Part 2: I Am a Missionary, This is My Calling

I’m sitting here studying for my mission prep midterm and I felt the need to add on to my Testimony Tuesday this week. I was re-reading President Monson’s announcement from the October 6, General Conference opening talk when he announced the age change:

“Brothers and sisters, I now turn to another matter—namely, missionary service.

For some time the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles have allowed young men from certain countries to serve at the age of 18 when they are worthy, able, have graduated from high school, and have expressed a sincere desire to serve. This has been a country-specific policy and has allowed thousands of young men to serve honorable missions and also fulfill required military obligations and educational opportunities.

Our experience with these 18-year-old missionaries has been positive. Their mission presidents report that they are obedient, faithful, mature, and serve just as competently as do the older missionaries who serve in the same missions. Their faithfulness, obedience, and maturity have caused us to desire the same option of earlier missionary service for all young men, regardless of the country from which they come.

I am pleased to announce that effective immediately all worthy and able young men who have graduated from high school or its equivalent, regardless of where they live, will have the option of being recommended for missionary service beginning at the age of 18, instead of age 19. I am not suggesting that all young men will—or should—serve at this earlier age. Rather, based on individual circumstances as well as upon a determination by priesthood leaders, this option is now available.

As we have prayerfully pondered the age at which young men may begin their missionary service, we have also given consideration to the age at which a young woman might serve. Today I am pleased to announce that able, worthy young women who have the desire to serve may be recommended for missionary service beginning at age 19, instead of age 21.

We affirm that missionary work is a priesthood duty—and we encourage all young men who are worthy and who are physically able and mentally capable to respond to the call to serve. Many young women also serve, but they are not under the same mandate to serve as are the young men. We assure the young sisters of the Church, however, that they make a valuable contribution as missionaries, and we welcome their service.”

– President Monson, General Conference, October 2012

 Reading through this again gave me chills and I had a reconfirmation of a few things:
1) President Monson is a prophet of God. He receives revelation for the church and it truly comes from the Lord. The words that come from President Monson’s mouth, are words that come from the Lord’s.
2) The work is hurrying forth. We are getting called at a younger age to be missionaries because the Lord’s work needs to be brought to each and every person possible and it is now, more than ever, something that all of us need to be a part of.
3) I am a missionary. I have been called by the Lord to serve the people of New Hampshire. I know that with all my heart and soul and it was because of this announcement that I am able to go now. I want nothing more than to share with others what makes me so happy – the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Without it, I would be so lost and confused. Without Him, I wouldn’t know what to do with my life. I want others to know Him, too.
I am a Mormon. I know it. I love it. I live it.

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