Saturday, October 6, 2012
I'm very excited that missionary age has changed at long last for the sisters to age 19-a full 2 year difference! Boys can now leave at 18-if they are ready and it is more convenient. They can leave up until age 25, but are encouraged to go as soon as they are prepared spiritually, financially, etc. I don't feel like it will be that different for the boys-a few will leave earlier, but you still have to finish high school, and many are 18.5 by then anyway-so maybe a 6 month difference.
For girls-well we've had to wait until we were 21. It's a hard age, because often you are a junior in college and stuck with deciding between a mission and finishing your degree. I was there-and chose to finish my degree and then leave for a mission when I was 22 (ancient!!). Also, for way too long it has been said "girls go on missions because they aren't married." Sheesh. No. Girls went on missions for the same reasons (love of God, love of mankind, love of the church and its teachings) it's just we had to wait because of the age requirement. Yes, sometimes this meant Mr. Right came along and so a mission didn't happen, but that doesn't mean a girl didn't want to go. I am thrilled that now a girl can leave at age 19. No longer can it be said that she "didn't get married". Perhaps some stereotypes can be put aside. And my prediction: a whole lot of sisters will be serving!
Why the year difference? I'm not sure, but it doesn't bother me. For boys, it is asked of them-get 'em out the door as soon as they are ready. For girls, it is optional and a year after high school to consider it is probably smart. I was VERY happy though that the age was lowered for girls!
I went to the MTC 13 years ago today-as a very old 22 year old sister missionary who just hadn't gotten married. :) Life changer and no regrets!!