Missionary age change back of the envelope Math.

October 7, 2012    By: Matt W. @ 8:58 am   Category: Uncategorized

Let’s say we have 52,000 missionaries right now. A little googling shows about 10,000 (18-20%) of those are sisters currently. A little missionary shows we average about 5 baptisms per missionary per year. With the new age limit drop on young women, there is an expected boost in the number of sisters serving. If the number of sisters jumps from 20% to 30% of the total, that,s an increase of 10,000 sisters, doubling the number of sisters in the field now. (Getting us back to the number of missionaries we had in the late 90s). That takes our convert numbers from 250,000 to 300,000 per year, at current rates. If sisters begin to go at the same rate as men, the missionary force jumps from 50,000 to 80,000 with baptisms jumping from 250,000 to 400,000. Of course this doesn’t include any sort of diminishing returns on the additive value of more missionaries, but it also doesn’t include any sort of boost for moving the men’s age to 18, and the men’s boost you get from all the girls doing it.

Who knows where it will land, but it is an exciting moment of potential, for this and so many other reasons. It will be fun to watch the next 10 years.


  1. I’m wondering if there is capacity to handle the short term boost. After a few years it will even out but in the first year the number of new candidates putting in papers should more than double.

    Comment by Geoff J — October 7, 2012 @ 10:26 am

  2. Yeah, there are quite a few ways capacity will need to be worked on. I see on the FAQ on LDS.org they are planning on shortening time in the MTC, so the church is working on that angle. I know we had capacity for 64000 missionaries up to 2000 when I served, so I know their is room in the mission field for at least an initial push.

    Comment by Matt W. — October 7, 2012 @ 10:40 am

  3. I current work as an instructor at the MTC. Between May and August every year all of the classrooms are completely full, maxing out at 12 missionaries per district. But after August it dies down and we spend the next 9 months at probably 65% capacity. If we are at “summer levels” year around, I assume we can handle the large influx, especially until the 9 story building is finished.

    Comment by Jace — October 7, 2012 @ 3:48 pm

  4. Can you give the links you got from “a little googling?” Does the 52,000 include senior missionaries?

    Comment by wondering — October 7, 2012 @ 5:28 pm

  5. Jace- it will be interesting to see if missionaries get longer lead times on their calls.

    wondering: try this
    We actually currently have 55k missionaries, per lds.org, inclusive of senior missionaries.

    Comment by Matt W. — October 8, 2012 @ 7:21 pm

  6. If sisters are 20% of the force at 10,000, then an increase to 30% of the force is an extra 5,000, not an extra 10,000. Well, actually, its an extra 8,000, but who’s counting.*

    *18,000 is 30% of 60,000.

    Comment by Adam G. — December 14, 2012 @ 2:33 pm