LDS Church officials say that “unprecedented numbers of young men and young women” are filling out full-time missionary applications following the October announcement lowering the age of service to 18 for LDS young men who have graduated from high school and 19 for LDS young women.
So explains this Deseret News article about the impact the recent announcement is having on missionary work for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This Mormon Newsroom article contains more information as officially shared by the Church.
This Q&A video addresses some questions people have about the missionary age change.
See also the following video:
To sum up points from the two articles:
-The Church has about 350 missions, and the number of missionaries in each mission will be increasing by nearly 50% (from about 170 missionaries in each mission to about 250 in each mission).
– Rumors about missions opening in countries where missionary work is currently not available are “completely false.” Elder Russell M. Nelson is quoted: “Leaders of this church enter countries new to the church through the front door…. We do not go in through the back door or via the alley. Our relationships are based on honesty, openness, integrity and complete compliance with local law.”
– New missions will be created as the need arises.
– Missionaries will spend 30% less time at the Church’s Missionary Training Centers (MTC)
– In-the-field missionary training programs have already been in the works for a year, so some of what training happened at the MTC is and will be happening “on the ground” while missionaries are at work in their assigned areas.
– Church leaders gratefully acknowledge universities who are creating policies that accommodate decisions by young college students to defer their schooling to serve.
– More young people will simply have the blessing to serve, and this delights both leaders and young adults alike.