Sunday, May 5, 2013

I See... the Real Reason Why They Lowered the Missionary Age for Women

Ever since October 2012 Conference’s prophetic announcement about lowering the missionary age for men and women to 18 and 19 respectively, the Mormon Third Eye has been immersed in deep retrospection, seeking the logic and inspiration behind it.   Since that time, church leaders have been popularly quoting the scriptural mandate “I will hasten the work in my day,” and teaching fulfillment of that prophecy as spiritual scaffolding behind the announcement that has seemed to energize the gospel teaching effort worldwide. I’m not denying the truth of that the prophecy, just that there may be even more logical, practical purposes behind it. 

It is an often unspoken, yet completely verifiable truth that in the manufactured war of the sexes, not only are women generally more spiritual than men, they also make better missionaries.  I remember  during my Korean missionary days too many decades ago it was common knowledge that the Korean and American sisters were always more productive than Elders. In fact, most of the time it was just downright embarrassing to us, which leads to the real reason why they lowered the missionary age for women. I suspect, yet cannot verify with earthly, man-made measurements, that finally, after “raising the bar” for young men serving missions a little over a decade ago, the Priesthood brethren may have finally started catching up on their levels of righteousness and spirituality, possibly to the point that may actually be just as sincere and dedicated as our Relief Society sisters. Certainly the Lord determined that our conduct and worthiness had improved overall to the extent that now it is only mildly, not egregiously, embarrassing for us to be pitted against the women of the church in the race to the celestial kingdom via bringing souls unto Christ. Or…

The other possibility is that the Lord grew tired of our rampant pride and wanton worldliness, and decided to unleash the inherently inspirational nature of women upon the world to help it recover from the damage we’ve done to the work. Or…

The other out-of-the-box answer, the answer that requires thinking as God thinks, is that it may not be a competition at all. Maybe, just maybe, He thought we were ready to work together, and that we work well together, and that the world was ready for us to work together- perhaps the war of the sexes is over?

1 comment:

  1. Interesting thoughts. My missionary son (whose girlfriend entered the MTC half a year behind him) opines that the new policy will generate many more "missionarriages." Speaking as the son of a sister missionary and the husband of another, I heartily endorse young men dating returned sister missionaries.

    However, the new policy does present certain issues. I heard from a fellow that is a service missionary at the MTC that they are grappling with significant flirting situations; something that was not unheard of, but was relatively rare before the age change. He said that there has been quite a bit of training about how to handle this.