Pres. Monson Announces Lowering of Age for Missionary Service
During the first session of the October 2012 LDS General Conference, Pres. Monson announced the opportunity for every worthy young LDS male to begin their missionary service at the age of 18. Additionally he included the announcement that all worthy young women may now serve from the age of 19.
Pres. Monson described this as a ‘New Option’, and it was later emphasised at a press conference with Elder Holland, Elder Nelson, and Elder Evans of the Seventy that this is merely an option that each potential missionary could consider. There is no obligation for young men or women to leave at this age. The only requirement for this option is that each young man needs to have completed high school graduation.
This change is immediate and could see many young men of 18 and YW of 19 submitting their mission papers as soon as this week, providing the requirements of worthiness and education have been met. Clearly this new announcement will raise many questions on the part of individual families, particularly for those young men who have just turned 18. However, during the press conference Elder Holland and Elder Nelson both emphasised that it should be a personal and family consideration with no mandatory expectation for any young man or young woman to prepare to leave earlier.
What a wonderful opportunity for the Lord to have His work move forward. As Elder Holland suggested, this announcement addresses the need for more missionaries. Worldwide Mission Presidents have been calling for more missionaries and there is a great demand for the creation of new missions.
I look forward to hearing from any of our missionary mums out there who may be affected by this announcement. How do you feel about this announcement, and how is it going to affect you?
For me, with an almost 17 year old son, this is going to directly affect our family over the next 12 months. I am keen to explore the implications of it all.
For more information please visit Mormon News Room