In a March 1 article, New York Times writers Jodi Kantor and Laurie Goodstein take an in-depth look at how a recent change in lowering the qualifying age for missionary service in the LDS Church is impacting Latter-day Saint women and their future roles in the LDS faith. The authors use the missionary age change to explore womens issues within the LDS Church generally.
In 2012, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints lowered the age requirement for female missionaries from 21 to 19 and male missionaries from 19 to 18. The change resulted in a surge of young people, men and women, who embraced the opportunity participate in proselytizing work that is itself evolving, a fact The Atlantic highlighted in January.
Kantor and Goodstein profile several current and former sister missionaries assigned to Korea. The online version of the article includes several videos, interactive graphics and invitations for specific reader feedback. The authors share perspective from leaders and observers of the LDS Church, including Relief Society General President Sister Linda K. Burton, who notes how Latter-day Saints will benefit as “men's vision of the capacity of women becomes more complete.”
Emily Eyring is the Faith and Family Web producer for DeseretNews.com.