LDS Sister Missionaries at Age 19

Typically, male members of the LDS church are eligible to become missionaries at age 19, while female members of the LDS church are eligible at age 21. The church has never given any official explanation for the differing age requirements (that I’m aware of… if anyone can provide an official source, I’d love to see it..). So we are left to speculate….

Apparently, though, women are eligible at age 19 if their fathers are currently serving as mission presidents. I didn’t know that… did you?

14 comments to LDS Sister Missionaries at Age 19

  • Tara

    I knew they could go early because my MTC comp was only 19/20 because her dad was a mission pres. But I didn't realize the age that they could go. I don't understand why though?

  • Can't Elders go earlier than 19 if their dad is a mission president? I have heard this before.

  • tara, I'm not sure the required age is 19, either.. I should be more careful stating facts about things I don't really know!

    Katie, I didn't know that. I wonder if the CHI says anything about this? I'll check…

  • I have also heard that Elders could go at 18 if their father was a mission president. I have no experience or data to back this up however.

    My guess as to why women go at 21 (usually) is the following (in order of importance):
    1)More time for women to get married first.
    2)Missionary work is primarily seen as a priesthood responsibility.
    3)When the women are 21 and the men are only 19, there is less missionary dating because while most men are barely out of high school, the women could have easily lived out of their parent's home for a least a few years. This creates a maturity disparity that is harder to overcome than two barely out of high school teenagers.

  • I think the earlier age exception for sisters (and elders) who are children of mission presidents is mostly a financial perk. Although mission presidents do not receive an income while serving, the Church does provide a living stipend for their dependent children (including college-age) and pays tuition of children attending a church school. Or, on the other hand, the church will pay the children's mission expenses (while their parents are serving).

    It would be interesting to find any official literature explaining the older age for sisters to serve? When was the decision made?

  • Kat

    yeah, I've heard that. Mark had a 19 year old girl in his mission and all the missionaries were asking her out as soon as they got home. And I had an 18 year old guy I went to high school with go when he was 18 because his dad was a mission president too.

  • Alex, I tend to agree with your speculation.

    SimplySarah, I'm glad you chimed in on this, I hadn't thought of it as a financial perk – your father was a mission president, yes? I agree it would be great to see some official documentation about this policy (and I can name about a thousand Mormons who would be EXTREMELY interested in reading some official documentation regarding the "living stipends" & other financial benefits given to Mission Presidents & GA's… but that's a post for another day, I suppose…)

  • Yeah he was, and the ironic thing is I could have served at 19 – something I'd dreamed of as a teen…but by then I'd became converted to the superiority of sisters not serving missions so as to get married.

    When I entered the MTC at 23, one of my instructors was a self-righteous 22 year-old who'd served at 19 and then married one of the elders from her dad's mission. I loathed her, which kind of makes me laugh now. πŸ˜‰

    I agree with Alex's first two guesses. As for the third, I was four years older than the elders and still managed to have my fair share of crushes, as did most of the sisters I served with (many of whom were also 23 or older).

  • hehehe.. i had my fair share of crushes on sisters, too… good times!

    (reminiscing: what was the name of that sassy, short-haired sister with all the sweaters?)

  • I only served with sisters for 2 transfers, I guess I missed out on mission crushes.

  • (Consider yourself lucky Alex. Mission crushes are pretty ridiculous. πŸ™‚

  • I heard they are going to change the age for elders to 15. Two reasons: First, that's when they still know everything and second, their mothers won't cry when they leave.

    πŸ™‚

  • Mormon Bachelor Pad

    Did not know that. I speculate that they want women to be older so that they can feel better about being totally bitchy and treating the elders like little brothers.