SALT LAKE CITY - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints says it has seen a more than five-fold jump in applications after lowering the eligibility age for becoming a Mormon missionary.
Mormon church President Thomas Monson announced at this month's General Conference that men can go on full-time missions at 18, instead of 19, and women can go at 19 instead of 21.
Church spokesman Scott Trotter says more than half of the new applicants are women.
By tradition, young men in the church serve two-year missions. Women serve for 18 months. All skip education, employment and other pursuits while serving, often overseas. Many pay their own expenses or receive help from parents or other church members.
The Mormon church reported it had 281,312 converts last year.
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