The number of missionaries serving worldwide for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints remains consistent at 84,700 nearly two and a half years after a dramatic surge pushed numbers to 89,000, up from less than 60,000 previously, according to Church News staff writer R. Scott Lloyd.
The initial surge caused by the 2012 announcement of the lowering of ages of eligibility for missionary service for both young men and young women was expected to ebb, “but the numbers have not come down anything like we would have projected, and we think it’s a wonderful reflection on the youth of the Church,” said Elder David F. Evans, a member of the Seventy and Executive Director of the Missionary Department.
“When we created 58 new missions two years ago, we were preparing for what we thought we would need after the initial surge of new missionaries,” said Elder Evans. “However, the younger brothers, sisters and friends of those who went out, I think, have watched the kind of really remarkable experiences that their older brothers, sisters and friends have had. Thus, young people are continuing to respond to President Thomas S. Monson’s invitation to serve missions, and they are doing it at a higher rate than we ever anticipated.”
Consequently, 11 new missions are being created around the world, a net increase of 10 with one smaller mission being absorbed into a mission realignment. These missions will be operative on or about July 1, 2015.
Elder Evans concluded, “We hope there’s a need to create even more new missions as we go forward. As the rising generation continues to respond to President Monson’s invitation, to plan their lives, to counsel with their parents and with their bishops, and to prayerfully consider missionary service, I believe even more of them are going to continue to choose to serve the Lord in this way.”
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