Saturday morning, Thomas S. Monson, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints announced a change in the age requirements for men and women, wishing to serve as missionaries for the church.
“I am pleased to announce that effective immediately,” Monson said, “all worthy and able young men who have graduated from high school, or its equivalent, regardless of where they live, will have the option of being recommended for missionary service beginning with the age of 18 instead of the age of 19.”
Monson also announced that women can begin serving as missionaries at the age of 19. The previous age for beginning missionary service was 19 for men and 21 for women.
The church anticipates that lowering the age requirement will significantly increase the number of missionaries who will serve by expanding the options for when they may begin their service.
Monson also announced the church would build two more temples, one in Tucson Arizona, and the other in Arequipa, Peru. The church operates 139 temples around the world, with an additional 29 either announced or under construction.
The announcements were made during the opening session of the Church’s 182nd Semiannual General Conference, broadcast worldwide from Salt Lake City.