period to serve a mission. A LOT of young men get into trouble during that year because there's a huge change in culture between Elder's Quorum and the "fun" of Priest Quorum. They expect adventure, but often EQ is more focused on young families and activation of adults who've wandered... So some bishops encourage that age to go to Single's Wards, but then they don't really fit there either--if they're intent on going on a mission, because they're not likely to make any serious relational ties. So they sorta drift.

    Now young men can prepare and head directly to the mission field as they qualify. It's a really smart move on the part of the church.

  • Claudio Springville, Ut
    Oct. 9, 2012 1:52 p.m.

    Ted, this will be my last comment on the thread.

    Your analogy, while amusing, is not a good comparison. Nor did I ever suggest that you or anyone else "cave to suffering an confusion." From the sounds of it, your intention was a poorly articulated expression of tolerance. Good. Next time, just try to say what you mean rather than intentionally or unintentionally suggesting that you find pleasure in the grief of others.

    And for the record, bitterness and hatred would certainly be considered "suffering" if you considered this as a Christian looking to truly serve his brother. It should bring you sorrow that someone is so controlled by hatred that they can't carry on a rational conversation, not joyful laughter.

  • Daleycall Mesa, AZ
    Oct. 9, 2012 1:48 p.m.

    When I served my mission in New England back in the 70's, there were areas where Elders had been working for years and years. Consequently, the area can become stale and there were times when the Mission President would "close" the area for a while. the hope was that when the area was reopened, new Elders would work the area with new attitudes. Now, instead of closing an area, the Mission President has the option of sending in Sister missionaries; the positive effect on the investigators and the Ward(s) is exciting. Elder Holland was correct; they are stunningly successful wherever they go. I expect to see many more young women entering the mission field.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 9, 2012 1:29 p.m.

    "Surely you must think that obama is sexist too since he has't changed existing laws that say all men 18 and older must still register with the Selective Service yet women do not?"

    Actually Democrats are the ones that try and change that but they don't nearly have the votes for it, nor is it really popular. Personally I support it. I like anything that makes Presidents less likely to throw us into stupid wars. ERA opponents decades ago cited that as a side effect that they pushed as a prime reason to oppose the ERA.

  • AZRods Maricopa, AZ
    Oct. 9, 2012 1:27 p.m.

    Upon hearing the announcement and after the camara scanned the congregation, the look in the eyes of the young wormen that were there prompted me to say that there will be an explosion of new missionaries, especially among the young women.

    Often times the wisdom of it all doesn't surface for years. But even in the life of the young women in this article, the opportunity is exactly what she wants.
    Plus I think it will get these sister missionaries home sooner and at a younger age which I also think will fit better for education and marriage.

    I continue to be puzzled at the comments of a few of the people on here.
    There clearly is no desire to find anything positve in their comment.
    And the best they can do is call it a sexist policy?

    That, to me is a sure sign of a sad, lonely and empty life.

    Perhaps an enthused sister missionary will knock on their door and give them a different outlook in life.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 9, 2012 1:27 p.m.

    "wisdom dictates that it's better for the girls to be older, thereby discouraging--if not eliminating--romance between male and female missionaries."

    I hope that's just what you think about it rather than what the apostle said about it...

  • Ted H. Midvale, UT
    Oct. 9, 2012 1:18 p.m.


    Let's just not confused "suffering and confusion" with "bitterness and hatred"

    I am not happy at the suffering of others. I just laugh at childish behavior. A couple of weeks ago my 3 year old daugher had a temper tantrum that sounded like the world was coming to an end. The problem? My wife told her no to a second piece of cake. My wife tried explaining why 1 piece of cake a day was enough. My daughter was not interested and there could be no reasoning. There was kicking and screaming like we've rarely seen. Was my wife a terrible person for not caving to the "suffering and confusion" of my daughter?

    I think not. We sort of just chuckled and thought her childish behavior was expected and it didn't keep us up all night. Similary, I"ll laugh and carry on when I see childish behavior from others, who wish to make people think their hatred and bitterness are suffering and confusion.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Oct. 9, 2012 1:10 p.m.


    actually you are 100% correct. It will be very interesting to see what happens to recruiting in the state of Utah now. High school athletes have to consider that leaving for a mission out of high school may or may not be in their best interest. College coaches my be reluctant to offer scholarships to athletes they have never seen play and also understanding how most returned missionaries return completely out of shape (for obvious reasons).You may see less lds athletes getting 4 year scholarships now with college coaches electing to go with non-lds kids instead. It is hard to recruit a kid knowing you aren't going to see him actually play for 3 or 4 years (count 2 for the mission and at least 1 more for getting back in playing shape). Having played college baseball myself for UVU I would personally elect to play for one year before leaving for a mission because you at least are able to show your talent and your worth to your coaching staff before you leave.

  • Claudio Springville, Ut
    Oct. 9, 2012 12:31 p.m.


    I prefer the example of Christ to your justification for behavior that in the end, is no better than that you are attributing to Scientist.

  • Ken Sandy, UT
    Oct. 9, 2012 12:20 p.m.


    Surely you must think that obama is sexist too since he has't changed existing laws that say all men 18 and older must still register with the Selective Service yet women do not?

    Please no hypocrisy.

  • Ted H. Midvale, UT
    Oct. 9, 2012 12:17 p.m.


    If you were familiar with scientist he/she just has an axe to grind against the LDS church. It's not out of curiousity they ask, but spite. To those people - I laugh they are so upset they find relatively insignificant news to them(as this new update won't impact scientist at all)as an avenue to spew their dribble. Carry on dribblers. I'll continue to laugh.

  • Jeff Temple City, CA
    Oct. 9, 2012 12:16 p.m.

    At "a scientist": Jeffrey R. Holland gave specifics on the new policy in a news conference after the general session. He said (and I paraphrase) that the Church's experience has shown that it is better to keep the males and females at different ages, and wisdom dictates that it's better for the girls to be older, thereby discouraging--if not eliminating--romance between male and female missionaries.

  • Claudio Springville, Ut
    Oct. 9, 2012 12:04 p.m.

    Ted does not represent all Mormons...we do not all take joy in the confusion, suffering and/or unhappiness of others.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Oct. 9, 2012 11:56 a.m.

    In his announcement of the change, President Monson called missionary work "a priesthood duty" but added thet young women were not under the same "mandate." Obviously, age is not the only difference with regard to gender for missionary service.

  • IndependentLiberal Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 9, 2012 11:55 a.m.

    OK, I am not LDS, but I can readily understand what impact this new policy can play in the lives of young LDS men and women. But, being a total Utah college sports junkie, from Utah State to Dixie, the impact on these young athletes will be tremendous. This could have a real impact on recruiting for out of state schools. Following closely! : )

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Oct. 9, 2012 11:42 a.m.

    BYU and BYU Idaho will be the hardest hit. No more 18 year old boys for the most part. I still think many athletes will play one year and then leave for a mission since it allows them to establish themselves on the team before they leave. When you come back from a mission you are totally out of shape and if you are a QB or a pitcher (like me) it takes a full year back to get your arm back.The freshman wards at BYU will also be hit hard - no boys left just girls. I'm sure that there will have to be a major re-org of the entire student ward structure going forward.

  • Ted H. Midvale, UT
    Oct. 9, 2012 11:34 a.m.


    Sometimes I dont know all the reasons why LDS church leaders do what they do. But I'm ok with it. Curious what your comment would have been if the rule change would have been to 18 for both men and women? Would it have been a pat on the back for moving to equality from you to the Mormons or would you have found something else you you truly don't care about but complained about none-the-less just to vent your dislike of the Mormons? I think we know.

    And due to that, I'm happy this bothers you. I'm happy the previous 21 and 19 year rule bothered you. I'm happy the new rule bothers you. I'm happy knowing that even if things were "equal" and 18 for all and you seem to wish, that you would still be bothered. I'm happy knowing it was general conference this weekend bothered you. I'm happy anything related to Mormons, Mitt Romney, Bush, Prop 8, BYU, or green jello bothers you.

    When unhappy people are just looking for an axe to grind they'll find it. I'm happy you are so bothered.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    Oct. 9, 2012 11:12 a.m.


    That does not answer the question. It is still a sexist policy.

  • Mayfair City, Ut
    Oct. 9, 2012 10:55 a.m.

    A Scientist-- We thought it seemed like there could now be way more missionaries of both sexes who will be of similar age than previously.
    Not one of the boys we know will take the 18 option, as they all want some experience living away from home first, or for playing college sports first, so will do a year of college and will serve when they are around 19.

    This will mean they are just the same age as the girls who take the early option.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    Oct. 9, 2012 10:34 a.m.

    I still don't understand why women have to be older than men to serve missions. That seems sexist, but nobody seems to care.

    Why can't both men and women be treated equally and serve when they reach adulthood - 18 years old? What is the thinking?

  • rogerdpack2 Orem, UT
    Oct. 9, 2012 10:23 a.m.

    It will definitely help girls "waiting" for their missionary, since now they can serve, too. Awesome!