Gini Dietrich

Mormons Make Better Leaders

By: Gini Dietrich | June 22, 2011 | 

Some of you may not know that I grew up in Utah. The inevitable question, after I tell people that is, “Are you Mormon?”

Yes, I was raised Mormon. Through a series of family events and some hypocrisy with some of the members in our ward, I stopped going to church when I was 18, right before I graduated from high school. And then I went to a Catholic university (Creighton), where I was required to take a different theology course every semester.

Because of that, I learned (and grew to believe) in other philosophies; other theories.

I’ve never found my way back to the church. I am what one would call a Jack Mormon (not that they label or judge people for decisions made outside of the church).

But I’m always drawn to stories, articles, and leadership lessons from the Mormon faith. It’s true I’ve been away from the church longer than I was in it, but it’s still my roots.

That’s why I was fascinated to read this article in BusinessWeek about Mormons, their missions, and how they produce leaders.

If you don’t know, Mormon men, at the age of 19, leave college to serve a mission. Some are sent overseas, some are sent to third-world countries, and some stay stateside. Women can serve missions, too, but not until they’re 21. You see, they typically go to college to get their MRS degree, dating and then marrying the men who are just coming back from their missions. But that’s not for all and there are some women who serve missions and then live a long and fruitful married life.

Gary Cornia, dean of Mormon-run Brigham Young University’s Marriott School of Management, is often asked what makes Mormons so successful.

I’m not going to say we beat everybody out, but we do have a reputation. And one of the defining opportunities for young men and young women is the mission experience.

Because of the mission experience, there are Mormon leaders at Marriott International, American Express, American Motors, Dell Computers, Lufthansa, Fisher-Price, Life Re, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, Madison Square Garden, La Quinta Properties, PricewaterhouseCooper, and Stanley Black & Decker. The head of human resources at Citigroup is Mormon, and in 2010 Goldman Sachs hired 31 grads from BYU, the same number it hired from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

Steve Young is Mormon. So is Steven Covey. And David Neeleman, the founder of JetBlue. And Mitt Romney, who is running for President.

Heck! Maybe someone you work with is Mormon.

I bring all of this up not to say Mormons definitely do make better leaders, but that there is something to be said for their mission experience. Just like there is something to be said for those who study abroad and learn about different cultures before joining the workforce.

So, the next time you crinkle your nose, think “whoa that person is weird,” or ask the person how many wives their dad had when you hear they’re Mormon, think about all the good they’ve done, both on their missions and in corporate America.

And remember, polygamy is against the law, no matter which religion you practice.

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

  • I’ve stopped putting labels on people a long time ago. Mormon, Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Buddhists, there are bad apples everywhere. But there are also great people who try to help others, regardless of what they believe.

    I like the idea of the mission, going abroad, learning different ways, experiencing challenges outside our own comfort zone. Mormons make great expats.

    This is what makes the strength of the US, each community pulling together for the common good. Many countries could look and learn instead of shooting each other up because their neighbor down the street doesn’t go to the same church.

    Great post Gini and a real lesson for all us.

  • ginidietrich

    @johnfalchetto Oh you know what? I’ll bet Mormons do make great expats! You should blog about that. 🙂

    I live in a country where freedom of religion is part of what makes us American. But I know there are countries where you are killed because of the God you believe in. It’s sad and I wish I could say that will change in my lifetime, but I know that’s being overly optimistic. I wish everyone thought the same way you do.

  • How timely, Gini! Right now I’m watching Jon Huntsman, another Morman, talk about his 2012 Presidential Campaign, on The Today Show!

  • kmtirpitz

    @ginidietrich A long way from Illinois to Utah. I forget the compelling nature for leaving. somebody didn’t like thier way. Me either

  • KenMueller

    I’m fortunate that church has been a big part of my life, with my dad being a pastor (not Mormon, though). I never got to do a mission thing, but my kids are. My 19yo is headed to the Czech Republic for the 2nd straight year to work in a camp, and he went to Jamaica the year before. My 16yo is headed to Haiti this year to help out down there. I couldn’t be prouder, and I know that it will go a long way into shaping their character and giving them leadership skills.

  • bryanwillmert

    Great post Gini. You have no mystery to see where I have sat on the religion aspect since I have worked for a church for the last 4 years. The interesting fact to this is that anyone from a faith movement should be an upright person of high morals and integrity. Why is it that they are not? Like you found in the mormon church, humanity creeps in and we are all taken over by our weakest parts whether that be by greed, immorality, or whatever it is.

    Some great believing people that are strong business people that can be looked at as well are folks like Truet Cathy (founder of Chick-fil-a), his sons & daughter, countless pro athletes (that act like they say they believe, not just raising a finger to the sky when they get a touchdown! lol) and the list goes on..

    I loved this post and it is great to see that you don’t have to separate your business life from your religious life.

    Btw.. you should check out Soul City Church ( in chicago (on adams). Great people who are great friends and life out who they say that they are!

  • bdorman264

    I think it’s the mission philosophy sending the men out and taking responsibility allows them to mature and see what sometimes hard and uncomfortable work looks like. This gives them a more realistic look at the world and what it takes to succeed.

    My ‘mission’ was the Army which I don’t necessarily recommend especially when there is a war going on; but I think all men should serve in some way at that period of their lives to allow them to mature and give them a sense of responsibility.

    It’s very easy to see why this model works.

    And polygamy is against the law? When did that happen? Just what I need, more than one wife.

  • bdorman264

    @KenMueller Hey Ken, I’m going to a meeting today at 10:30 am w/ Ken Mueller from the Travelers Insurance Company. Must be a pretty cool guy, huh?

  • KenMueller

    @bdorman264 wow, there are a lot of me out there. I wonder if he is Muelleriffic….you’ll have to let me know. And if he disgraces the name, tell him he needs to legally change it…

  • bdorman264

    Hey Gini; BTW my best friend is from Omaha but he was a Husker. He’s the president of Citrosuco for their US operations. In fact, he is there now visiting his father.

  • I often wondered whether you grew up Mormon, but I never thought to ask because a) it didn’t seem polite, and b) it didn’t seem relevant. Now I know!

    I completely agree with you on the values that a mission experience brings, though I’ve never been on one. Actually, I think this can be said for anyone who has roots in a faith that believes in service. I was brought up in the Church of North India, which is basically the Indian equivalent of the Episcopalian church. I haven’t been to church in years – I don’t want to be an “Easter and Christmas christian” – but things like fellowship, service, helping others, have been deeply ingrained in my siblings and I.

    Thank you for sharing a personal aspect of your life, Gini.

  • bdorman264

    @KenMueller I’ll put him on notice and let him know the bar has already been set pretty high…….:)

  • bradmarley

    First of all, I love that you used an image from Orgazmo to accompany this post. Well done.

    Second, we have an intern currently working with us who is Mormon and went to BYU. He has already completed his mission and now he’s making his way into the corporate world. I can tell he’s different from other interns, in terms of his maturity and knack for communications. In fact, we seem to draw a majority of communications interns from BYU. Coincidence? Maybe. But perhaps your points above play a role in their development.

  • @bryanwillmert Do you go to Soul City? I have a friend who is a member, and has told me a lot about it.

  • G- I gotta tell you the stories of how we were SUPER kind to our missionaries but BLEW their minds. I’ve always had Mormon friends and always marveled at what it instilled both positive and mind-bending.

    Makes me wonder about the upcoming election and how it might be possible to see a Mormon candidate how it compares to JFK as the first Catholic president.

  • BenjaminHofmann

    I grew up Mormon and am still heavily involved with the Church. I consider the time I spent on a mission invaluable on many levels. It is amazing what mostly 19-22 year old men and women can accomplish with a little training and trust. Thanks for the post!

  • billprettyman

    Gini, great article on serving. I love the idea of going on a year to serve on a mission especially at 19. It helps a young person to understand that there is a bigger world out there and that they are not the center of the world. The mission helps a person develop a servant’s mindset that we are here to serve and help others. My boys have been on several 1-2 week mission trips and believe they are better people for it so I can imagine the difference a year would make.

    I also like that you linked spiritual values to leadership. Great leaders lead from the inside out and having a solid spiritual foundation helps people become better leaders.

  • ginidietrich

    @KatieFassl I saw that, too!

  • ginidietrich

    @KenMueller I absolutely believe helping others and traveling abroad helps you think about things differently and become a more understanding and sensitive leader. Your kids are very lucky and you SHOULD be proud.

  • ginidietrich

    @bdorman264 @KenMueller Of course Bill’s Ken is not Muellerific. Like you even have to ask.

  • bryanwillmert

    @KatieFassl I don’t. If i lived in chicago that is where we would attend. I was able to be there for their launch weekend and the team are great friends! @patrickreyes has visited there as well!

  • Serving is good, but I think the “outsider status” is also important. A little perspective on the world from a strong half-step back always helps. I know this is a big part of Mennonite life – but I’m not much of a “leader” so whadda I know? 🙂

    Excellent article and I can’t wait to see how people take this one. 🙂

  • PattiRoseKnight

    Who pays for the mission experience – the church or the family? I’m just curious….I didn’t know about the mission experience. Too bad TV doesn’t touch on that instead of creating shows like Big Love.

  • TravisMClemens

    Interesting take, Gini. Having done the mission thing in Italy (and coming from a VERY small Utah town), I can say

  • TravisMClemens

    Interesting take, Gini. Having done the mission thing in Italy for 2 years (and coming from a VERY small Utah town), I can confirm the experience had a profound impact on my life. I learned another culture, other ways of seeing the world, how to present myself and be an official representative for a large organization (which I think translates very well to the PR/marketing field). Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this!

  • patrickreyes

    @bryanwillmert @KatieFassl @patrickreyes That place is fantastic. Great vision and expectation of growth for anyone that goes there regardless of the level and experience of their faith. You should check it out! I’m sure @jarrettstevens and @jeannemstevens would love to meet you!

  • @patrickreyes @bryanwillmert@jeannemstevens , any chance you know my friend, Mallory Minor?

  • @patrickreyes@bryanwillmert — @livefyre is being goofy, this morning. I typed a longer response, than what is posted above :). I said something along the lines of: I would love to check it out. I probably won’t be a regular attendee, as I’m waaaay out in the ‘burbs :-P, and go to Community Christian in Lemont; but I love visiting other churches. jeannemstevens & jarrettsteves , any chance you know my friend, Mallory Minor?

  • D’oh! I’m batting a thousand here! I meant: jarrettstevens

  • KarenBice

    I understand Mitt Romney did his tour in France and was there for Mai 68. Great post, Gini!

  • JosephManna

    Interesting. Thanks for sharing this and it’s nice to read about your perspective on the Mormon faith and the relation to leadership in corporate America. I’m not in total agreement, but I appreciate your perspective.

    I’m more willing to say that a strong sense of discipline and strong ties to the community has a greater impact than one’s religious affiliation. I think no matter the faith, anyone who was raised with a good sense of self and others will probably be more successful in business.

    However, I will say that hearing about others missions are indeed interesting, compelling and offers them experiences that propel them further in life and their careers.

    Again, I appreciate your perspective. Thanks for sharing this with your audience.

  • ArveyColumbus

    When it came time to go to college (back in the day), my parents said they would pay for tuition up to a Bachelors degree then it would be, “Honey, get a job.” So I graduated at 17 and couldn’t WAIT to get the heck out of Dodge (actually Chicago). When it came time to choose the colleges I wanted my college test scores to be sent to I chose UCLA. My dad didn’t have the same opinion. So off to BYU I went and I was pretty determined that I would not be looking for my MRS degree and got ticked off when I saw some my friends, who were further along in school than their returned missionaries, quit and start supporting their educational endeavors after they married. What was that all about? (Six years later I married a non-Mormon.) But I also had many friends who went on missions around the world to places like England and Finland and Japan who recall their experiences with as much fondness as I do BYU.
    Zoom forward to the present. Looking back on my career I know that my Dad was correct in saying no to UCLA, at least for me. My years at the Y were some of the best I’ve had and definitely set a great foundation for me to build upon as I have faced challenges and had to make choices in my career and in the workplace. I can add a tidbit to your famous Mormon list. Although billionaire (when a billion really was a billion) Howard Hughes hand picked employees to take care of his business and his reclusivity, he almost always hired Mormons. His team was sometimes referred to as the Mormon Mafia in his Las Vegas days. Thanks for this post. And by the way, Mitt Romney wouldn’t only make a good President because of his education, religious affiliation (which could work against him) or because he’s rich. But he is also grew up the son of a man steeped in politics and how they work and how to get things done despite of them. Not stumping for him, but #justsayin.

  • @PattiRoseKnight The individual does. Most young men work for years during their teens to go on their mission. As you might imagine, this forms an even stronger sense of purpose with the work.

  • PattiRoseKnight

    @Marcus_Sheridan Thanks Marcus. I really had no idea about the mission experience. It sounds like a truly great idea. I learned something new today!

  • @KatieFassl Hey Katie, Jeremy from Livefyre here. Sorry about the snag in your last comment. Would you mind shooting us an an e-mail at with details of what happened? We’d like to take a look into it to make sure it doesn’t happen again!


  • Adrian_Dayton

    Gini, thanks for painting Mormons in such a positive light.

    I’m a proud card-carrying member of the Mormon Church, served a mission in the Atacama Deserts of Chile for two years and gained some amazing experience there as well as becoming fluent in Spanish.

    “The mission” as we refer to it in Mormon culture teaches young kids some amazing things about leadership, service, and how to start a conversations with almost anybody. These are skills that I’m sure will serve me for the rest of my life.

    I personally think that the mission experience is so valuable because it teaches people how to set goals and work hard. These aren’t unique skills, but they are important to achieving success no matter what your faith.

    Loved the post Gini.

  • I must admit Gini, for some time I wanted to talk with you about the Mormon thing, because I know you had some bad experiences as a youth, but I figured we’d get our opportunity, as you and I have a unique similarity here in that when you were leaving the church, I was joining it.

    Most people, including my readership, are not aware that I’m Mormon. I don’t talk much about it at all, but it’s a major part of my life.

    I joined the church as a 16 year old in highschool, against the will of my family and most friends. I was a wild teen, and one day I woke up and decided I wanted something different than what I had, and so that was when I decided to speak with the missionaries in my area.

    3 years later, as a freshman in college, I decided to leave school for 2 years and be a missionary. Again, this did not go over well with my family.

    I served in Chile and without question, it was the greatest time of my life. Honestly, it was there that I developed all of my talents (if I do have any ;-). For example, before I joined the Church I was deathly afraid of public speaking. By speaking so much in church and as a missionary teaching others, it became my greatest strength and talent. It was also in the mission field where I learned human relations, psychology, sales, and many other skills that are my business base today.

    Regarding the Church in general, there are many imperfect people found therein. I’m one of them. In fact, Mormon people are as imperfect as the rest of the world, as you very well know Gini, it’s just they’re under a microscope for their more traditional/conservative views. Sadly though, many people will judge the whole on the individual at times, and this is unfortunate.

    Personally, I’m unique because although I live all the Mormon ‘standards’ the best I can (again, I am imperfect), I never judge anyone. My entire family (father, mother, brother, etc) are not mormon and lead a very different lifestyle than me. I never judge them and I pride myself in loving the individual, not the beliefs. As you probably picked up in New York Gini, I may be a little different, but I can laugh with the best of them, whether it’s in a bar or a church. To me, great people are great people, in all their forms.

    I strongly commend the people that have commented on here in such a positive way, and that’s a reflection of you Gini. I also wanted to commend you as well for being able to still look at the positives of the Church despite things that would have caused many others to have some seriously negative feelings.

    I’m sure we’ll chat more about this in the future Gini, as I could write on this subject for hours, but I I’d be remiss for not commenting on a subject that has had such a major impact on my life.

    As always, a big thanks to you 🙂


  • @Adrian_Dayton Adrian, le felicito por haber servido in Chilo, yo estuve alla tambien en la parte al Sur— Osorno. Que lindo el pais,no?? 😉

  • The idea of a mission experience is absolutely fascinating, especially having it ingrained in culture at a young age. I guess because my grandfather had multiple wives (in another country where it’s legal), Mormons didn’t strike me as strange, nor did their beliefs. Almost every faith I’ve studied has some belief that I think is odd, including my own, such that nothing seems strange any more. This is one faith I never went below the surface of, and I admire you for sharing that piece of your background. Definitely inspired to learn more now, particularly seeing how going on a mission correlates and perhaps causes success in business.

  • @PattiRoseKnight As a matter of fact, I was saving for my mission while in college. This was tough to do, as I was supporting myself completely, and when it came time to leave I only had about $2000 or the roughly $9,000 that was needed for the 2 year time period. At that point, an anonymous member of the church in my area wrote a check for 7k, paying for the whole thing.

    To this day, I do not know who that person was, but I sure hope to thank him/her when I’m blessed with that opportunity, as that act changed my life forever.

  • Gini, this is one of many topics I’d love to visit with you about at length over a glass of wine (here’s to your Jack Mormon status on that!) I think that mission work, Peace Corp, Teach for America or any opportunity to fully immerse oneself in life beyond ones own comfort zone to serve and understand others is a tremendous asset to leadership. (I had a life-shaping experiencing serving in Honduras, and I’m a Presbyterian :)!) I think the other thing that empowers Mormon leadership is their family structure and commitment to high standards and delayed gratification. They don’t get to go to birthday parties on Sundays (generally) because those are family days. Generally, there’s a great sense of honoring their parents, as well as creativity that leads to limitless opportunities for fun without alcohol or spending lots of money. I think there’s much to be learned from their practices.

    I am really proud of myself because I just deleted everything I was going to say that reflects my also-present skepticism and just leave this comment at this!

  • M_Koehler

    Gini, I love the fact that you are using a pic from Orgazmo. That’s all.

  • ginidietrich

    @bryanwillmert The thing I love about Chick-fil-A is they believe so strongly in observing the Sabbath, all of their stores are closed on Sundays.

  • @JMattHicks Just emailed the problem, Jeremy. Thank you!

  • @johnfalchetto Do you know what else John? Mormon make great friends of expats too. 😉

  • ginidietrich

    @bdorman264 Can you imagine having more than one wife!?! Mr. D always says he can barely handle me.

    I love writing different posts like this because I learn so much about you guys. For instance, I didn’t know you were in the Army. As for your friend, the entire states bleeds Husker red. It was annoying.

  • ginidietrich

    @Shonali You’re so funny! People ask all the time. I actually don’t mind because it gives me a chance to talk about things like you mention (fellowship, service, treating your body like a temple) and dissuade some of the poor perception.

  • @KatieFassl Thanks Katie, just got your e-mail and we’re on it now!

  • ginidietrich

    @bradmarley Part of it is that he is more mature; he’s likely a couple of years older than other interns. But I do think serving a mission, and others, helps in the development of any of us.

  • ginidietrich

    @faybiz I would love to hear these stories! And, I agree, it’ll be interesting to see if Romney or Huntsman can make it past the primaries.

  • ginidietrich

    @BenjaminHofmann Isn’t that the truth? Thanks for stopping by!

  • JayDolan

    Fact – I’ve never been farther west than the NC Tennessee border, and I’ve only been out of the US to Canada and the Bahamas. The last time I left NC was over two years ago.

    Lack of exposure to the wider world is why I’m so crazy and funny.

    I agree that there is something to be said of all experiences like the Mormon mission or studying abroad. I was offered at least a hundred study abroad experiences because I was a music student, and there are a million programs that go over to Europe. But my family could never afford them.

    So while I never had an experience like that, I still had the experience of working my ass off to pay for my education. I’m also gay, and that’s a whole different world of experiences. Do either of those make me a better leader? The hell if I know, but it widens my world view for sure.

  • PattiRoseKnight

    @Marcus_Sheridan I am certain that you will remember that one day when someone else is in that position and repay; which is what it is really all about. That anonymous member may have been giving back something that was given to him/her. Great story!

  • Adrian_Dayton

    @Marcus_Sheridan un pais fasinante, gracias por su comentario Marcus 🙂

  • @ginidietrich In high school, I was close to a family of Mormons that had a kid +1 for every one of us (I am the oldest of 4). So there were two older girls, I had a friend in the band, my brother had twins his age, my other brother had a boy his age and my sister had a girl her age and then there were two YOUNGER. So we did a lot with them. Mormon dances were a blast, even though it was the worst kind of lead on you evah saw.

    Our Mormon kung fu was STRONG.

    The local missionaries were right down the road from us so we saw them on a regular basis, so we FED them.

    They learned that they were not getting converts but at least a meal.

    We quickly learned that they paired them on experience and one particular pairing the newb was not particularly strong in his faith.

    They went into their spiel one night- we listened respectfully and then I started asking the TOUGH questions. The newb was struggling. The experienced one was smart enough to realize he needed to get his partner out of there and did so- then the older one came by with a new partner within two weeks. We asked what happened to the newb- oh he went back to Utah or something.

    Did that to several of them…

  • For a minute, I thought your post was about Moomins!!!

  • I thought that polygamy would be bigamy. 😉

  • nateriggs

    This is one of the most interesting discussions here yet, Gini. And I’m glad you shared a little of your story. Don’t get me wrong, PR stuff is cool and gets me all juiced up, but this type of stuff is what is really interesting to read (at least for me).

    Immersive leadership experiences. Seems to be what might sum up what you are talking about. So many schools think that leadership (as in business) is learned by studying what others have done in the past, only so that we can replicate it … #yawn. The idea of a mission trip throws a young leader into the fire. Sink or swim. Hell, if that’s not a lesson applicable in any business, I don’t know what is.

    I’m like @Marcus_Sheridan but much later in life. I recently completed the RICA process and am now officially a Catholic (“card-carrying” is the running joke around my family). But it’s been the same. Our church community stresses importance of missons, even if they are missions within a few miles from your front door. I think some times we become better leaders by leading with no expectation of a paycheck in return…

  • bryanwillmert

    yeah.. they built their business on excellent service and products and they always stuck to their convictions. I can say that I do love having them as one of our clients! (self serving comment!) LOL

  • bryanwillmert

    @KatieFassl @patrickreyes@jeannemstevens i don’t think that i have met mallory!

  • On a serious note, I have thought about some of this before. I am not Mormon, just a Jewish kid from LA. But I am a Peace Corps baby. My parents met in Ecuador. I was born in the states but grew up in a multilingual house where we all were taught to give back.

    And giving back is something that we have always been a part of on a larger scale. I think that it makes a significant difference. I’d also argue that speaking more than one language helps because it changes how you see the world, but that is probably a tangent.

  • @MimiMeredith aww, now I’m curious to hear the rest!!!

  • @Marcus_Sheridan awesome addition to the discussion. I had no idea what was involved in the missions, and never thought of it in terms of it laying a great foundation for leadership and professional life in general. Thanks for sharing that, Marcus! Cool!

  • wow! fascinating window into the Mormon culture; One with which I was totally unfamiliar. thanks!

    I’d like to attest to studying abroad. It is quite unlike doing a mission, and perhaps it had a reverse effect on me in terms of my corporate discipline. Nevertheless, it was the experience of my life.

    A year in Paris. ahhh, I was on a poli sci track, and went to a top school in Paris all with the plan to become an international corporate attorney. A year in Paris, and I realized life had so much more to offer. The French live differently than us AMERICANS. I know darealya and @johnfalchetto will agree. Life, love and family come first then work.

    My point being, that you are so right – living in another culture opens up new perspectives. I encourage every single student I have the opportunity to talk to, to do a year abroad.

  • @Lisa Gerber You forgot wine, Lisa. Wine, life, love and family 🙂

    I am not sure we can generalize about the French being like this and the Americans a bunch of workaholics. I know quite a few peeps in the US who are very family oriented, in this forum alone.

    Corporate attorney?

  • kmtirpitz

    @ginidietrich I know! Have distaste for republicans!

  • so_tweet

    @ginidietrich Not a Mormon, never stepped foot in Utah. I think Mormon’s, as a group, have a great work ethic. Thankful for them.

  • jennwhinnem

    @ginidietrich reading your post I thought “oh man I bet get Gini gets a lot of really ignorant questions.” sounds like it.

  • @Marcus_Sheridan Funny I was just telling Gini that some of the people who really helped me online are Mormons. They still do to this day.

  • sallyclawson

    @ginidietrich Hey, I grew up in SLC and was raised Mormon. I, too, have stepped away from the church. Hello, fellow Jack Mormon!

  • ginidietrich

    @faybiz Asking the tough questions is good for them! And HILARIOUS about the dances. It’s so true.

  • ngjennings

    This topic fascinates me. Many of my colleagues at my first job in Washington were Mormon and had worked for members of the Utah congressional delegation. I had to really bust it to keep up with them! I thought the work ethic and focus I envied came from having a healthier, more distraction-free lifestyle but, retrospectively, the ingrained sense of purpose from missions and church work was evident in them. Great post!

  • @Marcus_Sheridan I think we are all a little different . I am not sure who would want to be exactly like everyone else.

  • ginidietrich

    @billprettyman Thanks Bill! I know we share the same philosophies about service and leadership. Thanks for stopping by…and welcome home!

  • ginidietrich

    @wabbitoid SUCH a great point about the outsider status. You always add such a great different look on things.

  • ginidietrich

    @TravisMClemens Oh come on! You got to go to Italy?! I’m sooooo envious.

  • ginidietrich

    @KarenBice That is a true statement!

  • ginidietrich

    @JosephManna I thought the article was interesting in that it calls out the Mormon religion, but I tend to agree with you. I think they’re likely preparing for what is now two Mormon Presidential candidates.

  • ginidietrich

    @ArveyColumbus I LOVE that I wrote this post because I had no idea so many of us grew up in the same way. I did not go to the Y because of some of the things I mention in the post, but my sister did (and got her MRS degree before she graduated) and she has very fond memories of her experience there.

    AND. I had NO IDEA about Howard Hughes. What a great story!

  • ginidietrich

    @Adrian_Dayton @Marcus_Sheridan OK you two! LOL!

  • ginidietrich

    @Adrian_Dayton Since the day my nephew began to talk, he could tell you about his mission. Today he’ll tell you he’s not dating until he returns from his mission (we’ll see how that goes in a few years). But you’re right…it teaches young kids about leadership, service, and talking to people.

  • ginidietrich

    @Marcus_Sheridan I really had no idea that you were a member, Marcus. I wish you had said something to me about in NYC. I’m very open about why I left, but no one has ever asked (maybe they don’t want to know). I’m not afraid my friends or family are going to try to talk me into reconsidering; I’ve been down that road. But what astounds me is your ability to move beyond what your family wanted for you and choose this life. My brother’s wife did the same and they’re raising their family in the church. I’m biased, but those kids are really, really, really well-rounded because of it.

    You’re right. Too many people judge the whole because of individuals. When you see someone smoking on the sidewalk in SLC, people mutter, “sinner” under their breath, but to see it here, it’s no big deal. What a world it would be if everyone had your attitude.

  • ginidietrich

    @Tinu I would LOVE to learn more about your family history and your grandfather’s multiple wives. What a fabulously rich history!

  • ginidietrich

    @M_Koehler LOL! I have just a bit of snark, you know?

  • TravisMClemens

    @ginidietrich It never gets old hearing people say that. 😉

  • ginidietrich

    @MimiMeredith We’ll have the skepticism conversation offline. 🙂 I agree that there is a great sense of honoring parents, creativity on having fun, and delayed gratification. There is an innate sense of work dedication and spending time with your loved ones. I wouldn’t change, for a minute, the way I was raised. I have very strong values because of it.

  • ginidietrich

    @JayDolan We HAVE to get you out and about! I don’t know if either of those experiences make you a better leader, but they sure do make you funny. I love your sense of humor and your cynicism.

  • ginidietrich

    @DannyBrown HAHAHAH! LOL!

  • ginidietrich

    @TheJackB Or just a huge pain in the butt!

  • ginidietrich

    @nateriggs “We become better leaders by leading with no expectation of a paycheck in return.” Dear Nate, please take that sentence and write a blog post about it. Love, Gini

  • ginidietrich

    @TravisMClemens I would guess not! I’ve been three times and would kill to live there. Where were you?

  • ginidietrich

    @TheJackB I love, love, love that I wrote this blog post so I could get stories like this! You are a Peace Corps baby. What a GREAT story!

  • ginidietrich

    @johnfalchetto @Lisa Gerber Um, I’m with John. You forgot the most important element.

  • @Lisa Gerber So jealous. I wanted to study abroad so badly. Unfortunately it’s a bit pricey. It’s one thing I regret though and I encourage anyone I know who can afford it to go!

  • ginidietrich

    @ngjennings What a great real-life example! I think you’re right on both accounts – not have distractions, but also serving the church for two years made a great work ethic.

  • ginidietrich

    @rachaelseda @Lisa Gerber I wanted to, too. But I am the oldest of six and my parents just couldn’t afford to send me anywhere. I have, however, been very fortunate to travel the world for work so I can’t complain!

  • Well after reading what a Jack Mormon is, I realized that it must be the wine drinking that led you to become a Jack Mormon, haha. Ok but on a very serious note, this is really interesting to me. I grew up in Catholic school but my parents are not practicing Catholics and have always been very open minded about religion. This is one of the reasons I have always found different religions to be so interesting and I used to enjoy learning about the history of other religions in school.

    Thank you for teaching me something new today about the Mormon religion, leadership and yourself!

  • TravisMClemens

    @ginidietrich Rome, Napoli and Sardegna were the places I lived you may have heard of. I also spent 6 mos in a city on the Adriatic Coast, Pescara. Italy’s a great place and I’m planning to live there again someday.

  • JayDolan

    @ginidietrich I might be trying to make it to blog world LA and SXSW 2012.

    That just leaves Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa…. I’ve got a lot of work to do.

  • ginidietrich

    @kmtirpitz LOL! Me too!

  • ginidietrich

    @so_tweet You should visit Utah! It’s a fabulous place to visit

  • ginidietrich

    @jennwhinnem It’s funny. Mr. D is in politics so he gets ignorant questions, too. We’re the couple that you can’t talk about

  • ginidietrich

    @sallyclawson TOO FUNNY! Hi!

  • @ginidietrich @johnfalchetto how could I forget about wine? so unlike me.

    and, thanks for calling me out on the generalizations. something else I strive not to do. so I take that back. and insert “many” on both sides. 🙂

  • kevindoubleu

    As someone who did serve a two year mission (Portugal), one of the biggest takeaways is I learned to do difficult things. There is no one pushing you out the door everyday, to strike up conversations with complete strangers or help someone fix their house. There are expectations for mission service, but in the end, it was up to me to learn the language, embrace the culture and people, and motivate myself (and occasionally the people I served with) to do the work. (See the correlation in business/entrepreneurship?) think that asking others and perhaps pushing ourselves to do difficult things is something that can only help them and us in life. It has certainly benefited me. Now, if I can only get my two sons to pick up the pile of stuff they leave at every stop in the house, I will move on to asking them to take on more difficult challenges.

  • so_tweet

    @ginidietrich Saw Salt Lake from the plane. Would love to go there. Hubs has been. Maybe next vacation. But it’s hot in the summer, right?

  • ginidietrich

    @kevindoubleu LOL! I think your sons won’t learn to pick up after themselves until they serve their own missions and get married. Then your daughters-in-law will tell you how well raised they were because they pick up after themselves.

  • ginidietrich

    @JayDolan You DO have a lot of work to do! Get on it. And come to Chicago, while you’re at it.

  • ginidietrich

    @TravisMClemens Take me with you!

  • ginidietrich

    @rachaelseda Yep. I do love the wine. The religion actually teaches things in moderation, but they say no alcohol because most people aren’t self-disciplined enough to drink in moderation. So, while I probably could practice and still have a glass of wine at dinner, I’d be judged. Big time.

  • thewhalehunters

    I love this post. Actually I have quite a number of friends who are Mormon although I didn’t necessarily know their faith from the outset. What they learn from saving and preparing for their mission as well as their mission experience makes them great business people, especially in sales! All of the Mormon men of my acquaintance are amazingly successful at work but even more so at family life. They treat their wives and children and friends and co-workers with great respect. They are funny and fun-loving.

    If you and your blog followers are not following one of the best “mommy bloggers”, I encourage you to follow — Casey Mullins’ blog. Casey became a Mormon because she wanted to marry Cody who would not marry outside of his faith. She often writes about the faith.

    Gini I so commend you on writing what is authentic to you.

  • ginidietrich

    @so_tweet It’s actually not too bad in the summer. They’re still skiing right now.

  • TravisMClemens

    @ginidietrich Next time you have a client in Italy and need an Italian speaker …

  • ginidietrich

    @thewhalehunters I don’t know Casey. Thanks for the intro! It’s true about the great respect for family. It’s definitely ingrained throughout the religion. I remember we couldn’t even ride our bikes on Sundays. Now I go to the Church of Trek and ride my bike for a couple of hours on Sundays. 🙂

  • C_Pappas

    @ginidietrich I noticed though that if you copy the URL into Tweetdeck and tweet it, it doesn’t count in your blog’s RT tally.

  • AdamZ

    @ginidietrich How many unique commenters?

  • mcarmichael

    @ginidietrich I don’t think those counters are really representative. Wouldn’t count Tweetdeck/Hootsuite, etc.

  • ymmat

    @ginidietrich Perceived baggage around tweeting the title? It is a really interesting oddity.

  • ymmat

    @ginidietrich fwiw, the point is a valid one. They do a great job of training, shaping future leaders.

  • ArveyColumbus

    @ginidietrich If he were reading through these comments, President Monson would be smiling!

  • ginidietrich

    @C_Pappas I never do that. I wonder if anyone HERE is doing that?!

  • ginidietrich

    @AdamZ 62

  • ginidietrich

    @ymmat It’s like that every day or I would think the same. Comments always completely outweigh tweets. It’s interesting

  • ginidietrich

    @mcarmichael I know, but things like PostRank track them for engagement and it’s killing us! (not that I’m competitive or anything)

  • ginidietrich

    @ymmat Thanks! I saw that article on BW earlier this week and thought, “I have to blog about this”

  • ginidietrich

    @debdobson You are so nice to me!

  • C_Pappas

    @ginidietrich I do that #guilty ! And I should know better!

  • cynthiaschames

    @ginidietrich @spinsucks I read & liked it; no comment to make bc I don’t mix religion & business talk. Especially while job seeking!

  • KenMueller

    by the way, I”m kinda bummed about the polygamy thing. I had high hopes for us @ginidietrich !

  • brittenwolf

    @ginidietrich Separation of church and the Twitter state?

  • mcwilleyfactor

    I am one of those young Mormon men who served a mission and went to BYU. My activity in the Church has had its ups and downs but the lessons I learned on my mission (Canada Montreal [French speaking]) will stick with me for life. I learned a third language, experienced life outside my bubble, gained leadership experience and, perhaps most importantly, gained a greater understanding of patience and perseverance. Two years of rejection makes finding a job in a tough economy easier to swallow, too! Thanks, as always, Gini for your insight and candor!

  • ginidietrich

    @brittenwolf It’s like that every day, though. Not just on the strong topic ones. It’s weird.

  • ginidietrich

    @cynthiaschames Makes total sense!

  • so_tweet

    @ginidietrich OH yeah! UTAH is for me! Got to escape the Florida heat.

  • @Lisa Gerber darealya @johnfalchetto Well ahem…I think you’re making big mistakes.

    Wine Is Precious, Wine Is like something you cannot hide from…Wine is…Magic :DOk I’m going to sleep right now, tomorrow morning I have a course on Google Adwords that will bring me back o real life in a short while…

  • ginidietrich

    @so_tweet The humidity in Florida would kill me

  • so_tweet

    @ginidietrich Yes, it’s a killer. But visiting dry climates, I have a big adjustment. Skin feels parched. Lotion!

  • SmartBoyDesigns

    @ginidietrich I’m a Mormon, and know Marcus Sheridan is too. And a few other bloggers. I know I sure look up to them as leaders. Others too!

  • SmartBoyDesigns

    @ginidietrich interesting article nonetheless.

  • Thanks for the post Gina. It was great to hear your take on everything. Being born and raised Mormon, and still a practicing member – I can certainly tell everyone that there’s a big focus on being a member in being an example to others and serving. That must be where the leadership emphasis is placed.

    There’s been a whole bunch of articles and such on the mormon “leader” topic, and it’s interesting to hear everyone’s thoughts.

    I know that by serving my mission, I’ve learned so much about life. It was the most beautiful, happiest, joyful time of my life -and I wouldn’t trade the service for anything!

    Mormon or not, just know that it’s important that a potential president be a good leader and President. Not just Mormon. 😉

  • ginidietrich

    @SmartBoyDesigns I didn’t know that about Marcus until today. I’m so glad I published that. I’ve learned a lot today

  • robert_madison

    @ginidietrich When I first read that I read, “Morons make better leaders” ~ I thought, “Is that redundant, obvious, or both?” 😉

  • ginidietrich

    @JulesZunichPR Totally fun blog post to write today

  • M_Koehler


    I would NEVER have detected it in the what, 20 or so years we’ve known each other. “I’m not a superhero! I’m a Latter-Day Saint.”

  • SmartBoyDesigns

    @ginidietrich that’s pretty fantastic! What I love about blogging, honestly, is the transparency of all of us with different faiths or

  • SmartBoyDesigns

    @ginidietrich even lack thereof. We’re all humans – on a level playing field. And I love that.

  • darealya

    @SmartBoyDesigns @ginidietrich I like reading you guys, please keep on this conversation 🙂

  • gritsnyc

    Thanks for sharing this, Gini. I have several LDS friends and colleagues in the PR world. They are, without exception, some of the hardest working, kind, thoughtful, and strategic people I know. And not one of them has ever brought the Church to the office, so to speak (wish I could say that for other folks, but alas…).

    This Nice Jewish Girl may not understand all the ins and outs of their beliefs, but I respect the heck out of whatever made them into PR leaders. When in doubt, hire the Mormon — you’ll be glad you did.

  • ginidietrich

    @robert_madison HAHAHA! I’m pretty sure morons do not make better leaders

  • boiseparkguy

    @ginidietrich If they are leading you into a bunch of Damn Lies!

  • ginidietrich

    @SmartBoyDesigns I love that, too. It certainly levels the playing field and disperses judgment

  • ginidietrich

    @PWallwork Thanks!

  • ginidietrich

    @darealya Why aren’t you asleep??

  • darealya

    @ginidietrich it’s a question I cannot answer publicly 😀

  • ginidietrich

    @darealya LOL!!

  • BMAMan

    Great Blog! Not sure why religion matters…it’s the person! RT @ginidietrich @spinsucks Mormons Make Better Leaders

  • darealya

    @ginidietrich I’m just kidding! I’m working on a tough project + overbooked > trying to optimize + I can follow all of you too out there!

  • @JayDolan I can take you places in LA that will make you feel like you hit all of those other spots. It is one of the things that I love about my city.@ginidietrich

  • This post reminds me of a conversation I had a while back. I worked for a manufacturer of diamond tools. We made products that were used to cut concrete and got to attend very cool tradeshows like ‘The World of Concrete.’

    We used to engage with some real characters. One of our customers once told me that he didn’t like doing business with people who didn’t have faith. As a very feisty 20 something I went looking for a fight and encouraged him to tell me who that was because I was certain that he was going to say something about Jews.

    Well, he did but first he excoriated Catholics followed by Mormons and then the Jews. It was a learning experience to me, because it had never occurred to me that there would be that sort of attitude or infighting among “you guys.”

  • KarenBice

    @TheJackB It doesn’t matter what religion, there will always be different branches or other faiths that are deemed to be “other” or not righteous enough because they don’t meet someone’s criteria for righteousness.

  • jennwhinnem

    @ginidietrich can I ask like what? I don’t get what stupid question a person in politics would get…please satisfy curiosity?

  • ginidietrich

    @jennwhinnem Oh it’s all about the stuff you’re not supposed to ask. My fave? How do you vote?

  • jennwhinnem

    @ginidietrich HA HA HA okay, thank you. got it.

  • girlygrizzly


    I still remember as one of the most spiritual experiences in my life, when Boss and I had time and decided to stop at Temple Square in Salt Lake City. It felt like we were the only ones there and our guide was patient and a wonderful story-teller. I know we had goose bumps many times during our personal tour and I have never forgotten the feelings it brought forth.

    What or Whom- ever sent Brigham Young his dream… whatever it was that told him when he got there, that “THAT” was the place, is still there. Anybody, I am sure would feel it, just walking through the square. It always makes me feel as if I am “full-up-full” of joy (yeah, of all things) when I have those feelings.

    Our newest trainee had just finished completing his mission when he came to us. We are blessed.

    Thanks Gini, for another reminder.


  • @KarenBice Oh I get that. There is a reason why we say two Jews, three opinions. But back then I hadn’t spent any time thinking that other religions had it. It was a naive position, but Mormon, Catholic, Baptist were all basically the same thing to me. I didn’t see any significant difference between them.

  • jgwhitt

    It am honestly amazed at the respectful conversation this started. It makes me want to say “I am a Mormon too!” Oh wait, I am :). Thank you for sharing Gini! There is a lot of truth to what you said in terms of the leadership qualities that missions and LDS church life can help one develop. It certainly changed my life. I would not be doing PR in Europe had I not served a mission.

  • jgwhitt

    @Marcus_Sheridan When I first saw you post here on Spin Sucks, I said to myself – “I bet that guy is LDS.” It was just a hunch. I have good Mormondar ;). Thanks for confirming my suspicion.

  • jgwhitt

    @ginidietrich @johnfalchetto as an expat and a Mormon, I agree :).

  • YasinAkgun

    It’s funny thing this article has been written, my uncle is coming over to London this weekend. My uncle is a mormon, and is somebody I look up to, he’s always given me straight out there great advice and been a part of why I want to be the best that I am every day. I got the impression that his friends and colleagues in the LDS had the same positive attitude too.

    Thanks for the article, will show this to my uncle when he comes over!

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  • lisarobbinyoung

    The mission makes the person. That service focus – regardless of religion – colors your world view.

    You are taken out of your own parochial world and exposed to the other 99.9% of what you’ve been missing living in your comfy paradigm.

    I lived in Utah for 4 years and, while I was not Mormon, still get asked if I know the Osmonds.

    Actually, I know the jeweler that made Marie Osmond’s wedding ring. There’s a secret inscription in in it. That is all I can say.

  • JamesBSchultz

    Yes, I’m shy and I’m not sure what I could add to your community. Following you and the frequent contributors is intimidating. Scary. Well here goes. I’m Catholic and yes I do practice. From my view, growing up the focus in the Catholic Church for me and my friends were ritual and rules (we have a lot) not service. Heck, I didn’t even know what service was until I was in my twenties. One thing I’ve noticed in the last 10 years is the continued increase of younger Catholics to serve on mission trips. I’ve served on mission trips in Central America. My kids have made multiple mission trips to Central America. Great lessons on servant leadership. I know we all came back changed from the experience. Many times I have failed miserably in each of my leadership roles as husband, father and coach. After each mistake, I get up, learn and resolve to never give up! My experiences in the mission trips tell me leadership principles are neither new or complex. They don’t seem to demand special talents (I like that part since I struggle with identifying any special talents I might have). They are simply based on strengthening the bonds of respect, responsibility and caring with the people around me. My hope is I can continually challenge and improve my actions with these timeless virtues. And who better to teach me than Jesus Christ? Thanks for sharing Gini!

  • thewhalehunters

    @ginidietrich clearly you have fallen. don’t know what we’ll do with you.

  • @jgwhitt Well said Jeremy!

  • @jgwhitt Hahaha, awesome 🙂

  • MSchechter

    Several years ago, I was going out to dinner some clients. As we walked into the restaurant, I was told that they are mormon. To be frank, I was scared shitless. I have a tendency of speaking off the cuff and my misconceptions about mormons had me terrified that I was going to blow the account or worse yet deeply offend someone (I need to be locked in my cage from time to time). Boy was I wrong. Not only were they great people, great partners, they were utterly hilarious and we are so super close to this day.

    I learned a lot about Mormons that night (mainly because once I knew I could, I asked endless questions) and a lot about my own misconceptions. I’m still in awe of just how much character building is built into the faith. It is certainly not for me (I tend to lack character 🙂 ), I couldn’t help but feel a little bit of awe for what they try to inspire within their family and within their community. Also, would they feel the same way about me if I was in their family or their church… probably not, but I couldn’t help but respect just how strongly they put pressure upon themselves, but how little judgment the brought upon a loud mouth 21 year old from NYC.

    Not surprised in the least to see just how successful many who have had that kind of character building upbringing become.

  • jennwhinnem

    Hi Gini,

    Add this to your stupid questions: “do you wear the sacred underwear?”

    As for me, I’m Catholic. You know how this effects me at work? I feel guilty and undeserving all the time. I think you got the better deal, hands down.



  • @jennwhinnem I get the Jewish version of those questions. People ask about tefillin and tzitzit. You know, the leather straps and string men wear. Or maybe you don’t know which is why so many people ask. Makes for good conversation provided you aren’t on a plane.

  • I guess I’ll throw my Southern Baptist hat into the ring, and then I’ll pick it up again because I wouldn’t want it tainted by any of you heathens out here. Only kidding. It is quite amazing the religious prejudice that exists in our country, but if we’d just give folks a chance, we’d likely find out that we aren’t so different. I’m not much of a practicing Baptist presently, but even when I was, we weren’t a bunch of evangelicals running about screaming of fire and brimstone like much of the country assumes. Most folks that attended my church cursed, drank, and did other things not often associated with Baptist believers carrying on day-to-day lives like anyone else.

    We did handle snakes though. That’s a legitimate claim. Ok, fine, we didn’t, but I am from Georgia and have seen (driving quickly past) churches that do do that. It’s a bit scary.

    Hope you’re having a great Friday, Gini.

  • jennwhinnem

    @TheJackB I do know those things, and I would never ask anyone about them. Plus, if you’re wearing those…you’re probably not sitting next to ME on a plane. Right?

  • @jennwhinnem @TheJackB That’s more complicated than you might think. Depends on a bunch of things so it wouldn’t be strange or surprising to be seated next to you.

  • jennwhinnem

    @TheJackB Ah, and that I did not know! Thanks JackB!

  • ginidietrich

    @jennwhinnem LOL! Not many people know about the underwear. You can only wear it if you’ve been through the temple, which typically happens (for the first time) at the beginning of your mission or if you’re married there. And don’t you worry – I feel guilty all the time. Especially when I drink wine in front of my Mormon friends.

  • ginidietrich

    @MSchechter I love this story. #thatisall

  • ginidietrich

    @JamesBSchultz Jim! You stopped by! I love it…and I love your contribution. I think there is so much to be said about service and what it teaches us about ourselves.

  • ginidietrich

    @KenMueller Don’t you worry. The opposite is true for women – we can have multiple husbands.

  • ginidietrich

    @mcwilleyfactor Third language?! French, English, and … ?

  • ginidietrich

    @hhuskies It’s a HUGE important characteristic for our President not only to be able to lead, but to do so from a place of service.

  • KenMueller

    @ginidietrich whew! now can you get me a sandwich?

  • ginidietrich

    @gritsnyc The thing I like about the Jewish faith is it’s most closely aligned (minus the one big difference) with the Mormon faith. It’s a way of life; not something you decide bits and pieces you want to practice.

  • ginidietrich

    @KenMueller Um, no. The way it works is YOU get ME a sammich.

  • KenMueller

    @ginidietrich uh…what do i get?

  • ginidietrich

    @girlygrizzly First, I love that I’m seeing you around the web more and more. Secondly, thank you for such a nice tribute. You didn’t happen to be at Temple Square during Christmas, did you??

  • ginidietrich

    @KenMueller A sugarmomma

  • ginidietrich

    @jgwhitt LOL! I’m really impressed by this conversation, too. I really thought I’d get some backlash. But not a single hate comment. Not one.

  • ginidietrich

    @YasinAkgun Is your uncle there now? Are you getting good advice?

  • ginidietrich

    @lisarobbinyoung LOL!!! That reminds me of the time I was in Santo Domingo. It was while Sammy Sosa played for the Cubs. Everywhere I went, people would ask me if I knew Sammy Sosa. By the time I left, he lived next door. 🙂

  • ginidietrich

    @JamesDBurrell2 It’s amazing that any prejudice exists in our country. Mr. D said to me yesterday, “I hope the next generation looks at homosexuals the way we look at African-Americans and they shake their heads that they were treated so poorly.”

  • @ginidietrich did you ever get clear to a temple? I got in one once when it was opening…

  • girlygrizzly

    @ginidietrich That was exactly what Ruger asked me! No, sadly, I’ve been told it is Christmas in the most beautiful possible ways. We used to “do” the shows in January and February all over the country. It was one of the most spiritual, touching places I have ever visited. (I’m on a mission!)

  • KenMueller

    @ginidietrich where do i sign up?

  • ElissaFreeman

    @ginidietrich oy! no wonder we got along so well. And? The lead singer of The Killers, Brandon Flowers? Mormon.

  • My GREAT experience with Mormons…

    I’m from Oakland, California and never knew what Mormon was until I moved to Colorado for college. In Oakland, there’s a beautiful building called the Mormon Temple – but I never thought to ask anyone what it was…I had no clue whatsoever.

    After moving to Colorado, of course, I met a lot of Mormons in college (Colorado State Univ.) and found that the only things that separated them from others is their practices in living a clean life (no drugs, no alcohol, no girls, no caffeine). And besides girls and caffeine, we had everything else in common…and of course some of the details of our faiths.

    I asked why people gave them a hard time and they explained the doctrine that is pretty different than that of other sectors of Christianity…including the history of polygamy in the church. Heck, in my immaturity I was really starting to LOVE what I was hearing (polygamy). I’m much more mature now, but just saying, as a 17 years old – that’s what life was about (sorry, I just can’t manage to be too serious for too long…I guess I’m still a little immature!)

    Being in the dorms with some of these guys taught me a lot about leadership actually. They were willing to stand firm on what they believed in, despite the ridicule they received because of their faith. And they never played the back and forth game. Interesting how that stuff works – but I really did learn some great life lessons from Morons, who always had open arms and great attitudes…I’m still friends with many of them today.

    I think that Morons make great leaders. I can’t say better, because I’m not one (I can’t count myself out because of my faith difference).

  • @Jk Allen the slips there at the end are priceless. I’ve had many mormon friends, everntually they learn my issues with their faith. sadly, i prefer much about the “on the ground” running of the churches versus so many other denominations.

  • @ginidietrich G- the end of “don’t ask, don’t tell” in the military will be the crucial change.

    Look at the parallel to how blacks were finally accepted. They were integrated BY ORDER finally in the military well before society integrated.

    Once that little wall has fallen, much will change

  • @jennwhinnem Any time. If you ever need a resource for Jewish questions I am happy to be that guy.

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  • emagineSUNIL

    Mormons believe in being “in the world, but not of it,” and the garment helps in privately yet consistently setting temple-going Mormons apart from the world.

  • emagineSUNIL

    Mormon magic underwear is, for the most part, very comparable to other undergarments. It is made out of similar fabrics like nylon, polyester or cotton. It is white, apart from colored ones only available to soldiers on active duty, in view of the fact that white is considered to be a sacred color in Mormonism and the color symbolizes cleanliness, devotion, purity and heaven.