I love the opportunity to watch The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints general conference twice a year. Because my husband is back in school for his MBA, I was alone Saturday with my two boys.
As soon as President Monson started talking about young men being able to serve missions at age 18 instead of 19 in certain countries, I started speculating where he was going with it…and then was shocked and elated to hear the age was now lowered to 18 for ALL worthy young men who had graduated high school.
I was even more surprised to hear that young women could serve at age 19 instead of 21. I immediately thought of my 19-year-old sister and whether she would choose to serve now that the age was lowered.
I admit, growing up I never really thought about serving a mission. I always thought I would have either a career or husband by age 21, both of which I did.
But if I had been able to serve at the age of 19, I wonder if that would have made a difference? I’d like to think that I would have done as David Archuleta did and leave a budding career to serve the Lord. Especially as I’ve grown older, I’ve come to love the gospel as so much more than a religion or good way of living life. It is who I am, to the core of my being. Knowing I am a daughter of my Heavenly Father who loves me gives me indescribable peace and comfort during trying times. Knowing I can be with my little growing family into the eternities makes my heart swell with joy.
My husband and I have always talked about serving a mission together when our kids are grown, and I still plan to do that someday. But I wonder how much more my life would have been different had I chosen to do that as a single young adult? I imagine there are wonderful blessings awaiting these young men and women as they make the life-changing decision to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with people.
What did you think of President Monson’s announcement Saturday morning? How do you think it will change the dynamic of new female missionaries? Do you think these young people will be equally as prepared for marriage at a younger age coming home?