The Norman Transcript

News Features

October 19, 2012

LDS church lowers missionary service ages to 18 and 19

OKLAHOMA CITY — In an effort to expand full-time missionary service opportunities for young members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, church leaders recently announced men may now begin serving at age 18 and women at age 19.

The announcement, effective immediately worldwide, was made by President Thomas S. Monson on Oct. 6 during the opening session of the Church’s 182nd Semiannual General Conference, broadcast worldwide from Salt Lake City, Utah.

Church leaders anticipate that lowering age requirements, previously set at 19 for men and 21 for women, will expand options for those interested in serving. Men are now eligible to apply for service come their 18th birthday and high school graduation, and women on their 19th birthday.

“This is simply another option. We hope many will take advantage of it. We think that many will want to serve earlier in order to facilitate educational, military, marital or many other future pursuits,” said Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, during a press conference after the announcement.

While the church has been calling missionaries at age 18 in 48 countries around the world for years, the change in worldwide policy will introduce a variety of program changes. Though the duration of the voluntary missions will remain at two years for men and 18 months for women, time spent training at the 15 missionary training centers will be reduced by approximately one-third for all missionaries. As a result, increased pre-mission preparation and in-the-field training are expected.

Holland said there are currently no plans to build more missionary training centers, but the formation of additional mission boundaries are anticipated. In the meantime, Holland said the existing 347 missions will absorb the initial growth.

“We’re waiting to see how many, exactly where they might be needed first, and we’ll do that in a systematic and methodical way,” Holland said of mission growth.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
News Features
  • DUal-state advance Tough field awaits Southmoore at dual state

    Southmoore’s history at Dual State is a short read. The totality of it is a first-round loss to eventual runner-up Muskogee by one point in last year’s tournament.

    February 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Myths about obesity

    The obesity epidemic is among the most critical health issues facing the United States. Although it has generated a lot of attention and calls for solutions, it also has served up a super-sized portion of myths and misunderstandings....

    December 28, 2013

  • How to tame an out-of-control kid

    Edith, a retired Capitol Hill staffer from Washington, was at the end of her rope last year over the mayhem her 5-year-old great-grandson Wayne was causing at preschool. “I was on speed dial” at the school, says Edith, who is raising two ...

    December 28, 2013

  • Experts decry ‘resolution dependency’

    One of the country’s best-known fitness center chains is launching an initiative to wean people from what it calls an over-dependence on New Year’s resolutions....

    December 26, 2013

  • The 12 annoying songs of Christmas

    It’s that time of year, when Christmas songs fill shops, restaurants and your home. While anything on repeat can drive you mad, these 12 tunes are some of the most annoying....

    December 8, 2013

  • Caring for a cut Christmas tree

    Cut Christmas trees must be watered and kept hydrated to last through the holidays and to prevent them from becoming fire hazards. This includes small tabletop trees....

    December 8, 2013

  • Seven great holiday stories for season’s readings

    Holiday-themed movies and TV shows get the most attention during this time of year....

    December 8, 2013

  • S. Korea aims to cut into international comics market

    SEOUL, South Korea — Look out manga, South Korea is stepping up efforts to spread “manhwa” comics to the rest of the world....

    December 8, 2013

  • HalfDomeHike Resident follows in Muir’s footsteps

    Norman resident Jim Robinson said the day he started hiking, he understood John Denver’s famous lyrics about coming home to a place he’d never been before. “The home I found is a trail … almost any trail,” Robinson said....

    November 27, 2013 1 Photo

  • Study delves deeper into effects of autism

    People with autism experience a more extreme version of the world than the rest of us. For more than 90 percent, sounds are louder, colors are brighter, and touch can be a disturbing intrusion. The reason, according to a new study, may be ...

    November 27, 2013