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Saturday, October 6, 2012

I might have a missionary at eighteen

This morning we all sat around the television watching General Conference.  We had just finished eating breakfast burritos, the kids were nestled in their traditional forts, and I sat on the couch.  Our prophet, Thomas S. Monson was the first speaker and was saying the following, 

"Brothers and sisters, I now turn to another matter—namely, missionary service.
For some time the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles have allowed young men from certain countries to serve at age of 18 when they are worthy, able, have graduated from high school and have expressed a sincere desire to serve. This has been a country-specific policy and has allowed thousands of young men to serve honorable missions and also fulfill required military obligations and educational opportunities.
Our experience with these 18-year-old missionaries has been positive. Their mission presidents report that they are obedient, faithful, mature, and serve just as competently as do the older missionaries who serve in the same missions."
At this point I knew he was going somewhere with this.  I called out to A, "A, A, listen to this.  Listen to President Monson!"  I sat there with my eyes staring at the television awaiting the words of my prophet.  He continued  on with these words.
"Their faithfulness, obedience and maturity have caused us to desire the same option of earlier missionary call for all young men, regardless of the country from which they come.
I am pleased to announce that effective immediately, all worthy and able young men who have graduated from high school or its equivalent, regardless of where they live, will have the option of being recommended for missionary service beginning at the age of 18, instead of age 19. I am not suggesting that all young men will—or should—serve at this earlier age.Rather, based on individual circumstances, as well as upon a determination by priesthood leaders, this option is now available.
As we have prayerfully pondered the age at which young men may begin their missionary service, we have also given consideration to the age at which a young woman might serve. Today I am pleased to announce that able, worthy young women who have the desire to serve may be recommended for missionary service beginning at age 19, instead of age 21.
We affirm that missionary work is a priesthood duty—and we encourage all young men who are worthy and who are physically able and mentally capable, to respond to the call to serve. Many young women also serve, but they are not under the same mandate to serve as are the young men. We assure the young sisters of the Church, however, that they make a valuable contribution as missionaries, and we welcome their service."
I sat there crying and somewhat in shock.  I asked all the other kids if they had heard what President Monson had just said.  I wasn't crying due to the thought of A possibly leaving a year earlier, but the fact that  I had just heard my beloved prophet share new latter day revelation.  From the time I was a young child I have always loved our prophets and know the things they tell us come directly from God.  I was so glad that I heard it then, and not from someone else or in a magazine down the road.  It was perfect.  This is wonderful news!  

A is undecided as to whether he will go at the age of eighteen or nineteen.  It's a lot to think about.  He could be possibly filling out his mission papers at Christmas time.  That is crazy!!  

I think about whether or not he has enough money saved up already, if my quiet child could really go in nine months, or the fact that he and C would overlap and wouldn't see each other for three and a half years rather than having six months together before he would go at the age of nineteen.  But, I'm at peace with it all and excited for which ever decision my son makes.  I might have a missionary at eighteen.  

1 comment:

brian and amanda said...

i got serious chills when i heard the announcement. tears filled my eyes thinking of the young women. i would have TOTALLY served at 19.

how amazing and crazy that you could have another son off on a mission here soon? that is just so wonderful!