Mormon prophet Thomas Monson announced at the October 2012 LDS General Conference the age requirements for Mormon missionaries will be lowered effective immediately.
The new rules allow males to serve at the age of 18 and females when they’re 19. The effects of this change said Joanna Brooks of the LDS Church has a bigger impact upon the girls rather than their male counterparts. See article in SL Trib here.
I have to disagree. I think it’s a toss-up.
While it will help wipe out the stigma for the girls of not being married by the age of 21 (previous rule for female missionary age requirements), the impact upon the guys is much more significant academically speaking.
Why? Think about it; no sport scholarships and less likelihood of a chance to receive any academic scholarship outside of Utah. Goodness, even Sports Illustrated is talking about it!
The Church said they’re doing this because of an all out blitz to cover the earth with their brand of the gospel. Apostle Jeffrey Holland said; “…the Lord is hastening this work and he needs more and more willing missionaries.”
This translates into another thought for those who look outside the confines of the Church. They’re doing this so they have more control over the young minds of children. Historically we’ve seen that roughly fifty percent of Mormon missionaries leave the Church when they return home with over half of those becoming born again Christians.
If they take these kids and put them out in a missionary setting before they go to university there’s less likelihood they will have formed any independent thinking or problem solving skills. And there’s a better chance the kids will say yes because they won’t be wrapped up in their scholastic pursuits.
Sad, sad, sad, sad, sad.
More control, more manipulative conduct on the part of the Church and less freedom for those caught in the cross-hairs of the culture they were born into.
Pray for the children of Mormonism and that the Christians who come into contact with them will make an even bigger impact than before!
With Love in Christ;
1 Cor. 1:18