My thoughts? I am so elated. I think that it will be great for some young men to serve missions right out of High School. It will be amazing to the rest of the world that we are depending on such young people to do the Lord's missionary work, but that's great! The more people ask about it the better! Also, this lower eligibility age for women will hopefully get ride of the hilarious but horrible Sister Missionary stereotype.
It may shock you that I think this, but I also believe that it is important for us as Latter Day Saints to get married sooner rather than later; not to rush into marriage, but not to wait if you already know that it's right. I think that by lowering the eligibility age, especially for sisters, will help to achieve earlier marriage. As the world goes farther and farther away from prioritizing marriage and family, we must do all we can to move in the reverse from the world. Once again, not to the point of rushing and making foolish decisions, but being able to act on faith though the decision may seem hard to make. Now sisters can serve a mission and come home to find many an eligible bachelor their age, and elders can come home to find a return missionary of their own, too.
Sorry to change subjects suddenly, but I also want to talk about Elder Oaks' talk. This is exactly the talk that the whole world needed to hear to clarify- for the members and nonmembers alike- where the church stands on public issues. It is a talk that I will definitely read again in the Ensign. Children are so important: not only will they populate the earth after we're gone, they are an essential part of the family unit. We are all put into families in order to learn how to love first by being the son/daughter and sister/brother, and then by becoming the parent. It is through the family that we can learn to have the kind of love for everyone around us that our Heavenly Father has for us.
I loved everything that Elder Oaks said, but in particular, I loved that he said, "children dealing with same-sex attraction need loving understanding and not bullying." The world needs to know we believe that, and even more importantly we need to know we believe that. Too often, we are quick to condemn and late to love. Love must come first. To have it any other way would be a sin against God and his commandment to love one another as He has loved us. Love must come first. It is one thing to respect a person and another to accept their actions as righteous. Acting on same-sex attraction is wrong, but it is also a trial that people are given. Hurting someone physically or emotionally will not help them through their trial. Loving them, understanding them, encouraging them, and teaching them to rely on their Redeemer will help them through whatever they are facing. Love must come first.