So excited for all the new missionaries that will be serving due to the new change in missionary service age. Below is a few statements from the Newsroom on the church website, lds.org.
“SALT LAKE CITY —
In a move to expand the opportunities for young members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to serve full-time missions, Church President Thomas S. Monson announced today that, effective immediately, men may now begin serving at age 18 and women at age 19.
The previous age for beginning missionary service was 19 years of age for young men and 21 for young women.
The announcement was made during the opening session of the Church’s 182nd Semiannual General Conference, broadcast worldwide from Salt Lake City, Utah.
The Church anticipates that lowering the age requirement will significantly increase the number of missionaries who will serve by expanding the options for when they may begin their service.
“I am not suggesting that all young men will — or should — serve at this earlier age,” President Monson said. Rather, he said, the option is now available based on individual circumstances, as well as upon a determination by local Church leaders.
Regarding lowering the age requirement for women, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained that while it is not an obligation for young Latter-day Saint women to serve missions, “those who do serve are stunningly successful and we enthusiastically welcome your service.” He said, “Personally, I am absolutely delighted if this change in policy allows many, many more young women to serve.”
Currently 58,000 missionaries are serving, and that number has been increasing in recent years and will likely rise significantly with this change. Elder Holland said it is likely that additional missions will be needed around the world and many missions will have more missionaries serving in them.”