Saturday the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will begin a month of public tours of its newly renovated Boise temple. That’s big news for southwest Idaho’s LDS population, but last weekend the church made an announcement it considers historic. Many Mormon young people serve missions for their church. For decades an age limit of 19 for men and 21 for women has been in place. Those age restrictions will now be lowered to 18 for men and 19 for women. A high ranking church leader - William Walker - says the new age rules for women will have a significant impact.
“We think there will be quite a dramatic increase in the number of young women who are latter-day saints who decide to serve missions,” Walker says. “I think it’s a good development and I think later-day saint young women have greeted this news very enthusiastically.”
A Utah State University professor of Mormon studies tells KBSX the age change for men will primarily impact colleges with high Mormon enrollment. He says now many young men will choose to go on missions after high school rather than do a year of college first.