Some area youths this week reacted to last weekend's announcement by leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that the ages of full-time missionaries are being lowered to 18 for men with high school graduation, and 19 for women.
Previously men in the United States had to be 19 and women had to be 21, with few exceptions.
"After high school, a lot of guys burn out, wax in apathy and don't do too much of real, lasting worth," said Alex Hardy, 18, of Bountiful, who is a senior at NUAMES High School in Layton.
"By making service available to 18-year-olds, those who want to go but otherwise would've had to wait can ship out before they become bored or distracted."
"It always felt 'unfair' because I wanted to go, but I didn't want to wait that long to get married," said Jessica Hone, 17, of Hooper.
"Now I feel that I may have the chance to do both and still be younger," Jessica said.
Daniel Allred, 17, of Centerville, said he can't wait to leave on his mission.
"My own service to the Lord can't come soon enough," he said. "When President (Thomas S.) Monson made the announcement, I cheered as though my team had just won the Super Bowl. It came as a direct answer to my prayers, hopes and dreams.
"I plan to leave as soon as I graduate, which will be only one month after my birthday."
"I was very excited," said Jessica Tobler, 16, of Syracuse. "I'd always thought I'd serve a mission but have always hesitated because of the age. Now that problem is solved, and I can accomplish a lot more at a young age. I'm so happy we have this opportunity now."
Michael Buist, 16, of Roy, said when he found out that he will be able to leave on his mission 12 months earlier, he immediately thought about how his plans and life would change, with a major change being his education plans.
"If I am supposed to go at 18, then I will go willingly, happily and courageously," he said.
"Many people I know are so excited to have been wanting to go on a mission for as long as they can remember," said Kelsey White, 17, of Layton.
"My own (younger) sister, who had never thought about going on a mission, is considering going when she is 19. I am so excited for her, and my family and relatives are as well."
Kolten Symonds, 16, of Farmington, said he often has wondered how he would fit in schooling as well as a mission.
He said he decided long ago to finish his bachelor's degree before leaving on a mission, and he still believes he will follow through on that plan.
"That's always been my thoughts and always will be until I actually go," he said.
"I think it's a great idea," said Landen Brown, 15, of Hooper. "It will change the plans of lots of people."
Zac Branch, 16, of Layton, said, "It was so cool! I couldn't stop thinking about this change. It was totally awesome."
"President Monson's announcement is the absolute best thing I've heard this year," said Naomi Gonzalez, 15, of Roy.
Lindsey Lund, 15, of Kaysville, said she believes the change will keep youths from getting attached to school and friends during the waiting period they previously had. She said:
"It gives more options for the youth who want to go on a mission but can't because of other family issues."