So, it seems like the big news out of the latest semi annual conference was the adjusting of the age requirements for missionaries from 19 to 18 for young men and 21 to 19 for young women. Well, maybe not the biggest news, but the most noticeable and talked about from the perspective of an outsider. We’ve already had a family home evening lesson on this topic where we arrived at the conclusion that it’s overall a good move. Here’s our thinking:
It’s a great point in a young man and young woman’s life to transition from high school to a more responsible part of their life. And it’s a great way to prepare for that life. There’s church, home teaching, fhe, youth firesides, and other activities to help along the way, but spending two years learning how to live with people you’ve just met, and approach strangers to talk about deep and meaningful subjects is great preparation for college, the workplace, marriage, and being better equipped to raise a family. We all need to grow up, so why not a little bit sooner?
After my husband and I discussed our missionary experiences with our children, read some scriptures on the topic, and asked what they thought about the new age requirement, we closed family home evening with ‘I Hope They Call Me on a Mission’. And then, of course, we had mission themed cupcakes with different countries frosted onto the cupcakes. My son liked the Brazil cupcake the most.
I think it’s important to help your children understand the importance and purpose of a mission, so that when they get to the that age, they are able to make the decision because they want to go, not because they’re feeling any kind of pressure. FHE is a great way to teach gospel lessons and spend time with the family searching the scriptures for answers to their questions.