"I Didn’t (want to) Know That" #2

President Hinckley and the Cone of Silence
Just Pack Up and Leave Already

All the back in 2002, President Hinckley stood up in General Conference and asked us to stop doing two things:

1)  No more missionary farewells.

2) No more open houses for departing missionaries.

Apparently, someone forgot to turn the microphone on, because nobody actually heard him say it.  But, thanks to the amazing internet, I was able to retrieve the following:

“The departing missionary will be given opportunity to speak in a sacrament meeting for 15 or 20 minutes. But parents and siblings will not be invited to do so. There might be two or more departing missionaries who speak in the same service. The meeting will be entirely in the hands of the bishop and will not be arranged by the family. There will not be special music or anything of that kind.”

 “We hope also that holding elaborate open houses after the sacrament meeting at which the missionary speaks will not prevail. Members of the family may wish to get together. We have no objection to this. However, we ask that there be no public reception to which large numbers are invited.”

Just last weekend I attended a lovely “non-sanctioned” Open House for a great young man that left this week.  It had everything you would expect from an Open House –  Kirkland Signature Brand Creme Puffs, Kirkland meatballs, and even a nasty Costco carrot sheet cake. Oh, can’t forget the slushy punch and the mixed nuts.

In addition, this young man hauled in the cash.  Everytime you looked at him, he was sliding an envelope into his jacket pocket. He looked like a congressman. Or a mob boss.

Good food, good friends, good cash-flow.  I can’t imagine something as puerile as “obedience” getting in the way.

Here’s the link the the talk about these things.  Gotta love how he makes a special effort to get the moms on board. 


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  1. You had a link to number nine so then I had to look at the rest of the ten. I wonder if President Hinckley saw our day. When so many missionaries would be going out from wards that if you had missionary farewells for each one that is all Sacrament Meeting would be anymore.

  2. Loving this series!! Just came across them and want to shout Hallelujah to every one of them! I am amazed at the number of things we “hear” but forget within a year. Like having your children bear their testimonies at home during Family Home Evening rather than at the pulpit…when did we forget this counsel? Too many meetings are 5 year olds, who are quite adorable, but need to be taught at home what it means to have a testimony. I also struggle with the same farewell concept with baby blessings. Having 22 people in your circle, with a baby in a decked out white tuxedo that can cost upwards of $100 and then a HUGE dinner afterwards does not mean your child’s blessing is more righteous or more likely to come true. 🙂 Having babies in white is NOT a requirement of the blessing and I wish we could remember the difference between tradition/culture and what the Lord actually asks of us. Thanks for your thoughts and sorry for my rant!

  3. Growing up in SLC, I remember that before this came out, farewells and homecomings were reason enough to get new carpet, paint, or landscaping for the house. Toning down did happen, but maybe relatively or gradually, rather than immediately.

  4. One thing to keep in mind, a lot of people still refer to them as “farewells” and “homecomings” but they have changed to meet the prophets recommendations. My brothers gave their talks and that was that, but we still referred to them as their farewells. Obviously there are those who have their ears plugged on this one, weve received a couple rare open house invites since, but I think the majority of the church has adapted well to this.

  5. You’re so right! This is one that has bothered me for a long time. The prophet made it so clear, and everyone just hushed and did them anyway, calling their after-church-party a “non-farewell.” A beer by any other name is still against the word of wisdom! I’m still seeing farewells and homecomings, and people are sometimes offended when we politely decline coming.

    Sigh. . .

    Great post.

  6. Wow, really? No comments? Well, let me just say it annoys me when I hear about people still doing “farewells” and things of that sort. I’ve remembered this new “rule” since we were told we should stop and I’ve been annoyed that it continues. Maybe I shouldn’t care.

Add your 2¢. (Be nice.)