Saturday, October 27, 2012

Missionary Age Lowered

It was announced in this last General Conference that the age requirements for men and women has been changed.  Young men, who previously served at age 19, will now be allowed to serve at 18, and young women, who previously served at age 21, will now be allowed to serve at 19.

In discussion, I've heard various comments for the reasons behind this change.  One woman said it could be a sign of the church starting to treat women a little more equally with men.  Whenever I think about a doctrine or policy change for the church, I always think about how it can be tied back to money.

In this case, having the boys serve at 18, or directly after they finish high school, will leave less room for worldly distractions to dissuade them from serving, such as getting a job, finding a girlfriend, or starting college.

I believe their bottom line for this decision is to increase the number of missionaries serving by removing the temptation to stay home.

More missionaries >>> More converts >>> More Mormon babies >>> More tithing.  It can always be tied back to money.

Frankly, I'm surprised they didn't make 18 the age for the women as well.

Does this mean we will be approached even more by the clean cut, bike riding, suit wearing, Book of Mormon toting missionaries?

Unfortunately, yes.

I have heard an unconfirmed report that previously the church received about 600 missionary applications a week.  After this change was announced, they received 7,000 applications!


senigami said...

Being a church attender (while an atheist) I can see the real reason as I am directly attuned to the current problems in the church.

This ties back to what was said to be the biggest problem in the church, retention. Young people are leaving the church at higher and higher rates all the time. In other words the ancient belief system just isn't sticking like it used to.
Young people are more often getting into 'trouble' that excludes them from missionary service as well. The concept of 'get 'em while they're young' applies perfectly. Getting young people to serve at an earlier age not only strives to reinforce the belief while it is still there but to get them to serve before they exclude themselves with 'worldly sin'. When I watched the announcement in General Conference it was so obvious I don't see how the other members could have missed it. Really most people put up their spiritual blinders and since the prophet is 'inspired' they say must be to beef up the missionary force to spread the gospel more fully.

Mormon411 said...

Senigami, I couldn't agree with you more. Lock them in while they are young.

If the prophet announced that the church was going to open whore houses in downtown SLC, the members would find some way to justify it.

As long as the profit said it, it can't be wrong...