It took nearly 24 hours before the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, just minutes ago, released this official announcement via Church spokesperson Michael Purdy:
“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.
These are early numbers and it is difficult to say exactly where we will be over the coming months but we are grateful for the willingness of our members to make the sacrifice to serve people around the world. We recognize that Church members are interested to know additional details on the logistics of this change as discussed after the announcement and look forward to providing more details as the program moves forward.”
According to Joseph Walker at Deseret News, who emphasized that this jump in missionary applications is a 471 percent increase :
"The numbers announced Monday by Purdy validate anecdotal reports of huge numbers of prospective missionaries lining up for screening interviews with their local ecclesiastical leaders. While the details of how the new age options will change the training of new missionaries and the administration of the church's far-reaching missionary program, the one thing that seems certain that it will change.
Interestingly, the LDS missionary program was already going through a period of growth and change. According to Elder Holland, the church's current missionary force is "a little more than 58,000" – a number that has been growing during recent years."
I'll continue to update this post as more information becomes available. This is one time when something sounded almost too good to be true -- but it is, basically, TRUE!
Photo Credit: LDS.org
KSL News: LDS Church sees increase in missionary applications
Read more: New Missionary Age Requirement: It's NOT about you!