The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced on Dec. 14 that Primary children will transition to Sunday School and Young Women or Aaronic Priesthood quorums by age group rather than by birthday starting January 2019.
The change was released Friday morning via a letter signed by the First Presidency.
The changes comes as a “desire to strengthen our beloved children and youth through increased faith in Jesus Christ, deeper understanding of his gospel and greater unity with his Church and its members,” according to the letter.
Previously, Primary children advanced to either Young Women classes or Aaronic Priesthood quorums upon their 12th birthday. Now, according to the letter, children will stay in Primary until the beginning of January in the year they turn 12. Then, the class will make the transition together.
The change will carry over to Young Women classes and Priesthood quorums. The letter says young women and young men will also advance from class to class as groups, during January of the year they turn 14 and 16.
Young men will also be eligible to receive the appropriate level of Priesthood ordination during the January before they turn 12, 14 and 16.
The letter also says the issuing of temple recommends will still be individual based, young men and young women will have the opportunity to receive a limited-use temple recommend before they turn 12, also during the January before their birthday.
More information about the upcoming change can be found here.