A Note of Grief (With a Thought on the Law)

October 6, 2005 | 41 comments
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This morning I attended the funeral of a young man, much too young to die. He was barely forty years old, had two beautiful daughters, and a wife that he adored. He had enjoyed an impressive career: graduation from the University of Chicago Law School, legal practice, ten years as counsel to a powerful Senate committee, followed by a successful career as a lobbyist. In addition to the law, he was a man of broad intellectual interests, whose office was stuffed not only with law books but also Byron, Shakespeare, and Shelly.

A Senator that he had worked for spoke at his funeral, and gave a heart-felt tribute to his friend, his professional accomplishments and personal warmth. It was sincere and honest praise. But I couldn’t help but think about what thin gruel professional accomplishment was in summing up a life. I couldn’t help but think how much more powerful the non-professional memories of his brother were, or how much more real the simple sermon delivered by a life-long family friend was compared to the Senator’s tribute to glittering legal accomplishments.

I had meant my inaugural post here to be something tremendously insightful about the law. I have been kicking around ideas about Aristotle, the practice of theory, and the dignity of law office history. I had even hit upon a way of working recent Supreme Court nominations into the mix. It was going to be a truly impressive display. But I find that today I am more inclined to weep for two, newly fatherless little girls and note the commonplace that life, love, and family can make even the law seem a tinseled play thing. A cliched thought, to be sure, but no less true for that.

(originally posted at Concurring Opinions)

41 Responses to A Note of Grief (With a Thought on the Law)

  1. Costanza on October 6, 2005 at 8:43 pm

    Nate,
    I had very much the same experience last year when a good friend, fellow ward member, and a brilliant scholar of Mongolian language and culture took his own life. He left behind two small children and a wonderful wife. In the aftermath of his death it was very apparent that his professional accomplishments were “thin gruel” indeed. And it provided many of us who inhabit the ivory tower to think a little harder about the weightier issues of life. Thanks for the post and the reminder. And prayers to those little girls.

  2. Jeremy on October 6, 2005 at 8:55 pm

    This reminds me of my wife’s report after her grandfather’s funeral. Before retiring to Sandy, Utah to a quiet life of church and neighborhood service, gardening, cross-country skiing, and family gatherings, he had been an internationally recognized scientist and chair of a prestigious university department. He had discovered compounds, invented methods and devices, published prolifically, and mentored the best of the best. Scholars from far and wide came to pay respects. But when one of his colleagues rose to enumerate his professional accomplishments, everyone in his ward shrugged their shoulders and exchanged baffled looks. To them, he was simply the guy who brought them tomatos and squash, pruned his neighbors’ trees, asked the best questions in High Priests quorum, and maintained a comprehensive video archive of every extracurricular event each of his grandkids had ever participated in. Likewise, hearing the other speakers from his ward and family, I’m sure his scientific colleagues were astonished at the richness of his life and the ultimately secondary role his professional acheivements played in it.

  3. Adam Greenwood on October 6, 2005 at 9:04 pm

    That “no success can compensate” line is often used as a dire warning, but its also a great promise.

  4. GeorgeD on October 6, 2005 at 9:11 pm

    About 10 years ago a neighbor who was always around to help, threw the football with the kids, and was just a nice guy died young and suddenly. We went to the funeral at another church, heard a lukewarm sermon and a long eulogy by a coworker. I didn’t recognize my neighbor at all. My instructions to my wife were that my work could not be mentioned at my funeral.

  5. Mike B on October 6, 2005 at 11:34 pm

    A couple years ago I attended the funeral of an old missionary companion who, upon finishing medical school, had the misfortune of his first brain tumor diagnosis being his own. He moved his wife and children with him back to where his parents lived and spent the last year of his life creating memories every day with his children. His wife spoke at his funeral, and his children sang. For me, a singular experience. Quite inspiring. Great post, Nate.

  6. Gordon Smith on October 7, 2005 at 12:05 am

    Nate, This is the first that I have heard of the death of an old friend. Shawn and I were very close at BYU, where we worked in the Writing Center. I am much to blame for him attending the University of Chicago Law School, where we were classmates. He had been offered a full ride to BYU’s law school and would have been able to live at home, but I helped to convince him that the experience of living in Chicago would be more than worth the extra cost. When he arrived at Chicago for the first time, I picked him up at the airport, and on our way back to the University we stopped at the Art Institute of Chicago. He hadn’t even seen his apartment, but he wanted to see the museum.

    Shawn was one of the funnest people I have ever met. One day in the Writing Center, we were visited by a student from South America, who wanted help writing a grant request. I had been on a mission in Austria and was not as familiar with a Spanish accent as Shawn. When I asked the student to describe the subject of his grant proposal, I thought he said, “volleyball research.”

    “You’re doing a grant proposal for volleyball research?”
    “Yes.”
    “What does that entail?”
    Blank stare.
    “I mean, do you study spikes and sets, or what?”

    I looked at Shawn with a what-am-I-missing face, but he was having too much fun to stop me. He just shrugged. After a few more minutes of me attempting to clarify the nature of volleyball research, Shawn was literally on the floor he was laughing so hard. Finally, he shouted, “Not ‘volleyball research,” you idiot. ‘valuable research’!” (That scene became a focal point of the end-of-year Writing Center play, which Shawn produced and directed.)

    Law school was not as much fun for Shawn as he had hoped, but he persevered. We took Corporations together, and he disliked the subject very much. So he hardly attended class, and even when he did, he never read the assignments. The night before the exam, he called me to ask what topics he should study, given his limited time, and then proceeded to get the highest grade in the class! The professor put his answer on display in the library. I’ve never forgiven him for that. ;-)

    I saw him only a couple of times after he moved to DC to work, but I have often thought that we should catch up again. Now, it’s too late for such thoughts, and I am very sad.

  7. greenfrog on October 7, 2005 at 10:33 am

    Nate,

    Shawn was one of my best friends in college (including the fabled Writing Lab) and law school (as was Gordon).

    Shawn drew together strings and threads into networks of people and ideas as abstruse as you and me.

    A few weeks ago, I had the occasion to meet with a lawyer who had worked with Shawn on the Senate committee you mentioned. He is now in private practice and was pitching my company on some business. As we discussed backgrounds, he mentioned working with the committee and I mentioned Shawn. He confirmed the connection (much like a non-LDS lawyer’s version of Mormon Matchgame — “Oh, you were there? Do you know…?”). But then he advised me that Shawn, whom I’d lost touch with when he left government, was dying of lung cancer. This lawyer told me about seeing Shawn at a recent get-together sponsored by Shawn’s professional acquaintances — an impromptu fund-raiser while Shawn yet lived to provide for the education of his young daughters after his death.

    And last week, another of Shawn’s and Gordon’s and my classmates from college and law school with whom I’d lost touch called to let me know of Shawn’s death and a memorial service to be held in Utah next week. I’ve made travel plans to be there to honor Shawn’s life. But I’m also going to stand as a witness of the influence he has had on mine. And in doing so, and in writing this, I stand as a witness of the influence that he had on those who encountered him professionally, as well.

    There are different ways of understanding relationships among people. As I think of the intersections between my life and Shawn’s, between your life and Shawn’s, between Gordon’s life and Shawn’s, I’m drawn not so much toward the LDS view of independent intelligences, but more in the Hindu direction of Indra’s Net, each of us representing a node in a network of consciousness and life.

    When a particular node goes dark, we all feel the loss, whether the strands that connect us to it are religious, professional, ideological, or familial. And the life of that node still lives on through its influence and effect on all the other nodes, as well.

  8. B Bell on October 7, 2005 at 11:22 am

    2 years ago a friend of mine dropped dead of a heart attack at the age of 35 at an elders quorum move.

    He was a great man beloved by all that knew him. He had no real educational or worldly accomplishments to speak off. He worked for a construction equipment company and supported his wife and 4 children in a middle class lifestyle.

    His legacy are his children and the acts of service that he performed for all of us in our ward. His dealth was a reminder to all of us that what really matters is our families.

  9. Ryan Bell on October 7, 2005 at 11:53 am

    Nate’s post presents an interesting conundrum. Yes, his concluding insight about the preeminence of family and personal accomplishment over professional attainments is correct. But it obscures another question: how did we get to the point where it is necessary to point out such an admittedly obvious thing?

    In other words, does it make anyone uncomfortable that we even need to say such a thing? Does it need to be said because our culture encourages a greater focus on the less meaningful, more temporary pursuits of life?

    I am aware of this man through people in my old ward, and I am certain he was a wonderful person. But I’m tempted to think I’d prefer to be the man in B Bell’s post (#8), whose lack of outward professional prestige made him and others much more likely to focus on who the man really was. No, I don’t think this in itself is an argument for eschewing professional achievement, but it is part of one. When we’ve reached the point of having to remind ourselves that our kids are a healthier source of pride than our resumes, it behooves us to spend a bit more time than we do contemplating the tradeoffs we are presently making.

    (Maybe I’m just saying this because I’m certain that if I died tomorrow, the speech at my funeral outlining my professional triumphs will be shorter than the closing prayer).

  10. Stephen M (ethesis) on October 7, 2005 at 11:58 am

    Ah, but would you accept someone who was just a success in the home on SCOTUS?

  11. Ryan Bell on October 7, 2005 at 12:07 pm

    Heavens no. But when a Supreme Court justice dies, what percentage of ink used to write him up will be used on his professional endeavors, and what percentage will detail his private legacy?

  12. Russell Arben Fox on October 7, 2005 at 12:09 pm

    “When we’ve reached the point of having to remind ourselves that our kids are a healthier source of pride than our resumes, it behooves us to spend a bit more time than we do contemplating the tradeoffs we are presently making.”

    A wise comment, Ryan; thanks.

  13. Rosalynde on October 7, 2005 at 12:13 pm

    Very moving, Nate. Your friend sounds like a noble man and Saint.

    I understand that it will be impossible to make the point I am about to make without being misunderstood. A person who persistently neglects his or her family obligations in favor of professional success, I think, deeply disappoints God, impoverishes his or her life, and dishonors his or her own nature. But a person who wilfully neglects the abilities and opportunities with which your friend was gifted and with which he was able to accomplish much professional and social good, I think, also disappoints God, impoverishes the richness of his or her own life, and dishonors an integral part of his or her own nature. The sort of unweighed dismissal of the professional in favor of the personal reminds me of traditional Christian dismissals of the temporal in favor of the eternal. It seems to me that Mormon doctrine, with its teaching that this earth is the Celestial Kingdom, that all forms of sociality will persist, and that knowledge will rise with us, militates against this sort of agonistic dualism, integrating, rather, the several varieties of human accomplishment.

  14. Russell Arben Fox on October 7, 2005 at 12:30 pm

    “But a person who wilfully neglects the abilities and opportunities with which your friend was gifted and with which he was able to accomplish much professional and social good, I think, also disappoints God, impoverishes the richness of his or her own life, and dishonors an integral part of his or her own nature.”

    I don’t disagree with you Rosalynde, though I am not certain I agree that the “several varieties of human accomplishment” you perceptive refer to necessarily include the sort of accomplishments which the senator praised the deceased for in Nate’s original post. Perhaps they do; perhaps God does honor and bless the person with the ability to be an excellent lawyer who puts that ability to use in being both an excellent and prestigious lawyer. But I’m doubtful. My agreement with Ryan’s comment arises from my conviction that a better society, a more socially just society, a Zion-like society, the society God would prefer us build, would be one where “accomplishing much professional and social good,” as you put it, would not involve such a significant spatial or temporal or economic distinction from what Nate called “life, love, and family,” or at least not so dramatic a distinction that, as Ryan suggested, we get to the point of needing to be reminded of the importance of the non-professional realm–a point which all too many get to with great aclarity.

    I’m sure God does want us to integrate our talents into the wider world around us. And I agree that to ignore such integration, to eschew any kind of vocation in the world when one plainly has the capacity for such, is sinful. But vocations are one thing, careerism is another. Working out a life that incorporates both family and vocation is, I think, an important good; trying to squish both family and a career into one life as if they were equals isn’t.

  15. Adam Greenwood on October 7, 2005 at 12:48 pm

    ” seems to me that Mormon doctrine, with its teaching that this earth is the Celestial Kingdom, that all forms of sociality will persist, and that knowledge will rise with us, militates against this sort of agonistic dualism, integrating, rather, the several varieties of human accomplishment”

    (1) You’ve changed the terms, Rosalynde W. Professional work vs. family engagement is not the same “agonistic dualism” as mortality vs. the eternities.

    (2) Even granted that Mormonism integreates all forms of society in theory, it cannot fully do it in practice, not in mortality. Time and mind spent on one thing is not spent on another, and family is clearly the priority. I have no beef with someone who puts aside professional attainments for family life.

  16. greenfrog on October 7, 2005 at 12:56 pm

    A significant portion of Shawn’s professional life in public service led to the final version of the Millenium Copyright Act.

    So whether we attribute to Shawn some degree of the proliferation of intellectual property generated during the past few years or not, his labor helped produce the protections that encouraged the production of it. Each time you watch a movie, read a book, or run a piece of software created since 2000, you are benefitting from the sweat of Shawn’s brow. Will you hear that point praised in a sermon at a funeral? Likely not. But his effort shaped your world, nonetheless.

    If a person lives, lays a brick in the foundation of Zion, and dies, Zion is still a brick closer than it was, even if we never name the person again.

  17. Matt Evans on October 7, 2005 at 1:50 pm

    I once had a similar experience at a funeral, but in a different direction. The deceased brother had served on the high council with a stake president who is now an apostle, and the apostle spoke at the funeral. I could tell from the apostle’s talk that he didn’t know the brother that well, and realized there must be hundreds of people who knew him better. I wished that no one had had the urge to glamourize the occasion with a prominent speaker, or to use the apostle as a person of status. The talks by a brother, daughter, and grandson were infinitely better because they revealed the man we cared about.

  18. Ryan Bell on October 7, 2005 at 2:16 pm

    Funny, as I wrote my comment above, I had the thought that this comment would have two obvious allies in Russell and Adam. I still await the invite to the Small-Mormon-Family-Business-Communes-Conference that I suspect they are planning.

    Rosalynde, I make no argument that we need to withdraw from the world, stop seeking non-family attainments, or all become home-based farmers.

    Rather, I am tired of subscribing to ‘excellence’ as a value in the workaday context. I think that straining to accomplish all that one can is a good thing. But when the terms of excellence are mediated by external, worldly forces, excellence becomes too distorted to be worthwhile. It requires membership in institutions that justify enormous debt, ask for great family sacrifice, and offer psychic rewards that are often ego-driven– none of which are completely in line with the gospel.

    So the question I’m asking is how much better it is to be a _____ (choose your field) trained at ______ (choose the very most elite university program in your field) working at _______ (choose the most prestigious organization that employs members of your field), than it is to be a guy that went to the local state school (in the same field as the one above) and works at the local place where people like him work and goes home to his family at 5:30 every night, and doesn’t sacrifice anything at work because of it. And another question I’d be interested to hear you answer: Suppose a person has all the gifts and resources that would qualify her for the former route, but chooses the latter instead. Is God displeased? In other word, do you think it makes God sad when someone opts out of only the uppermost echelon of their field of endeavor, or only when they opt out of the endeavor completely.

  19. Russell Arben Fox on October 7, 2005 at 2:20 pm

    “I could tell from the apostle’s talk that he didn’t know the brother that well, and knew there must be hundreds of people who knew him better. I wished that no one had had the urge to glamourize the occasion with a prominent speaker, or to use the apostle as a person of status.”

    That’s an excellent thought, Matt. What I above called “careerism” is, unfortunately, all too often present in the way we assess and praise our own or others’ church service as well.

  20. Russell Arben Fox on October 7, 2005 at 2:20 pm

    “I still await the invite to the Small-Mormon-Family-Business-Communes-Conference that I suspect they are planning.”

    We can’t agree on the reading list, Ryan. He wants to assign some G.K. Chesterton, I want everyone to read Dorothy Day. It’s a problem.

  21. Benjamin on October 7, 2005 at 2:20 pm

    Do you ever see members of the Church use the “no success outside the home” idea to justify their lack of professional ambition? This is a phenomenon that I have seen but will never understand.

  22. Rosalynde on October 7, 2005 at 2:37 pm

    Well, Ryan, I’m fervently hoping God will accept the latter route in my case, since that’s the way I went! I chose a less prestigious graduate school because of my decision to marry, and, obviously, have opted almost entirely out of any professional life, because, given my circumstances, limited abilities and constrained opportunities, I judged that my contribution to my family would be more valuable than any professional contribution I would be able to make. And I take it that most people, men and women, are more like me than like the person who has the resources—both material and personal—and opportunities to make really significant professional (this is a bad word—read “vocational” or “community” or “public”) contributions. Thus, like Adam, “I have no beef with [nearly everyone] who puts aside professional attainments for family life.” For those few who are unlike me (which I would never undertake to judge as an individual case, of course), then yes, I think God is disappointed that they have buried their gifts.

    As for the question of upper vs. lower professional echelons: I think it’s entirely possible to make significant and worthwhile extra-family contributions at either level, and again, I think it has to be a matter of prayerfully weighing costs and benefits. (Putting aside, of course, those who seek prestige, power and wealth simply for their own sakes; this clearly is choosing the lesser part.) I think Saints in upper echelons are in unique situations to build the Kingdom, and I think God is pleased with their efforts to do so. Most of us, of course, will never be in those situations, and so our efforts are very probably better spent building the kingdom on smaller scales.

  23. Rosalynde on October 7, 2005 at 2:45 pm

    Oh, and Benjamin, I can honestly say no, I have never seen that.

  24. Liz O. on October 7, 2005 at 3:33 pm

    Benjamin said: “Do you ever see members of the Church use the “no success outside the home” idea to justify their lack of professional ambition? This is a phenomenon that I have seen but will never understand”

    I think that I’ve seen it more with women than with men.

  25. Kevin Barney on October 7, 2005 at 3:53 pm

    Is anyone else disappointed with the new emphasis on Mormon funerals being focused exlusively on general doctrinal principles like the atonement and the resurrection, and not focused on the life of the deceased? I prefer the old-fashioned Mormon funerals, where people got up and talked in very personal (and often funny) terms about the actual person lying in the coffin.

  26. Nate Oman on October 7, 2005 at 4:02 pm

    I don’t have the heart to engage this thread, but I want to make it absolutely clear that I in no way whatsoever meant to suggest in my post that Shawn in either his beliefs or his actions was more commited to his profession than to his family. Such was emphatically not the case. I deeply resent any attempt to turn his life into an object lesson about the supposed moral or religious or familial compromises made by someone who attends an elite law school and excels in his career. No doubt some such people live stunted lives, but Shawn was not one of them.

  27. Cyril on October 7, 2005 at 4:05 pm

    Ryan Bell said:

    “Rather, I am tired of subscribing to ‘excellence’ as a value in the workaday context. I think that straining to accomplish all that one can is a good thing. But when the terms of excellence are mediated by external, worldly forces, excellence becomes too distorted to be worthwhile. It requires membership in institutions that justify enormous debt, ask for great family sacrifice, and offer psychic rewards that are often ego-driven– none of which are completely in line with the gospel. ”

    Great points, and great post, Nate. I would add that the standard for non-gospel excellence is also so fluid and fickle that it is really no standard at all, but rather a lottery/cronyism/political/lustful landmine that even full devotion cannot always conquer.

    I like the straight and simple way and the straight and simple people too. But, most of my days are spent in the company of greedy men and women clawing their way to the top. How to reconcile?

  28. Rosalynde on October 7, 2005 at 4:12 pm

    Nate, I think your heartfelt tribute made it clear that he lived every aspect of his life admirably.

    I fully understand your reluctance to participate in this thread, and I apologize if I have inadvertently been one of those to add edge to your grief. But I don’t think any of us have been using your friend’s life as fodder for argument; those of us who have been debating have been doing so in generalities, and in response to the lesson you drew from his life.

    Honor to his memory, and blessings to his family and friends.

  29. ed on October 7, 2005 at 4:13 pm

    Kevin, I think the idea of “funerals being focused exlusively on general doctrinal principles” is pretty much just Elder Packer’s view. I don’t think he’s been very successful convincing anyone else, judging from the descriptions I’ve read of recent funerals of such people as Marjorie Hinckley or David B. Haight.

  30. GeorgeD on October 7, 2005 at 4:14 pm

    I don’t remember any of those old Mormon funerals where they joked around about the dearly departed.

    I haven’t been that much of a missionary but unless it takes me 40 years to die I expect a few nonmembers at my funeral. I hope that it will be a missionary opportunity to teach the plan of salvation. If anyone says anything about me I hope its along the lines of God loves plodders too.

  31. Cyril on October 7, 2005 at 4:15 pm

    For what it’s worth, Nate, I did not take your post that way. I found it to be a moving tribute and reflection.

  32. Kevin Barney on October 7, 2005 at 4:44 pm

    I’m glad to hear it, Ed; thanks.

  33. Russell Arben Fox on October 7, 2005 at 5:03 pm

    Nate, let me add my voice to Rosalynde’s and Cyril’s; I didn’t mean to suggest in my comment, and I hope I didn’t unintentionally suggest, that the deceased did, in fact, sacrifice “life, love, and family” to his career. (If I did allege that, my apologies.) The discussion which followed from Ryan’s and Rosalynde’s comments is entirely about how easy it is to wrongly remove such things from any assessment of one’s life, and whether certain routes taken in life make that removal either more or less likely. That’s all.

  34. GeorgeD on October 7, 2005 at 5:52 pm

    Russell and Nate, It is disturbing to think that your comments would be misconstrued. I think its a symptom of our age that people are constantly overreading and overinterpreting so they can find a way to express their “concern” in some pithy (read that “stuffed-shirt”) way. Its a symptom of the legalism that infects our society.

    You shouldn’t apologize. You are men of goodwill who have demonstrated it over and again. Others who found a nuance or a supposed inference that they deemed offensive should be ashamed of themselves.

    “The letter killeth but the spirit giveth life.”

    I think it behooves all of us to understand what people mean and ignore some of what we think they said.

  35. Ryan Bell on October 7, 2005 at 6:02 pm

    Nate, as I said in my original comment, I never met this man, but know many who did. I made my comments as one removed from the instant case, but one also more than willing to grant your and others’ statements of his sterling character. But my comments aren’t intended to make any statement on his character at all, and I’m sorry if they came off as exploitive or insensitive. My point was really meant to buttress your own: You concluded in watching how some treat this man’s passing that his vocational achievements, while laudable, pale in comparison to the kind of person he was. I only suggested that we take your conclusion a step farther, to ask whether our own courses reflect a commitment to the balance of priorities you are endorsing.

    Again, I’m sorry if the proximity of my thoughts to your grieving post suggested any condemnation of your friend. His family has my deepest sympathy.

  36. julie (not from austin) on October 7, 2005 at 10:27 pm

    I have been lucky enough to only have attend one funeral, and it was for my childhood piano teacher. It was amazing. I loved the stories of her life, and the gospel messages that were portrayed. I left with such a feeling of hope and a renewed testimony of life after death. The family members and others who spoke told stories of her life that demonstrated the gospel principles. It was beautiful.

  37. Stephen M (ethesis) on October 8, 2005 at 1:06 am

    Do you ever see members of the Church use the “no success outside the home” idea to justify their lack of professional ambition? This is a phenomenon that I have seen but will never understand.

    Well, I was asked to consider interviewing for my boss’s job (before he got it). I did not apply because the job involved significant amounts of travel and time away from home. The same reason I stepped away from a chance to switch to a consultant position and took this job instead.

  38. Stephen M (ethesis) on October 8, 2005 at 1:08 am

    But I find that today I am more inclined to weep for two, newly fatherless little girls and note the commonplace that life, love, and family can make even the law seem a tinseled play thing.

    Nicely said.

  39. GreenEggz on October 10, 2005 at 4:01 pm

    Benjamin (#21), you’ll understand it when you’re older. Hopefully before the time your kids are teenagers.

  40. queuno on October 10, 2005 at 11:48 pm

    Re #37 and others – I agree that many Church members tend to use the “success in the home” gambit as a motivator to opt out of the 100-hour-week management/partner track, and mostly to great personal satisfaction.

    But what I have recently, are members eschewing honorable, well-remunerated employment outside the 8-5 hours because of the commitment to be home ALL the time.

    [I used to serve as a stake employment specialist.]

    Sure, it’s one thing to not want to work 100 hours a week or travel 20 days a month. It’s another thing to refuse to work late on occasion. It’s the latter I see a lot of. It’s like they’re using the “success in home” mantra as a pre-established excuse or laziness or lack of ambition.

  41. GreenEggz on October 11, 2005 at 1:09 am

    Avoiding the “lazy” or “lack of ambition” label does not require working late hours.

    That is a myth of the young and exploitative employers.

    “Lack of planning on your part does not justify an emergency on my part” is a valid philosophy. A 40 hour work-week is a valid philosophy.

    Companies who expect regular overtime on the part of employees, especially salaried ones, are often guilty of exploitation.

    Frankly, if one expects to fulfill callings in the church, do home teaching, raise a family, have date-night with the spouse, attend their kids’ sports events, maintain a house/yard/garden, do splits with the missionaries, help people move, put in time at the cannery/bishop’s-storehouse, have family home evening, attend general and stake conferences, read the Ensign every month, read the Priesthood/RS lesson every week, read the Sunday School lesson every week, read the scriptures every day, fellowship new converts, visit the sick and afflicted, exercise regularly, take classes to improve our education, and have a even a small hobby……..

    I don’t see how ANY overtime can be put in at work. I honestly don’t see how people do it. People who regulary put in over 40 hours/week at work usually let some or most of the above slide.