BYU Studies Quarterly

BYU Studies Quarterly

Article Title

Those They Left Behind


Chad M. Orton


missionary wives, BYU Studies


In September 1900, thirty-three-year-old Mary Bennion bid goodbye to her husband, William, as he left to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Southwestern States Mission. Mary, pregnant with the couple’s seventh child, stoically noted his departure in her journal: “Wm left about 11 Oclock. We all feel very sad about his leaving us for such a long time, it looks a long time to be away from his family, but hope he will fulfill an honorable mission, return home a better man than when he left.”1