https://kutv.com/news/local/lds-church- ... om-12-to-8
There are already interviews at age 7 for baptism and an interview when transitioning from Primary to YM/YW. This would be additional interviews, likely similar to the biannual interviews conducted for youth between 12 and 18.A survey commissioned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints inquires about lowering the age of youth interviews with clergy from age 12 to eight.
My opinion is that we should be transitioning away from holding worthiness interviews for youth and adults alike. I feel like our culture has an unhealthy obsession with "worthiness" and it creates a toxic environment where a good percentage of members suffer from unnecessary guilt and poor self esteem. Adults struggle with this, I feel introducing small children to this will only exacerbate the issue. Church leaders aren't trained counselors, they can inadvertently do lasting damage to a child's psyche.
And of course there's the risk that is introduced by leaders with bad intentions. Even the slightest risk is too much risk.
I'll shoot straight. When I heard that the church was considering this I was completely flummoxed. Who... who in their right mind would think that this was a good idea? I spent some time coming up with the motivation behind this and came up with the following:
Leaders are concerned with the dropout rate when youth transition to adulthood. We often use direct language to say that it's not a gospel of checkboxes but this feels like adding more checkboxes to ensure youth are "churching" enough so they don't go inactive later in life. Perhaps following the idea that people go inactive ("fall") because they were lazy or didn't have a strong enough testimony. We also give lip service to say that mindset isn't correct but our practices reveal otherwise. The solution to address people leaving the church often takes the form of doubling down; getting members to participate in programs earlier and more often, stripping out social aspects of worship to make room for indoctrination, and with some way of measuring or even enforcing compliance.
It's wearing, at least to me. Leadership roulette and all that, but it's been my experience that we don't view programs as optional things that members can do if they are interested, programs are things we should be doing. But I'm straying.
One thought that crossed my mind is that leaders may want to make sure children get on the "covenant path" sooner so they can form habits and remain on it? Just a guess. Maybe the goal was to have any baptized member, including as young as eight, to be able to participate in baptisms for the dead? We want them in the temple > they'll need a limited use TR > gotta pass an interview to get a TR > come out with this policy. Again, just wild speculation. Of course if this was the plan they'd also have to relax the requirement for all males to hold the PH before they can do proxy baptisms.