I’ve been reflecting on what we as a people value and what we do not value, based on how we act and who we respect.

For example, we say that we value women and consider them our equals, but we often don’t listen to them.

Or, we say we value families, but how often do you see someone in church leadership who has put his family before career?

File:Mauno Mannelin and family.tiff
Finnish family

Do we respect someone who turns down a promotion in order to spend more time with his children? Do we respect someone who makes job decisions not on how much money that is paid, but on how much time the job allows for time with family after earning enough to support them?

Do we tell stories about people who did not run for public office or withdrew from campaigns to actually spend more time with their families rather than using that as an excuse for someone forced to withdraw because of scandal?

Another Wikimedia Commons Family Photograph

You probably remember when I had the questions proposed while I was backpacking.

H—- Steve. How many served missions? I’m sure your church values BYU and missionaries. But they don’t respect them. I know. You are going to hang up on me, but check it out and show me how I’m wrong


That got me started. I looked it up once I got off the trail.

Dallin H. Oaks. No mission.

Russell M. Nelson. No mission.

M. Russell Ballard. “a missionary in England from 1948 to 1950″

Jeffrey R. Holland. “served a mission for the LDS Church in Great Britain”

Dieter F. Uchtdorf. No mission.

David A. Bednar. “served as a full-time missionary in Southern Germany

Quention L. Cook. “Cook served as an LDS Church missionary in England, where he and Jeffrey R. Holland served as companions, with Marion D. Hanks as mission president.”

D. Todd Christofferson. “LDS missionary in Argentina.”

Niel L. Anderson. “served in France as a missionary for the LDS Church”

Ronald A Rasband. “served a mission for the LDS Church in the Eastern States Mission

Gary E. Stevenson. “full-time missionary in the Japan Fukuoka Mission.”

File:Russian Imperial Family 1913.jpg

Dale G. Renlund. “full-time missionary in Sweden.”

Gerrit W. Gong. ” He served as a missionary for the LDS Church in Taiwan.”

Ulisses Soares. “Soares then served as an LDS Church missionary in the Brazil Rio de Janeiro Mission.”

I think it is fair to say that the LDS Church values missionary service among its leaders. But after looking at that, I did find myself looking at other things (and you can look for yourself to see how many of those leaders graduated from BYU, that seems more like a red herring to me). What do we talk about, what is important for our official lists and histories?

I found myself asking if we as a church value people who have put family first? Do we really value families?

So, I thought, I would ask our readers. I’m curious. What is your experience? Have you seen people well regarded who put families first or have you seen that as a negative as far as your stake, area or region of the Church goes?

The pictures of families are from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:SvenFamilyDream.jpg, etc. under the appropriate licenses.