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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djensen, So, You've picked your side of the fence, as have we.  What would you like to talk about, instead of issues that still cause problems in these people's lives?  I'm up for a new discussion.

The LDS LSD Church just wants numbers, in the end they are just another faceless organization with a figurehead bent on the money. Its estimated that they are a well over a 200 BILLION dollar enterprise. Do the simple math, last i heard there was about 13 million members, if they all made a rough average of lets say 10,000 a year (trying to account not all are adults and pay tithing, and some live in poor areas, hence the lowered amount) and they each pay 10%, thats 1,000 a year per person, coming out to 13 BILLION each year, and since they are a 'religious' group, they pay zero taxes. They are also one of the top land owners of the US. Their cattle ranches, farm fields etc. are some of the largest in the country.

The City Creek Center in Salt Lake, or as i call it, the Great and Spacious Building, cost over 5 billion dollars, for a shopping mall! Just more money for the church!

Also what completely disgusted me and solidified my leave of the church was when Hurricane Katrina hit i sat in General Conference and listened as they bragged and told the congregation about their contirbutions, i remember them saying something around 50 million was donated to the efforts. I thought 'dont they make billions a year from tithing? not to mention the billions from other various sources? ALL they can bother to donate is 50 million?!?' if 13 billion is their tithing intake, 50 million is .3% of their income. I cant find the exact reference for the 50 million, but from General Conference 2009,

"Over the last 10 years, the Church has provided over U.S. $900 million in donations and material assistance for humanitarian aid and countless man-and woman-hours of service. For example, with respect to Hurricane Katrina, over 330,000 hours of hard, dedicated service were provided (report of Elder John S. Anderson, Area Seventy, who supervised the relief effort)."

10 years...1999-2009, $900 million, if i am even remotely correct with my guestimates, the church gives 6% of ONE YEARS BUDGET in donations for an entire decade...which if they made that much for 10 years, .6% of their income to humanitarian aid. But DEMAND their members give 10% or risk eternal damnation?

They do SO LITTLE, yet claim they do so much

All their logic is 'if i can get more missionaries in the field, then i can get more converts, who will funnel us more money!'

Sorry for the rant, just had to get that off my chest since someone mentioned the Church just wanting more numbers and made me remember this.

I couldn't agree more with what most of you have said. Catch them while they are young in their formative years when they are still under the thumb and influence of their parents and you will have them for life because they won't have time to realize anything else is out there.

If they have a taste of freedom and college life it gives them something to look forward to when they return from their mission, if they have never known the glory of independence then they are more likely to blindly follow the council of their leaders and jump right into marriage and chaos.

A huge mistake of the LDS society is the view that the years of 17 - 25 in a persons life is not seen as the formative 'adulthood' development years. That period in a person's life is viewed as get married and start a family and entrench yourself in the LDS way of life/poverty. I think getting married and starting a family before that stage of development is absolutely detrimental, I have lots of personal experience with that.

Having attended BYU I would bet that their is some underlying financial rationale for this move also.

As a parent, I can't imagine sending my child away for 2 years, EVER, but especially not at 18 years old. I think Mike is right and a lot of them will rebel in the MTC and not make it to the mission field, we can only hope!!!

I have absolutely no doubt that this is a very finely tuned decision -- and it's all about keeping the youth in the church.  One of the GA's even said yesterday -- keeps them more pure before they go (in otherwords, what the rest of you have said about getting them into the mission system as early as they can).  In regards to that, from everything I'm hearing about the average mormon youth today, the "still pure" at 18 thing is just laughable.  They are a bunch of naive and controlling men.

The one thing that hasnt't been mentioned here is the impact on the young women.  I believe this will keep many more LDS women from getting a college education.  By the time they get home, they will be just as eager to marry and have sex as the guys, and it will be too daunting for two young people at the poverty level to go to college.  That is, IMO, another way they are getting the young marriages that they want.

I am hugely sad and angry about this change, and it will impact many of my grandchildren in negative ways, IMO.  It's so hard to watch them being brainwashed, and this makes it even worse!


Absolutely excellent point.  Devaluing women's education by sending them off somewhere with a mission handbook, and then bring them home to get married and make babies.  When it fact, they should be encouraging them to get an education.  I remember 17 or 18 years ago, my friend at work, a Seventh Day Adventist, told me they regularly had in their sermons the necessity of women getting higher education, one, to support themselves should they not marry, two, to support themselves should something happen to their husbands, and three, to teach the children from a decent knowledge base, since, many of them were home makers.  Don't know how many are now with this economy, just know that's what she told me.

Does anyone else find the language used in the talk completely irresponsible and presumptuous? As a child, who grew up in fear of the second coming (i was the only active member in my family) I was constantly terrified that the second coming would happen and my family would be doomed to hell, as an adult - I find the "The Lord is hastening his work" line to be so arrogant and conniving. How do they know the Lord is hastening his work? These types of scare tactics make me angry.

What percentage of mainstream Mormons believe the second coming is imminent?

I know I and my family did/does.  I don't think the 2nd coming is being emphasized as heavily, or much at all except by the hardcore.  Recent conference talks seem to point that direction as well, telling members that they will be able to grow up, have families and even go on to see their grand kids raised before any 2nd coming.  I think it was Packer who spoke such a year or two ago.

In my 50 years in the Morg, the second coming was always imminent.  It's been imminent for about 170 years.  Many predictions have been quite specific and were wrong of course.  The last prediction I heard was when I was a missionary and heard a general authority in the Mission Training Center say it would definitely be the year 2000.

Where is Monson coming up with these things anyway???  Do they hold college scholarships for kids who immediately go on a mission?  Because I'd be counseling my 18 year old to use that scholarship, get busy with school, move on to his/her next adventure once out of school.  Maybe they're seeing 19 year olds who've already gotten girls pregnant?  Maybe by 19 they've changed their minds?  Maybe they are looking at the drop out rate, the inactive rate, the leaving the church rate?  Too weird, and too much stress for a kid at that age.

I do not think I would have gone.  I was more interested in going to college, and the only reason I really went was because of RMs at BYU telling me to go.

I would have gone to another school where I had been accepted with a scholarship.  With none of my friends going to BYU at 18 if they were going on missions, I would have separated from them and gone to a secular school, come out earlier and left the church earlier.

This is nothing more than a policy change to secure and retain the youth of the church and increase the revenue stream with the recruitment of new members.  The business of the church is the first priority, not the welfare of the people.  


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