Several years before the decision was made in 2012 to extend this option to all members in every country:
- A request came from a member in Europe
- Bottom up inspiration
- The decision was made to try it for several years in Europe and evaluate the results
- Studying it out in ones mind
- As a result of this Brother of Jared collaborative process and after seeking the Lord’s confirmation, this opportunity was extended to all members around the world.
President Monson’s October 2012 Conference talk
Quote President Monson:
“For some time the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles have allowed young men from certain countries to serve at the age of 18 when they are worthy, able, have graduated from high school, and have expressed a sincere desire to serve. This has been a country-specific policy and has allowed thousands of young men to serve honorable missions and also fulfill required military obligations and educational opportunities.”
“Our experience with these 18-year-old missionaries has been positive. Their mission presidents report that they are obedient, faithful, mature, and serve just as competently as do the older missionaries who serve in the same missions. Their faithfulness, obedience, and maturity have caused us to desire the same option of earlier missionary service for allyoung men, regardless of the country from which they come.”
The Lord did not tell the Brother of Jared what to do to light the barges. He challenged him to create a solution. This creative and proactive application of agency led to a faith that was so strong that the Lord showed himself to the Brother of Jared.