More missionaries, slight rise in Mormon converts

Mormon Conference

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Mormon church statistics show the historic increase in Mormon missionaries around the world hasn’t led to an immediate spike in converts, though church officials say it’s too early to draw conclusions.

After lowering the minimum age for missionaries, the number of proselytizing members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints increased by 41 percent in 2013. The number of converts, however, only increased by 4 percent last year.

A church membership analyst said the low conversion rates may be because the bulk of the missionaries are serving in areas with historically-low conversion rates.

Church officials say it’s problematic to make any assessments based on the figures since many of the missionaries didn’t start their service until summer or later. Men serve two years, and women 18 months.

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