SALT LAKE CITY (UT) – Latter Day Saint (Mormon) Church President Thomas S Monson made the announcement from the pulpit of the semi-annual LDS General Conference in Salt Lake City; broadcast to church members around the world.
All Mormon men who are deemed faithful are now able to begin their two-year, full time service to the LDS Church at 18 years old; rather than the previously standard age of 19.
Women who would like to serve in the same capacity are now able to at age 19, rather than 21.
Church leaders say they are making this move due to “the Lord hastening his work” and the need for more missionaries to spread the LDS message. According to an official news release, leaders of the church hope to see a significant increase in missionary numbers, which current sit at over 58,000 worldwide.
Nicole Chavez and Eric Levenson, CNN
Alla Eshchenko, Ryan Prior and Darran Simon, CNN