Let’s Hear It for the (Mission Presidents’) Wives!

It’s that time of year when information about the new mission presidents is shared in the LDS Church News. Each year, the LDS Church News publishes a very brief bio and photo of each mission president couple. Each bio follows a very clear script.

We learn the following information about both the mission president and his wife:

  • Their names (+ his age)
  • Number of children
  • Current ward/stake
  • Mission assignment

We learn the following information about the mission president:

  • Previous church callings
  • Previous missionary service
  • Occupation & employer
  • Place of birth
  • Parents’ names

We learn the following information about the wife:

  • Previous church callings
  • Previous missionary service (if they served)
  • Place of birth
  • Parents’ names

We learn about the work experience of each mission president. Yet, this script eliminates an easy opportunity to highlight the wives who may have worked or had non-church volunteer experience. Perhaps, then, we are meant to infer that none of these women do not have work experience? Or that such experience, if had, is unimportant for their role as mission president’s wife–not that we believe that experience in the workplace is the only context for developing leadership experience.

The responsibilities of a mission president’s wife have shifted to more leading and teaching than mothering missionaries. If experience is one of the best teachers for leadership, and if women are born to lead, we ask the LDS Church News to also include the work and non-church volunteer experience of mission presidents’ wives.

We’ve been told that LDS women are incredible. Now is the time to highlight and acknowledge the full range of LDS women’s experiences–as we do the men.

*this piece has been revised from its original version to reflect the missionary service of two mission president’s wives.

4 Comments on “Let’s Hear It for the (Mission Presidents’) Wives!

  1. Great point! It would also be interesting to hear what college degrees the wives had, or community service.

  2. Yes, I agree! Serving as a mission president is not just a male-centered calling. Similar to temple presidents and matrons, a mission president and his wife each have duties while serving. And women also often have reresponsibilities outside the home that should be highlighted like their husband.

  3. I know of a couple who were senior missionaries serving missions where the wife’s skill were needed, and her husband was given things to do to “keep him busy.” When he was called as a mission president shortly after they got home, he said that for many missionaries it was a little disorienting that he would look to the expert, his wife, and have her and the sister missionaries lead meetings. Hopefully, they value of women like this will be recognized more.

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