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Additional Resource —  6 October 2012

Church Lowers Age Requirement for Missionary Service - FAQ

Salt Lake City — 

Church Lowers Age Requirement for Missionary Service full story.

Why has the Church made this change?
In the past, many young men and women were prepared and would have begun their missionary service earlier if the option were available. This change gives them the option to do so. It will likely give more Latter-day Saints the life-changing opportunity to serve a mission and will further enable the Church to fulfill the mandate to teach about Jesus Christ's life and ministry,

When and where will this change be implemented?
The change will take place immediately, and for the worldwide Church. Men may enter the MTC after their 18th birthday (which must follow high school graduation) and women after their 19th birthday. Both can be recommended for missionary service 120 days prior to those respective birthdates.

Why are the age requirements different for men and women?
Missionary service is a priesthood responsibility for young men in the Church, but young women are encouraged to serve as they feel moved to do so. The Church has learned from experience that there is wisdom in maintaining age differences between young men and young women who are serving missions.

Will the length of service change?
No. Men will serve for two years and women will serve for a year and a half.

Will the Missionary Training Center experience remain the same?
It is expected that time in the Missionary Training Center will be reduced by approximately one-third for all missionaries.

Will additional missions be created?
It is anticipated that this change will necessitate the creation of additional missions in the future. Some missions will also have more missionaries than they have now.

How will this impact education plans for those who serve missions?
This will provide both young men and young women more options for when they can begin their missionary service while considering the timing of other factors, such as marriage, schooling, careers and military service.

Will younger missionaries be prepared to serve?
No young man or woman should begin their mission service until they are ready. Church leaders have been calling missionaries at age 18 in 48 countries around the world and have found them to be both capable and qualified to serve in every way. Prior to entering the Missionary Training Center, prospective missionaries will be asked to enhance their pre-mission preparation.

How does this fit with the idea of “raising the bar” for missionary service?
The same standards of worthiness and preparation will apply for missionary service.

Style Guide Note: When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online style guide.

 
 
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