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Minimum Age Drops, LDS Missionary Applications Soar
Twin Falls, Idaho (KMVT-TV) Earlier this month, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints announced that 19 year old women and 18 year old men could now go on missions. Locally, that means there's been a noticeable increase in both men and women signing up to go on missions for the church.
This month in Salt Lake City, Utah, the number of LDS young people applying to be missionaries went up almost 500 percent. That's because the minimum age requirements were dropped from 21 years old to 19 for women, and from 19 years old for men to 18 years old.
Prospective missionary Sarah Dodds says, "Sometimes girls don't have the opportunity to go on missions when they're 21, because they end up finding their husband around that time. So it just gives me the wonderful opportunity to go out and serve."
Dodds says that missions are usually optional for young LDS women, while men are told that going on missions is their duty and an obligation to the church.
Randy Hansen, President of the Twin Falls Stake, says, "The expectation is that the numbers are going to grown huge, to the point where right now, with the number that they're figuring and the numbers of people that are applying, that we'll probably need about 300 additional missions around the world."
Dodds says thanks to the change in the age requirements, now she'll be able to go on her mission as soon as next spring.
Dodds says, "I encourage any other 19 year old girls who are members of the Gospel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to go out and serve missions."
Oct. 26, 2012.