Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » A Math Problem

A Math Problem

By: Ardis E. Parshall - July 19, 2010

[The son of George E. Magnusson, second counselor in the Redondo, California, Stake presidency], Scott, age nine, had a problem in mathematics and came to his father, who is a school teacher, for some assistance. His father wanted him to try to figure it out for himself so he gave the boy this problem. – If a missionary spent $35 per week on his mission, how much would he spend per day?

The boy went over to a table and started to figure it out and in a few minutes came and told his father, “The missionary would spend $5.83 per day.”

His father told him that was not the right answer because 35 divided by seven came out to five.

The boy looked at his father and gave this choice answer: “But, Daddy, missionaries don’t buy things on Sunday.”

– “From the Church Editor’s Desk,” Church News, 26 May 1962, 6



  1. 😀

    Comment by Alison — July 19, 2010 @ 3:30 pm

  2. That’s cute. Very literal interpretation of spending x amount per day.

    That’s one of the tricks in teaching children personal finance. (Adults, too, undoubtedly.) Children don’t usually see the “overhead” costs of life … rent or the mortgage, taxes, the grocery bill, utility costs, etc., etc., that don’t get paid out every day.

    By the way, since this is a “cute thing my kid said” post, can I share one as well? My youngest recently saw a citrus juicer and called it the “lemonaider.”

    Comment by Researcher — July 19, 2010 @ 3:49 pm

  3. “And a little child shall lead them”.

    Comment by Allison in Atlanta — July 19, 2010 @ 10:08 pm

  4. Ha! Cute. (And the “lemonaider” was funny, too.)

    Comment by David Y. — July 19, 2010 @ 10:10 pm

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