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 with your assertion. I think lowering the missionary age will prevent more young man from going to college first where they might make discoveries or do things that would preclude them from serving a mission.

Oh, and so that the BYU football recruits don't have a weird sense of abandonment as they're all hyped to join sports only to be yanked away after a year into a life of servitude as they watch their muscle-mass descend into non-existence.

I agree. The lowering the age will make it more likely for young men to serve a mission. Instead of experiencing the world/ college first... Is it still going to be more or less a requirement that men serve a mission period like before? I know technically it's not required of male members now, but they are looked down upon for not serving (regardless of the reason).

I agree, Mike.  I also wondered if it was a chance to roll into the mission field a new, extra, wave of missionaries, sending in the reserves thereby increasing the number of boots on the ground for this cycle by about 1/2 the number of warm bodies, (now having 18, 19 & 20 year olds serving simultaneously).  Like the Baby Boom, this serge will work its way through the system.

I just had another thought. This will allow for temple marriage at a younger age, which can allow for birthing kids at younger ages, and allow for renewed tithing profit incomes sooner.

Wow, desperate ploy indeed. And thinly veiled. The church is obviously losing membership these days due to any number of institutional policies and screw ups. They need more members. They need more active members excited about converting and serving missions. 

Ok, but also it just makes sense so that young men can get back sooner and finish college sooner rather than the weird, do I do a year now or just put it off? question. Doesn't make sense not to give women the option at 18 as well.

They will also get married younger, kids younger, poverty younger.  This is a move by a corporation, not by inspiration.

Well obviously I don't think it's inspired, but I have long wondered why make them wait a year and thought it would be more convenient to get it out of the way when they're a bit younger for education reasons. I've also thought it kind of screws women who want to go to make them wait until age 21. It's just a more disruptive time in your life to take a couple of years off. I guess the good side is that they have more time to develop and know what they really want in that time, but I'm just saying, there are logical reasons to lower the age for everyone.

Not saying none of those other factors couldn't have played a role in the decision as well, and they are certainly negatives to the decision.

Please ignore my double negative. D:

I wonder if this move will eventually financially backfire on the church.  Younger marriages and more children earlier on equals less earning power and reduced disposalbe income. This will create more reliance on charity from the church to support this growing base of dependants. 

What happens when the *Lord* does not provide?  They then turn to welfare, debt, bankruptcy...etc.  Maybe Mitt will be generous and loan them some of his offshore money. 

I think it could backfire in many ways.  I at least got to play and work many months before I left at 19.  Going straight from High School to the MTC would have been pretty depressing.  I wouldn't have been as prepared or converted either.  I think many more mishies might find themselves really doubting before they even get out of the MTC to their areas.  I'll keep my fingers crossed anyways, for their sake.

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