Changes announced Dec. 14 by the First Presidency will unify when children in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints move from the Primary program into youth programs and could result in earlier ordination for some boys to the priesthood.
Beginning in 2019, young men will be eligible to be ordained to a priesthood office in January of the year they turn 12, 14 and 16.
Ages for ordaining young men to priesthood offices are not “doctrinally mandated” and have varied throughout Church history, according to materials released by the Church. The following is a historical list of ages for priesthood ordination:
- Before 1877: No age specified; mostly adult men and some boys, ages 8 and up
- 1877: No age specified; mostly youth, ages 9–19
- 1908: Deacons: 12–14; Teachers: 15–17; Priests: 18–21
- 1934: Deacons: 12–14; Teachers: 15–16; Priests: 17–18
- 1954: Deacons: 12–13; Teachers: 14–15; Priests: 16–19
- 2012: Deacons: 12–13; Teachers: 14–15; Priests: 16–18