OKLAHOMA CITY —
Missionaries receive assignments from church headquarters and are sent only to countries where governments allow the church to operate. Missionaries do not request their area of assignment or the language used during their service. Missionaries fund their own missions (except for transportation to and from assigned mission) and are not paid for their services. The current missionary force is more than 58,000, with growth expected due to the age change.
While men are expected to serve missions as part of their priesthood obligations, women are given the opportunity as an option. The change in age does not change the standards set for prospective missionaries but does provide greater flexibility in deciding when and if to serve a mission, Monson said.
“I am not suggesting that all young men will — or should — serve at this earlier age,” Monson said. “Rather, based on individual circumstances, as well as upon a determination by priesthood leaders, this option is now available.”
For more information on the age-change announcement, including a transcript of the announcement and a full video of the press conference, visit www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/church-lowers-age-requirement-for-missionary-service.