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Why Missionary Age was Changed

The response to the announcement by President Monson that missionaries could now begin service at 18/19 definitely has made a big ripple in the Mormon community. I was posting on Twitter with #ldsconf and it was interesting to see people's response. All were generally excited, but I followed a link to the Salt Lake Tribune where Peggy Fletcher Stack had given some analysis on the possible impact. I was more interested in the comments of the readers, as they just blew my mind. For those who are not aware, the Salt Lake Tribune is the dark side of Utah. Most things posted about the church are controversial and the readership are generally Mormon-haters, at least those who comment.



What I found amazing was the reasons these people believe the change to missionary age was made.

Some of the comments:

"I guess the church is more concerned about quantity rather than quality."

"Finally women are treated as more equal."

"They just want the football team to improve."

Really? Really? I love Elder Neal L. Andersen's reference to the scripture:

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. - Isaiah 55:9.

When the prophets implement a change, let's not assume it was because they are finally in touch with reality. Blacks weren't given the priesthood because one day the prophets realized they were behind the times. God isn't waiting for his prophets to "get it", he's waiting for the world and the members of the church to be ready for things before he grants them to us. Line upon line, precept on precept.

Elder Holland had a magnificent quote in General Conference a few years back and he said this:

"As the least of those who have been sustained by you to witness the guidance of this Church firsthand, I say with all the fervor of my soul that never in my personal or professional life have I ever associated with any group who are so in touch, who know so profoundly the issues facing us, who look so deeply into the old, stay so open to the new, and weigh so carefully, thoughtfully, and prayerfully everything in between. I testify that the grasp this body of men and women have of moral and societal issues exceeds that of any think tank or brain trust of comparable endeavor of which I know anywhere on the earth. I bear personal witness of how thoroughly good they are, of how hard they work, and how humbly they live. It is no trivial matter for this Church to declare to the world prophecy, seership, and revelation, but we do declare it. It is true light shining in a dark world, and it shines from these proceedings."

Was that POWERFUL or what?

For those who missed the press conference, you can hear from the prophets themselves as to why the church implemented the change they did.




1 comment:

  1. Elder Holland is such a spiritual freight train.

    I wonder why it's so hard to believe that our youth are more ready to serve now, than they were in the past. That they are better prepared. So many of the 16, 17, 18 year-olds in my ward make me feel spiritually inadequate sometimes. They're the ones that I look up to. They teach me more than most of my peers.

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