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Peggy Fletcher Stack
Peggy Fletcher Stack has been producing stories for The Salt Lake Tribune's award-winning Faith section for nearly two decades. Writing about contemporary faith, rituals, and spirituality as well as religion's conflicts and cohesion has always been Stack's passion. Follow her at facebook.com/peggy.fletcherstack, Twitter @religiongal

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Mormon missionary numbers keep rising as women close gap

The LDS Church has continued to call about 1,400 new missionaries a week, which is double the number the Utah-based faith was seeing before October 2012, when it lowered the minimum missionary age from 19 to 18 for males and 21 to 19 for females.

Currently, there are 64,373 missionaries, according to a release from the LDS Church late Wednesday. That’s about 9,000 higher than it was before the announcement. If the applications continue at this clip, the church could have more than 70,000 missionaries in 2013.

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The Utah-based faith could also see an almost equal gender distribution among missionaries, dramatically different than the previous ratio of 80 percent men to 20 percent women.

For calls made since Jan. 1, the church reported 57 percent are elders (young men), 36 percent are sisters (young women) and 7 percent are seniors (retired couples).

Peggy Fletcher Stack

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