Mormon church lowers age requirements for missionaries
SALT LAKE CITY (REUTERS) - Mormon leaders on Saturday lowered the age requirements for full-time missionaries in a change that could swell the ranks of the church's messengers around the world.
All 18-year-old men in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will now be allowed to serve missions and women can do so at the age of 19, Mr Thomas Monson, the church's president, told members at a conference in Salt Lake City.
The previous age requirements for serving as Mormon missionaries was 19 for men and 21 for women.
Mr Monson and other church leaders said the change, which is effective immediately, was a response to the needs of the growing church, which was established in the United States but has spread throughout the world.