What church changes for 11-year-olds mean for 2019 and beyond

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  • Brent T. Aurora CO Aurora, CO
    Dec. 23, 2018 7:23 p.m.

    Questioning a lot of people's ability to both read and listen the prophet. Yes, the class assignment changes in January as announced (advancing from Primary sooner). But Priesthood ordination for the boys, and temple attendance both girls and boys, is contingent upon both worthiness (no change) and READINESS. Much like lowering the age for young men to serve missions at 18 and young women at 19 was similarly based -- but not absolute. Hopefully we don't find (the problem) where unprepared/unready "children" are thrust into priesthood advancement and temple attendance, much like there are children not ready for baptism at 8. Interviews are needed and hopefully parental expectation doesn't force a hand in rubber stamping.

  • Tensor Stillwater, OK
    Dec. 19, 2018 5:05 p.m.

    I love that my church is led by Prophets, Seers, and Revelators. I time we come to see wisdom beyond anything we currently understand. Let the Restoration continue!

    Dec. 18, 2018 9:32 p.m.

    Spoc - Ogden, UT,
    You cannot make 1st class in a year in am LDS unit anymore. the BSA changed 1st class to 6 overnight campouts. 11 YO are only allowed 3.

    Dec. 18, 2018 9:03 p.m.

    I always thought 11-year-old scout program was stupid. I have been the leader twice. Kids coming in at all different times makes it very hard to run the program. Scouting is supposed to be boy led. Who is going to lead? An adult has to do all the instruction when it should be the older boys. Not allowing them to go to summer camp is unreasonable. I am glad for the changes, but it is too late.

  • Dave Brarrington Salem, ID
    Dec. 18, 2018 10:06 a.m.

    @John Pack Lambert of Michigan

    Your assumption below is that claiming that dating age is not doctrinal means I disregard prophetic counsel: also false. Follow the counsel for sure, but also realize that everything a prophet says is not doctrine. We can go back and find lots of prophetic statements that are not doctrine and have changed over time. Policies, procedures, and counsel are based on the needs of the people at a given time and change as needed (i.e. the age at which young men can now receive the priesthood. [Even the church said it is not doctrinally based]). I have been attending church for 3 hours for the past 30+ years because a prophet "said it" but apparently it wasn't doctrine.
    There is a big difference between doctrine and the policies of the church. Both should be followed... and understood.

    "Those who would claim the dating age is not doctrinal would have us disregard clear counsel of prophets. Something does not need to be written in scripture to be doctrinal. To say the teachings of the prophet are not doctrine is a clearly confused position."

  • The Goods ,
    Dec. 18, 2018 9:20 a.m.

    What about those with birthdays early in the year? This change is good for those that are younger because they will get to move up sooner.

    However, it will be detrimental to those who have an early year birthday, who see their friends that they have been in the same class with for almost a year move up, but they are stuck behind with those younger than them. Their friends at school will now be in a separate group, and they will have inside jokes and things from mutual that they won't understand because they weren't there. It will cause pain and suffering for those that have to deal with these changes. I've already seen it in my daughter, who realized this is going to happen to her.
    It will lead some to feel as though they are not being heard/loved by their Heavenly Father when they pray, Some kids only come because they get to be with their friends. If they are separated in the classes, they may stop coming. No one likes feeling like they are being left behind. yes it is good in some ways, but will also hurt in others. In the end it will all be fine, but its going to be a hard transition for some, hope they make it through and don't fall away because of these changes.

  • Dave Brarrington Salem, ID
    Dec. 17, 2018 7:06 p.m.

    @ Spoc
    "For The Strength of Youth" = NOT doctrine, but policy. No doctrine on age and dating only recommendations. (see the history of the church). Some have been married at 14, well before dating age.

  • Rikitikitavi Cardston, Alberta
    Dec. 16, 2018 11:00 p.m.

    Great parents coupled with dedicated leaders produce very fine youth in the Restored Church of Jesus Christ. We see this throughout the Church. Clearly, no one is perfect...we all have our flaws. The bar is being raised and so many of our youth are responding to our Prophet.

  • Flipphone Sandy, UT
    Dec. 16, 2018 10:29 a.m.

    When I was a young Mormon I asked the Bishop of my ward this question. How do you know that the Church is the one and only true Church on the face of the earth? His answer was, Because Church never changes.

  • Sloutchata ,
    Dec. 16, 2018 3:25 a.m.

    Moving up on birthday one by one has the advantage of breaking the social hierarchy — the dominant natural social leaders (not to say bullies) in a given group. Moving whole groups up at the same time keeps the status quo intact, which isn’t a good thing. Change forces new green growth, and new leaders emerge. This short-circuits that...

  • Smileyval 89032, 00
    Dec. 15, 2018 7:06 p.m.

    My son turns 12 this month. He missed it but I’m happy for the change. My son was really good about being in Primary the entire year. But Being in YM would have been a better fit for home this entire year. I think this is great for mature 11 year olds.

  • I M LDS 2 Provo, UT
    Dec. 15, 2018 11:50 a.m.

    "temple attendance at age 11" is a bit misleading, isn't it? Headline writers trying to create clicks!

    Doing baptisms for the dead is not really what most people mean by "temple attendance", and it is not like the Church policy is that "age 11" is some magical age cut-off point for "temple attendance".

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 15, 2018 9:40 a.m.

    This isn't about some young men getting the priesthood a few months earlier.

    This is a sign given by God that the great spirits he said he would send to the Earth enmass are here.

    Needed because deceptions and evil prophesied before the second coming have arrived and will no doubt get worse. This generation is is savvy enough to withstand. They can endure the fight and win.

  • Third try screen name Mapleton, UT
    Dec. 15, 2018 8:30 a.m.

    Unintended consequence: All the 10 year olds are mad. "I missed it by one day, week, month..."

  • PhoenixAZ phoenix, AZ
    Dec. 15, 2018 8:00 a.m.

    This is great! And long needed. When I was going on 12, I was a child. A 12 year old girl is much older now than we were those many moons ago. Love this!

  • tesuji Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 15, 2018 7:22 a.m.

    I grew up during President Kimball, so changes like this are what I kind of see as normal. I'm glad the church is trying to change and move forward. So far the changes are really just minor streamlining of programs.

    I think if we focus on the gospel then any changes will be easier to accept. The gospel is about improving yourself, by loving God, keeping His commandments and serving Hs children. Everything else is just details.

  • Sore loser Oakland, CA
    Dec. 15, 2018 2:23 a.m.

    It’s too bad that they didn’t announce this in conference so that people could do their whole audible gasp routine again

  • SorryNotSorry Draper, UT
    Dec. 15, 2018 1:00 a.m.

    My son turns 12 in March and he was thrilled. Thrilled to know he could move on from primary sooner, pass the sacrament, and go to the temple. Totally welcome the change!

    Also sure that some of it came about because of the logistics of 2 hour church.

    As for 11 year old scouts. Dying program. At this point I think primaries could decide to merge the 11 year olds with the 12’s and just have one leader focused on advancement. But in the case of my son, he doesn’t care to advance in scouts anyway. Just goes and has fun (or doesn’t, depending on the topic)

  • Spoc Ogden, UT
    Dec. 15, 2018 12:53 a.m.

    As for the 11YOSs, while it is true that that patrol will suddenly empty, it is only this year that will be a challenge since no later than 2020 the primary age boys will be moving in January instead of their birthdays. Not sure why the Cubs are the only ones to continue during the coming year to move on their birthday. We will just have to have the 11 YOS leaders continue to work with them during the skills development portion of the troop meetings helping them finish their 1st Class work while those already 1st Class work on merit badges.

    The only ones that seem to get left out of this plan are the 11 YOSs who just came into the program. My grandson turned 11 in November. The Church already compressed the Webelos 2 year program into 1 year. And now he will only be part of the 11 YOS program for 6 weeks. Not going to make 1st Class before January.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Dec. 15, 2018 12:52 a.m.

    Realistically this was bound to happen with 2 hour church. The other option would have been a primary class that had built in biweekly attendance increasing throughout the year. If primary had gone to every other Sunday lessons this was not inevitable, but every Sunday lessons nade these chanfes almost for certain.

    Looking back the only surprising thing is this change was not announced in October.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Dec. 15, 2018 12:47 a.m.

    Those who would claim the dating age is not doctrinal would have us disregard clear counsel of prophets. Something does not need to be written in scripture to be doctrinal. To say the teachings of the prophet are not doctrine is a clearly confused position.

    The problem with implementing by school year is the Church transitions all classes that transition by age at the start of the year. Considering that the start of the school year is rarely the cut off for getting into that grade and the inconsistent ways it is implenented that is not a viable system. All the more so because in some states there are complex systems that make it so the cutoff effectively varies from July to November.

  • Spoc Ogden, UT
    Dec. 15, 2018 12:42 a.m.

    @ Dave Barrington
    The official answer about dating from the church announcement Q&A page:
    9. Can youth who are not yet 12 attend camps? Can youth who are not yet 14 attend dances and youth conferences?

    Yes. Generally, youth in a class or quorum may enjoy the privileges that are appropriate for that class or quorum. With their parents’ approval, Beehives and deacons may attend camps before their 12th birthdays. Likewise, Mia Maids and teachers may attend dances and youth conferences before their 14th birthdays. However, a young woman or young man should be at least age 16 before beginning to date (see For the Strength of Youth [2011], 4).

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Dec. 15, 2018 12:40 a.m.

    I am very excited about these changes. They will still leave some of us with late year birthdays in situations of being cut off from past associates for our senior year, but that is inevitable and ends the gaving to feel we missed a camp. It is most good for those youth who have late summer or fall birthdays and end up youngsters in their grade. It also means that no longer will the exact scheduling time of camps and youth conferences make or break some being able to attend. Also first dances and stake youth activities will be easier to identify.

    The whole process to me seems a major step forward.

  • Underrudder South Africa, 00
    Dec. 14, 2018 11:13 p.m.

    My daughter's birthday is on 27th December. This means she would be advanced to youth just five days after she turned 11.
    South Africa

  • junkgeek Agua Dulce, TX
    Dec. 14, 2018 5:35 p.m.

    The idea is great; however, it should be implemented by when schools start in each country. Two friends who have birthdays on 12/31 and 1/1 will be split up when one advances and another doesn't, even if they are in the same grade.

    (This problem has already existed for decades, and has always had easy solutions, but now it becomes more difficult to fix when the older of the two is ordained a year earlier.)

  • B-Real2 Saratoga Springs, UT
    Dec. 14, 2018 5:26 p.m.

    Keep the Smart. Simple. Changes. Coming! 😃🙏

  • Dave Brarrington Salem, ID
    Dec. 14, 2018 4:57 p.m.

    For those wondering about the dating age you need to remember that is NOT a doctrinal issue. You can date when ever you want, it is simply a recommendation. Please review church history for "age and dating" information.

  • Husker2 , 00
    Dec. 14, 2018 4:56 p.m.

    I’m not LDS and I must admit I have doubts that children this age understand the responsibility of the priesthood as it is referenced in the Bible.

  • jimjr Kaysville, UT
    Dec. 14, 2018 3:17 p.m.

    Since they lowered the age for missionaries to 18, maybe there is a need to have 11 yr olds grow into the gospel earlier. This might help them prepare better prior to mission calls.

  • sgallen Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 14, 2018 3:05 p.m.

    I’m excited that my girls can get limited temple recommends several months before their 12th birthday! It’ll be a great opportunity for spiritual growth as they meet regularly with priesthood leaders.

  • MC NM Albuquerque, NM
    Dec. 14, 2018 2:31 p.m.

    Not a bad idea but announcing this back in October (or sooner) rather than right before Christmas at the end of the year would have been really helpful to those implementing these changes.

  • Prodicus Provo, UT
    Dec. 14, 2018 2:30 p.m.

    This appears to decimate 11-year old scouting.

    Since Cubs and 11-year-old Scouting will continue to operate by birthdays while normal scout patrols will take all those going to Deacons quorum, 11-year-old scout patrols will be entirely empty the first week of January and fill up as kids turn 11 throughout the year. You'll have either an excess of adults sitting around with no Scouts in the first quarter, overstuffed patrols with inadequate leadership in the last quarter, or both.

    Kids will have much less than a year of 11-year-old scouting unless their birthdays are in January. They won't have time to fill the requirements normally expected for 11-year-old Scout advancement. Those with December birthdays may likely just blow off the 11-year-old scouts program.

    It seems strange to do this to 11-year-old scouts when the end of the program is a year away. Because of that 2020 ending, leaders are already dealing with low turnout and with boys who do come but have little motivation to pursue Scouting's aims and therefore are rowdier than ever.

    Being a scoutmaster of an 11-year-old patrol has always been a difficult calling and now it really seems to put leaders in a bind.

  • RedShirtUofU Andoria, UT
    Dec. 14, 2018 2:27 p.m.

    To "Texas Gal " the dances rule of being 14 may change. However, I doubt the dating age will change. Just look at the For the Strength of Youth.

  • TrueBleuCoug Salem, UT
    Dec. 14, 2018 2:14 p.m.

    I think it's really funny that people poke at the church for changing so much when in reality, operational change has been the exception and not the norm for many years (heck, the standard hymn book is dated 1985).

    Why can't a growing organization change to meet the needs of its members?

    I am excited to see how these changes will position the church for years to come.

    Line upon line ...

  • melezag Provo, UT
    Dec. 14, 2018 1:49 p.m.

    I wonder if this means young women will transition into Relief Society in January of the year they turn 18 or if they will remain with the Laurels until their 18th birthday.

  • Third try screen name Mapleton, UT
    Dec. 14, 2018 1:36 p.m.

    I just think of all the YW Presidents, Scoutmasters and Bishops who took a firm stand (and a bunch of grief) when they had to tell families their kid couldn't go to camp or were held back when their friends moved on.

    Who knew we didn't have to be so mean.

  • Utah Soldier Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 14, 2018 1:14 p.m.

    @ AlExplorer wrote "I would love to see more adaptation to matching school year/grades to keep the same youth together, instead of splitting grades for some kids."

    The church USED to do this (until early 1980s). The problem is that the church is world-wide and different places start school at different time of the year. As I recall, the church had "transition" from "one year" to the next 6 or 7 times when it was based on the starting time of school. It was a logistical nightmare. That is why world-wide everyone changes on 1 Jan.

  • World_Peace Salt Lake, UT
    Dec. 14, 2018 1:09 p.m.

    I think it would be great if all of the changes made over the past 2 years could be condensed into one file and place in an easy to get to location on the Church website.

    Some slower people like me can't keep track with all of the changes! 😀

  • Boberino Farmington, UT
    Dec. 14, 2018 12:51 p.m.

    If children hate going to Primary at 11 1/2 because it’s for babies, there may be some other issues lurking about. I understand when you are a foot taller than the rest of the kids, you stand out a little. But the Gospel is much bigger than “I don’t feel comfortable with the younger children.” Maybe it would be a good teaching moment. How about those little ones looking up to your good example? That aside, I like the change, and I am sure the youth will, too.

  • Semi-PRO Brigham City, UT
    Dec. 14, 2018 12:41 p.m.

    Some things can be classified as revelation while others are just common sense.

  • Flipphone Sandy, UT
    Dec. 14, 2018 12:25 p.m.

    The constant changing of Mormonism.

  • No One Of Consequence West Jordan, UT
    Dec. 14, 2018 11:47 a.m.

    In some cultures age advances at the new year instead of the birthday. I became an adult (age 20) in Japan six months early while serving as a missionary. This is good for all the young people of the Church worldwide. It may also simplify things for the youth program that is coming out to replace Scouting. I have been teaching the 11-year old Primary class and I can see that this is a good thing as friends move on together.

  • AlExplorer American Fork, UT
    Dec. 14, 2018 11:18 a.m.

    So I was right.....the Deacons passing the sacrament do look younger every year!
    I would love to see more adaptation to matching school year/grades to keep the same youth together, instead of splitting grades for some kids.

  • Bigger Bubba Herriman, UT
    Dec. 14, 2018 11:01 a.m.

    This change is consistent with Noah receiving his ordination to the priesthood at 10 years of age. The age of ordination is not fixed.

  • JMOpinion Orem, UT
    Dec. 14, 2018 10:48 a.m.

    This does make a difference - some of which has been mentioned in comments already. This is not a change for change sake but certainly reflects an understanding of the difficulties that have been happening with our youth and I wholeheartedly support it. My only concern is lots of ordinations in January of deacons, and the cultural pressure to do so, rather than ordaining boys when they are personally understanding and prepared for the priesthood. Same with temple attendance.

  • james d. morrison Sandy, UT
    Dec. 14, 2018 10:40 a.m.

    They are doing this because of classroom logistics due to the new 2 hour schedule that would cause issues for classes where some are still in primary and some are not.

  • Zzzptm Dallas, TX
    Dec. 14, 2018 10:37 a.m.

    An end to the awkwardness of who goes where when they turn 12. This makes good sense.

  • Texas Gal Roswell, NM
    Dec. 14, 2018 10:30 a.m.

    Does that mean they can go to dances in Jan of that year when they turn 14 & can start dating in Jan of that year when they turn 16?!?! May be some very happy youth. ; )

  • SomeClarityPlease Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 14, 2018 10:25 a.m.

    Since there is not a scriptural mandate here, perhaps we could improve in other areas where there are not scriptural mandates . . . . . . such as mandated 6-month worthiness interviews with minors.

  • Utah Soldier Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 14, 2018 10:09 a.m.


    The change helps with the transition from Primary to YM/YW. We were talking about this at our last Stake Council meeting how things would work given the new 2 hour schedule. i.e., when a youth turns 12, do they stay in Primary class or go to Sunday School? This answers that question.

  • saundradward1 ,
    Dec. 14, 2018 10:00 a.m.

    Yes!!!!! Thank you for listening to the pleas of the 11 1/2 year olds who feel that primary is for babies! I am so happy about this! I no longer have to fight with my preteens about going to church because they don’t want to go to primary! No longer will a preteen have to begin to “hate church” because they don’t get to go to camp with thier friends!

  • chhs2 Eagle Mountain, UT
    Dec. 14, 2018 9:53 a.m.

    I don't think anything is wrong with the change, but it still feels like change for change sake. I don't see why this change makes a difference.

  • lnkmom Lehi, UT
    Dec. 14, 2018 9:43 a.m.

    I love this! My kids are all "late" birthdays... they have had to wait 8-10 months to be back with their friends as they waited to turn 12, 14, and 16... they will be really excited about this! My son will now become a Teacher on January 1st... almost a year before we expected that!

    This along with the new course of study make me truly excited for our children and family in these next few years!

  • BAKC Litchfield Park, AZ
    Dec. 14, 2018 9:30 a.m.

    The fact that continued revelation continues to come down from Heaven above is such a blessing to all who believe and even those that don’t believe.

    I think this is a wonderful change in policy and again has nothing to do with change of doctrine. The Priesthood is the same and it is now available to the young men in the twelve year rather than on their birthday .

    Love that the Gospel is continuing to be restored and that God’s love continues to be manifest through His chosen Prophet and leaders.

    Dec. 14, 2018 9:29 a.m.

    The changes keep coming. This is a good common sense improvement for kids progressing through classes and priesthood.

  • Quintdad Cedar Park, TX
    Dec. 14, 2018 9:30 a.m.

    Wow, I think that means I will have 5 kids in Young Mens and Young Womens in two weeks.

  • Kaladin Northern, CO
    Dec. 14, 2018 9:28 a.m.

    Really neat move. It will build continuity in quorums/classes and make primary streamlined. I don't see any negatives.