DESERET NEWS | Courtesy Photo

DESERET NEWS | Courtesy Photo

Ever since the announcement for the missionary age change, the flood gates have opened for young men and women to start missions sooner than ever before. A few years have passed since that announcement, and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are seeing the results.

The Church now has more than 85,000 missionaries currently serving around the world, and more than 19,000 of those missionaries are women, according to the Mormon Newsroom.

The Economist focuses specifically on statistics regarding Utah, reporting that 60% of the state is considered Mormon, and out of the 70% of women in Utah who start college, less than 50% graduate with a degree.

This statistic suggests that more women are becoming involved in other events, such as serving missions, getting married and starting families, and that more men in Utah have college degrees than women. The Economist also reports that women in Utah make 70% of what men in Utah make. This is considerably low, as women across America are making 78%

So, what could this mean for Mormon families in the future?

Leaders of the Church have specified the divine roles for women, including nurturing, caring for the family, embracing motherhood, supporting her husband in his priesthood responsibilities, and in specific circumstances, these roles may also include helping to provide for the family.

Church Authorities also encourage praying about these individual decisions to receive further guidance for how men, women, and families need to direct their lives.

While having the concepts divine roles and making individual decisions in mind, women in the Church know that while earning a college degree is a great thing, serving a mission can be even better (depending on individual circumstances).

Because college-aged individuals are so young, they should not be worried about the economy while prayerfully considering the direction they need to take for their futures.

With the number of sister missionaries rising, future families will be strengthened by mission experiences, creating closer family bonds and improving relationships.