LDS President Thomas S Monson: All 18 year old high school graduates may serve missions

If you didn't hear the opening welcome message from LDS Inc. President Thomas S. Monson, you missed the big "reveal" that was rumored for this conference weekend.  He explained that 18 year old high school graduates were already being sent in other countries where military service is often required at age 20, and that this practice is now being extended to all countries everywhere.  All high school graduates who are 18 years old and worthy to go, are called to serve.  Correction: All male high school graduates 18 years old may serve.  Women are now required to wait until 19 years of age instead of 21.  Males used to have to wait till 19 in the US and other countries.

So what is your take on this new "mandate"?  I see it as a desperate move to recruit young men before they can open their minds from a little life experience on their own in college or outside of family living.  These moves general follow careful study of when young men are most likely to fall away, or become disinterested, or loss of worthiness.  I'm sure most LDS members will see this as a great thing, and provide many reasons for such.  What do you as an ex-mormon think?

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I agree that this is desperate attempt by the church to increase the number of missionaries.  The number of missionaries in the field has been around 50,000 for many years which tells us the church is not growing very much.  Marlin Jensen (former church historian) said that the young people of the church are leaving in droves.  This was at a fireside he spoke at.  We know that many missions are being shut down because the missionaries are having no success. 

And could screw-up employment opportunities later on?

It's a desperate measure.

Aside from the hemorrhaging membership problem,  which even the church secretly admits, this makes sense if you view missionaries as people engaged to enroll tithe-payers.

  • They're more responsive to the will of their parents and leaders at such a young age,
  • less autonomous,
  • less likely to have committed the grievousness sin of making love to the one they love,
  • it entrenches them more firmly in the doctrine 
  • and most importantly, whether they baptize or not, they're more likely to be Mormons for life and raise little Mormlets.

Elder Jensen has said that the highest rate of attrition is from the young people so this is clearly a move to ensnare them before they're fully free to think for themselves.

Very good points Cora.

Great points, Cora! "...grievous sin of making love..." LOL!

Now the youth can go straight from HS Seminary class right into the missionary field. 

Yes, you have hit the exact cause of the "New Mandate" (....and also, Hahahaaaa....the CIA needs more new recruits that are even MORE "Yes Sir" "No Sir" brainwashed, Younger people that do exactly as they are told with no will of their own) Soooo what's up with the 19 for girls? Maybe 19 is the new "old made" age 21 used to be???

Are they are banking that the girls will get married in the temple to a worthy RM and start makin them babies. Or are they insinuating that 18 yr old boys are more mature and ready for a mission than 19 yr old girls?  I think you've had personal revelation Misty.  19 is the new Old Maid, so hurry and marry before you are deemed unwanted and sent to the MTC nunnery.  Oh, but the hook ups that happen out in the field. 

They are used to young men having issues with dropping out of school, especially when scholarships are involved, so perhaps if they nip that one in the bud before they start school, it will benefit the missionary program.

Yes, this new mandate slashes opportunities before they even start. 

Pressure, pressure, pressure. This is what all the boys will feel when they learn and hear about this. The church puts so much pressure on the young men in the church as it is, and this will just add to it. The only chance these kids have is to go outside the church, to a non Mormon college. And to experience real life and to think for themselves. Its just another way to control these kids so they don't have a say. 

Tell your kids, to get a passport, and apply for a Working Holiday Visa to Australia, and work in or around the mines, or the vineyards or orchards.  There fantastic money to be made for them (Min wage is around $18 per hour and wages are as high as $60 to $80 per hour in and around the mines) if they work hard and they learn how to grow up and who they are and how to cook and clean and be reponsible for themselves without the horrid pressure of the church or caustic parents.  They come home with money in their pocket and...wait for it...wait for it....actual options in their lives.  (After Aussie, go to NZ for a year, then Canada, so much to see and experience)

I love this Australia post!  When I was first diagnosed with 3 autoimmune disorders I went online to find some support, some help, and lo and behold, I found an American female friend living in New Zealand because she couldn't afford the health care here.  She and hubby, a New Zealander, live on a small farm, and her health care is free, so to speak.  We all pay up the nose too, we just don't want to admit it.  Anyway, I love this experience of working abroad.  I've been to 6 countries abroad.  Or, Lori, the kids could join the Peace Corps and see a lot around the world without having missionary name tags.  Many days I wish I'd done just that.

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