SALT LAKE CITY — Latter-day Saint children will now move together as a group into priesthood quorums and Young Women programs at the start of each year rather than one at a time as their birthdays arrive, according to a news release issued Friday morning.
That means thousands of 11-year-old boys will receive the priesthood in January of the year they turn 12 rather than waiting until their 12th birthdays, as has been the practice in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. That practice has varied in church history and is not scripturally mandated.
Also, those boys and the girls who will advance to Young Women at age 11 now will be able to receive a limited-use temple recommend in January of the year they turn 12 with the rest of their quorum and class friends.
Deacons and Beehives also will be able to attend summer camps in the year they turn 12.
“We desire to strengthen our beloved children and youth through increased faith in Jesus Christ, deeper understanding of his gospel, and greater unity with his church and its members,” the First Presidency said in a letter sent to congregations around the world and signed by Presidents Russell M. Nelson, Dallin H. Oaks and Henry B. Eyring.
The Valiant 11 Primary class will be discontinued beginning in January. All 11-year-olds will attend Sunday School together.
The changes apply at each level of the Young Men and Young Women programs. Young men will be eligible to be ordained to a priesthood office in the year they turn 12 (deacon), 14 (teacher) and 16 (priest). Young Women will advance in January of the year they turn 12 (Beehive), 14 (Mia Maid) and 16 (Laurel).
For more information, see the Church News story here.
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