Business Week latest to link Mormons, missions and business management

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  • John Adams Miami, FL
    June 15, 2011 8:29 a.m.

    The Prophet Joseph Smith taught there are three basic types who will find it challenging entering into the Celestial Kingdom, they are:

    - the wealthy

    - the intellectuals

    - the beautiful

    If that's true, then I figure I got a pretty good chance of making it, since I'm poor, dumb, and ugly.

  • carminaburana Provo, UT
    June 14, 2011 11:29 p.m.

    While I value the experiences of my mission, my impression, at that time was that my mission president and Heavenly Father would love me more if I worked harder and had baptisms. I felt "less than" because I had "no Mormon pedigree whatsoever". I become more focused on the "doing" as if some magic points would help me get to heaven. It wasn't until many many years later that I realized that Heavenly Father would love me because I am his daughter, period. The mission does put a lot of pressure to "perform" and sometimes make a name for yourself and that probably translates to a business situation.

  • amst plano, tx
    June 13, 2011 2:11 p.m.

    It really isn't that difficult to figure out. Depending on where you serve a mission any number of things can be asked of you from serving as a branch president to having more meetings with leadership than you care to have. Having served a mission it is very hard to not come away with some type of management and leadership skills its just a part of the job and combine that with all the talk and service you give in two years it is in many ways a baptism by fire. Ordinary young men are given large responsibilities and they deal with it the best they can.

  • I M LDS 2 Provo, UT
    June 13, 2011 10:33 a.m.

    The lowest activity rate and highest dropout rates in the Church are among the RM age group. Generally, a large proportion of people who come back from missions go inactive almost immediately. That is the trend, and it has been for decades. It is of great concern to Church leaders, who are redefining YSA congregations, resurrecting programs, encouraging marriage, and trying to leverage social media to stop the exodus. So, No, missions do not necessarily make "successful leaders" out of all, or even most, missionaries.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    June 13, 2011 8:18 a.m.

    This is quite a leap. Generalization anyone?

    Are there over 50,000 new MBA's each year from RMs? No.
    Are there over 50,000 new CEO's each year from RMs? No.

    Some do go on to do big things, many, if not most just go on.

  • raybies Layton, UT
    June 13, 2011 7:00 a.m.

    I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to serve an LDS mission. It was a life changing experience that brought much of me out of me. Prior to my mission I was a very closed person. I viewed myself and the world through the harshness of an immature mind. I was afraid to speak up for anything. I talked about doing right because it was expected. I had no understanding of human weakness, though I was the weakest.

    My mission helped me to grow tolerant of myself, I started the work of forgiving myself, and growing into a person didn't just talk about righteousness, but actually wanted to do it. My experience was between me and my God. My success depended upon my choices, faith and seeking answers. My parents could not do it for me. As a result, I grew to understand I could hold my own.

    It was on my mission that I stopped fearing the Gospel of Christ and started loving it. Where I learned that my fondest buried dreams were true. I saw tremendous examples of faith in simple saints. My ability to love and see others with God's eyes was born.

  • Wally West SLC, UT
    June 12, 2011 5:42 p.m.

    re: KJB1 | 9:41 p.m. June 10, 2011

    Heaven forbid that LDS times go into something "faith shaking" like the humanities or the hard sciences. Its much easier to get an MBA with dreams of being a god on Wall St & settling for being Pres/Founder of yet another MLM along the Wasatch Front.

    re: I M LDS 2 | 12:40 p.m. June 11, 2011

    Agreed. Truthfully, its sad to see this prosperity gospel (God wants you to be rich)that types like Osteen & his ilk are promoting creep into the LDS mindset (No, Joel. God wants us to be happy).

    Sadly IMO, there are some of the true believers here in Zion who think that secularly credible that they need to have the biggest penthouse at the top of the great and spacious bldg.

  • Alex 1 Tucson, AZ
    June 12, 2011 12:03 a.m.


    ""We love to find articles about #1 in Health, #1 in literacy, #1 in business.. Putting ourselves up on a pedestal. "

    Sure "we" love to find articles on health, literacy, etc. So what? Why is it that a brief high five exchange online is now become a swan dive off the edge of a Nephite pride cycle? Come on.

  • Alex 1 Tucson, AZ
    June 11, 2011 11:42 p.m.


    "Id rather be labeled as a kind and considerate Christian and be lousy at business. "

    Well sure, so would I. But since when do I need to be a spendthrift to be compassionate? It just so happens that kind and considerate Christians who work hard and live their religion (including giving to the poor and needy) statistically speaking tend to prosper. No, I am not saying or implying that being rich is equivalent to righteousness. What I am saying is that, on the whole, prosperity is a general outgrowth of Gospel living. It frequently happens without seeking for it.

    Those who are blessed with the good things of this world through honest work and fair dealing should have no shame in their success. Self-loathing for success achieved will not suffice for humility. What will make us humble is to realize that everything we have is the Lord's and was entrusted to us by Him. We are stewards. As stewards, we should be grateful, be modest, then turn around and seek to bless the lives of others and build up the kingdom, preferably.

  • Craigo Ivins, UT
    June 11, 2011 10:04 p.m.

    RE Bill in Nebraska

    I think what bothers me is that LDS people use this sort of press to Gloat. We love to find articles about #1 in Health, #1 in literacy, #1 in business.. Putting ourselves up on a pedestal. What difference do those thing make? I vote nothing.. We have our problems just like everyone else. I would like to think of LDS people as the most kind, tolerant, serving people anywhere.. Instead, we are often labeled as shrewd in the business world and very judgmental and clannish. (at least here in Utah, not the same on the outside)
    Id rather be labeled as a kind and considerate Christian and be lousy at business.

    I dont blame the Newsweek article, I blame our reaction to it. Its the sort of prosperity Christianity that I object to.. God cares very little about money or popularity.. He cares about our hearts.

  • Macaw Herriman, UT
    June 11, 2011 9:14 p.m.

    I think young people who serve a mission, for the most part, come away from that experience refined in some way. A mission helps them gain a stronger testimony, learn how to speak to people, study, express themselves, become goal oriented and focus. I don't think a mission makes a person a leader but it probably does help those who naturally have that gift build on it.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    June 11, 2011 9:11 p.m.

    I want to make a clarification on what this article is saying. It is saying that being a Missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is helps to prepare the individual for a place in the business world. It doesn't even come close to saying that the individual is more righteous or even rich. I have known many of these individuals who have gone on and become quite successful because of the training and experience of being a missionary. The same thing can be said of an individual who becomes an Eagle Scout. It is the preparation, the work ethic and the other intangibles that prepares them to fulfill such positions.

    It appears to me that those of you who are trying to make more out of this story are either judgemental or jealous of these individuals. In no way does it make them more righteous than the other. Look at many of the members of the Quroum of the Twelve and you will find many of them are at or near the top of their professions. Each of them sacrified more of this to become members of this group of special witnesses.

  • Craigo Ivins, UT
    June 11, 2011 8:50 p.m.

    Not sure what value this article has. The Church Of Jesus Christ is there to help us be better followers of Christ. God cares just as much for a Christlike man that happens to be a garbage man, as he does a CEO of a company. The idea that if a man has money, then he is a "truer" man is not in the LDS Doctrine. More Money does not Equal More blessings. Most times, money and power destroys. Its a huge man that doesnt let power go to his head. What we need is more faithful people.. Not more CEO's

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    June 11, 2011 8:43 p.m.

    I've never seen a bunch that frets more about what the media they so hate says about them.

  • I M LDS 2 Provo, UT
    June 11, 2011 6:30 p.m.

    And by the way, Independent, I never said prosperity and success were not good. The point is that prosperity and success are not guaranteed by Church membership. Try to read more carefully next time.

  • jmort SLO, CA
    June 11, 2011 6:05 p.m.

    This notion (that RM's have any kind of edge in the business world) sounds logical but is a bunch of bunk. The business world is full of driven people willing to sacrifice and work hard to achieve their goals. I worked (for many years) at one of the firms mentioned in the article, and the RM's did no better and had nothing on anybody else. If anything, they were more accustomed to (and comfortable with) failure than their peers, which cuts both ways.

  • Herby Hurricane, UT
    June 11, 2011 12:58 p.m.

    You can't take leadership beyond the grave? I love how many LDS members perceptions vary. However, the fact that business is evil and a waste of time is a skewed perspective.

  • I M LDS 2 Provo, UT
    June 11, 2011 12:40 p.m.

    Then why don't we just get Anthony Robbins and Zig Zigler to represent the Church?

    No, we do not want people believing the false doctrine that becoming a member of the Church will make them successful and prosperous (like Scientology).

    Jesus (who trumps Nephi or any other Book of Mormon writer) said:

    "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." (Matt. 5:44-45)

    No, God does not make successful and prosperous those who are obedient to him, nor are those who are successful and prosperous more "righteous" than those who are not. This is NOT the gospel of success and prosperity. It is NOT simply an MLM operating under the guise of religion.

  • sergio Phoenix, AZ
    June 11, 2011 10:18 a.m.

    RE: Charles, You post "@sergio: it has been since 1820. Nothing new here". I agree with you, but I think as time goes on what is making the difference is that now there is much more information and better investigative tools to determine realities and truths; and it is much more difficult for censorship and glossing over of the facts and consequences. The world is becoming better informed and educated, and not as easily decieved as past generations.

  • peacemaker Provo, UT
    June 11, 2011 9:12 a.m.

    One of the greatest Welfare systems for people around the world functions in the LDS Church. The contributions donated by those same businessmen for the welfare and relief of those less fortunate in the world should also be noted by the magazines publishers who speak of their successes. A mention should also be noted of the thousands of senior missionary couples who, because of their hard work and earned ability to pay for their service, have served or are now serving in hundreds of communities around the world. That includes business executives, blue collar workers, doctors, lawyers, university professors, teachers, scientists, community leaders, engineers etc., etc. They pay their own expenses. They teach English, they provide clean water to thousands, they help administer huge amounts of disaster relief, they allow the lame to move about through wheelchair donations, they provide medical care, equipment and critical surgeries and other vital services that give relief to millions. Those services are possible due to the contributions of LDS church members who practice the Christian teachings which they believe. Their lifetime successes make all of that possible.

  • Truth csar Colorado Springs, CO
    June 11, 2011 8:46 a.m.

    Service has many benefits; sometimes obvious, always valuable.

  • ER in EUR Belgrade, Serbia
    June 11, 2011 6:24 a.m.

    One of the things that I learned was a singleness of purpose. This can often be a very useful ability.

  • Jeffrey Wilbur Eagle Mountain, UT
    June 11, 2011 1:56 a.m.

    While it's impressive for somebody to be so successful, we should not be drawing parallels between their religion and their corporate positions. Otherwise, we make the mistake of equating wealth with righteousness, which has the inverse message of stating if you aren't wealthy, you must not be righteous enough, and if you aren't righteous, you must not be wealthy.

    There is not a single part of the Christian gospel which promises or guarantees financial success in this life if you adhere to it; God's glory, and God's rewards, have never been of this world.

    There are far more returned missionaries who aren't on corporate boards, or making six figures. I would wager there are just as many returned missionaries living in squalor and poverty as there eating from silver platters with silver spoons in their mouths.

    If the same logic is to be applied there, should we argue that they are also in those positions due to their church membership?

  • JoeBA Pleasant Grove, ut
    June 10, 2011 10:52 p.m.

    I applaud success but at the same time would love to see more of our young men and women search for it in the arts and music and knowledge. Nothing against wordliness--but I hope more people start to develop talents that we can take with us beyond the grave.

  • KJB1 Eugene, OR
    June 10, 2011 9:41 p.m.

    Yes, because if Jesus were here today, I'm sure He'd be sitting on corporate boards and covered by business magazines...

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    June 10, 2011 8:15 p.m.

    Soon the whole world may convert over....and those of us on the inside may be kicked out for pride. It happened in the Bible, it could happen again. Don't think that it can't. Psalms 73:12---"Behold, these are the ungodly..who prosper in the world." Where there is money, there is usually contention and fatness. Most Mormons are poor.

  • @Charles the greater outdoors, UT
    June 10, 2011 8:12 p.m.

    @IMLDS2: who is the "we" in your declaration?

    @sergio: it has been since 1820. Nothing new here.

    It's great that people are being profiled in these types of articles.

  • ExDixieIte Salt Lake City, UT
    June 10, 2011 7:03 p.m.

    After looking at the artwork it makes me wonder how P-O'd many people would be if the cover featured a Chinese man draping himself in the Stars and Stripes? Flags of ALL nations should be respected.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    June 10, 2011 6:20 p.m.

    We have been told by our prophets that the time has come for the Church to come out of obscurity. That time is upon us. We are always taught to work hard, become educated and be productive contributors and leaders in society. There is nothing negative about the rest of the world finding out about this. Only members who never miss a chance to find fault and criticize will find something negative in this.

  • sergio Phoenix, AZ
    June 10, 2011 3:52 p.m.

    Mormonism may be on the way to being selected for examination under the magnifying glass. I doubt this will be good publicity or politics for the church.

  • Liberal Ted Salt Lake City, UT
    June 10, 2011 3:34 p.m.

    I think the critics of the church create enough rhetoric of the church, it's belief and it's members.

    At least this isn't a bad stereotype to have.

  • Independent Henderson, NV
    June 10, 2011 3:25 p.m.

    Success and prosperity aren't good?

    Every political conflict in history has ultimately been about success and prosperity. Politics is about who gets what. A religion comes along that shows how to acheive those things for all, without conflict, and we're supposed to hide it? Is the promise that "inasmuch as ye keep my commandments, ye shall prosper in the land" just empty rhetoric, or does it actually mean something? I think it is a very powerful message to say that you can prosper without lying, cheating, stealing, or fighting wars. We should share it with anyone and everyone who will listen.

  • I M LDS 2 Provo, UT
    June 10, 2011 2:26 p.m.

    We are either in danger of creating a rhetoric of "LDS Gospel of Success and Prosperity," or we already have.

    Not good.