The time line for when children complete Primary, for when youth move from one class or quorum to the next and when they may attend the temple for the first time, and for when young men may be ordained to priesthood offices will change beginning in January 2019.
In a First Presidency letter released on Friday, December 14, 2018, Church leaders said these changes stem from 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.” Material provided with the letter answers questions and clarifies the following:
Children will complete Primary and begin attending Sunday School and the Beehive class or deacons quorum as age-groups, not on their individual 12th birthdays as they have in the past.
Youth will be eligible for a limited-use temple recommend beginning in January of the year they turn 12, based on their “individual worthiness, readiness, and personal circumstances.”
Young men will be eligible to be ordained to a priesthood office in January of the year they turn 12, 14, and 16—again based on their “individual worthiness, readiness, and personal circumstances.” (Ages for ordaining young men are not doctrinally mandated and have, in fact, varied throughout Church history. See “Age-Group Progression for Children and Youth.”)
Parents and bishops will counsel together when flexibility is needed because of personal circumstances, deciding what is in the best interests of each child or youth. And some areas of the Church may choose to use the local transition date currently followed rather than January.