DENISE - Does your religion have religious rites for adolescents , boys turning to men and girls turning to women. Are there special events that mark these passages.

JOEL - There are no religious rites like the Jewish Bar Mitzvah for boys and girls turning to men and women. However, there are "special events" in the lives of LDS children. When young boys and girls reach the age of 12 years they graduate from the Primary program of the Church. The boys then go into the Young Men's program and are usually given the Aaronic priesthood and ordained to the office of a deacon in that priesthood. When they are 14 they are ordained to the office of Teacher; and when 16 to the office of Priest. At around 18 years of age they are given the Melchezidek priesthood and are ordained to the office of an Elder. There are no special rites or ceremonies connected with these advancements in the priesthood; only a simple ordination by the laying on of hands (Acts 8:18, 1 Tim.4:14, Heb. 6:2). The girls go into the Young Women's program at age 12. While the young men advance in the priesthood, the young women follow a concurent program that helps them advance in knowledge and faith in the Gospel.

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