The increasing number of sister missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not only being noted in predominantly LDS communities, but others are taking notice of the change in missionary age policies as well.
USA Today ran an article on May 18 about how the growing number of sisters serving is “changing the public face of their church.”
The article looks at sisters serving in the Tennessee Nashville Mission. When one sister began her service in 2011, just more than 20 of the 200-plus missionaries were female, whereas her mission now has 60. Her mission expects to see 40 more sister missionaries come to Nashville in the near future.
With more sister missionaries serving, in early April the church sent out a news release implementing changes to mission leadership. Each mission will have a mission leadership council including “the mission president and his wife, assistants to the president, zone leaders and sister training leaders — a newly created role.”
In addition to proselyting, sister-training leaders are responsible for the training and welfare of the sister missionaries assigned to them, and for participation in the mission leadership council. Sister training leaders will report the needs of sister missionaries directly to their mission president. Also, the wives of mission presidents will have an “enhanced role in training and caring for sister missionaries.”
Comments on the USA Today article reflect both positive and negative responses.