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SALT LAKE CITY - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released new numbers Monday regarding an increase in missionary applications since the change in age requirements announced at the October General Conference.
This came in response to a weekend tweet that went viral. The original tweet reads, "On average, the LDS Church had received 600 missionary applications per week. Last week it received 7,000."
The tweet prompted questions about the validity of the information.
Monday evening, the Church's spokesman Michael Purdy issued the following statement:
"As Church leaders had anticipated when the change was announced, the number of individuals who have begun the missionary application process has increased significantly. Typically approximately 700 new applications are started each week. The last two weeks that number has increased to approximately 4,000 per week. Slightly more than half of the applicants are women." To clarify, the applications referred to are not submitted applications, rather online applications that have been opened and started.
Church leaders announced the change in age requirements two weeks ago during the Church's semiannual General Conference. Young men are now eligible to serve a mission at age 18, when the previous requirement was 19. The age for young women wishing to serve was lowered from 21 to 19.