BYU women alumni influence 21st century church auxiliaries

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Sister Michelle D. Craig, Sister Bonnie H. Craig and Sister Becky Craven were called to the Young Women general presidency in March 2018. Each sister also graduated from BYU (Church Newsroom).

The transcripts for each Women’s Conference can be found at the BYU Women’s Conference website.

  • Sister Wendy Watson Nelson

    • Born: Raymond, Alberta, Canada 
    • BYU connection: Sister Nelson received her master’s degree in marriage and family therapy from BYU in 1975. She worked as a professor in the School of Family Life from 1993 to May 2006. She served as chair of BYU Women’s Conference for 1999 and 2000.
    • Church leadership: Sister Nelson married President Russell M. Nelson April 6, 2006, in the Salt Lake Temple. She has served as a stake Relief Society president and stake Primary president.
    • Women’s conference: Sister Nelson spoke in 1997, 2000, 2007 and 2015.
  • Sister Sheri L. Dew 

    • Born: Ulysses, Kansas 
    • BYU connection: Sister Dew studied at BYU, receiving a bachelor’s degree in history with an emphasis in American religious history. She currently serves on the National Advisory Council of BYU’s Marriott School of Management. 
    • Church leadership: Sister Dew served as second counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency from 1997 to 2002 as the first unmarried woman to serve as a general Church officer. She works as the CEO of Deseret Book Company and Executive Vice President of Deseret Management Corporation. She also wrote the biographies of President Ezra Taft Benson, President Gordon B. Hinckley and President Russell M. Nelson.
    • Women’s conference: Sister Dew spoke in 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2008, 2014, and will be moderating the first 2019 Women’s Conference “sister to sister” event.
  • Sister Sharon Eubank

    • Born: Redding, California
    • BYU connection: Sister Eubank received her bachelor’s degree in English from BYU.
    • Church leadership: Sister Eubank was called as the first counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency in April 2017 after serving on the Relief Society general board from 2009 to 2012. She’s worked for the Church Welfare Department since 1998 and was appointed as the director of LDS Charities in 2011, a role she continues along with her Church calling.
    • Women’s conference: Sister Eubank spoke in 2011 and 2012, was the keynote speaker in 2017 and gave a joint talk with Sister Aburto in 2018.
  • Sister Elaine S. Dalton

    • Born: Ogden, Utah 
    • BYU connection: Sister Dalton received her bachelor’s degree in English from BYU. 
    • Church leadership: Sister Dalton served as the Young Women General President from 2008-2013. Before her call as president, she served as second counselor and later as first counselor in the Young Women General Presidency to Sister Susan W. Tanner.
    • Women’s conference: Sister Dalton spoke in 2004, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.
  • Sister Jean B. Bingham

    • Born: Provo, Utah
    • BYU connection: Sister Bingham received an associates degree from BYU in addition to receiving a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from National Louis University. She met her husband, Bruce, while they were students. 
    • Church leadership: Sister Bingham has been serving as the 17th General President of the Relief Society since April 2017. Before her call to the Relief Society, she served as first counselor in the Primary General Presidency and on the Primary general board. Sister Bingham also served as an early-morning seminary teacher and ordinance worker in the Chicago Illinois Temple.
    • Women’s conference: Sister Bingham spoke in 2017 at the Relief Society Presidency Session and will be speaking at the first 2019 Women’s Conference “sister to sister” event.
  • Sister Lisa L. Harkness

    • Born: Los Angeles, California
    • BYU connection: Sister Harkness double majored at BYU, receiving her bachelor’s degree in political science and secondary teaching and a minor in Spanish. She worked as a docent at the Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum as a BYU student.
    • Church leadership: Sister Harkness is currently serving as the first counselor in the Primary General Presidency. She was called in March 2018 after serving in the Primary general board since September 2017.
  • Sister Joy D. Jones

    • Born: The Dalles, Oregon
    • BYU connection: Sister Jones received an associate of science degree in family living from BYU. She met her husband while they were both BYU students. 
    • Church leadership: Sister Jones is the 13th general Primary president. She also served on the Primary general board for six years and assisted in the Draper Utah Temple open house in 2009.
  • Sister Michelle D. Craig

    • Born: Provo, Utah
    • BYU connection: Sister Craig received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from BYU.
    • Church leadership: Sister Craig currently serves as the first counselor in the Young Women General Presidency. She’s previously served as a member of the Primary general board, a gospel doctrine teacher and an ordinance worker in the Provo Utah Temple.
  • Sister Becky Craven

    • Born: Chardon, Ohio
    • BYU connection: Sister Craven received her bachelor’s degree in interior design from BYU. When she was a student, she met her husband at BYU.
    • Church leadership: Sister Craven has served as the second counselor in the Young Women General Presidency since March 2018. She previously served as an ordinance worker in the Bountiful Utah Temple. Sister Craven and her husband also served in the North Carolina Charlotte Mission, where her husband was president.
  • Sister Bonnie H. Cordon

    • Born: Idaho Falls, Idaho
    • BYU connection: Sister Cordon received her bachelor’s degree in education from BYU. She met her husband when they were both BYU students.
    • Church leadership: Sister Cordon has served as the Young Women General President since March 2018. She also served as a full-time missionary in Lisbon, Portugal, and later served another mission with her husband, who presided over the Brazil Curitiba Mission.
    • Women’s conference: Sister Cordon will be speaking at the first 2019 Women’s Conference “sister to sister” event.
  • Sister Cheryl A. Esplin

    • Born: Lovell, Wyoming
    • BYU connection: Sister Esplin graduated from BYU with her bachelor’s degree in elementary education.
    • Church leadership: Sister Esplin is the first counselor in the Primary General Presidency. She previously served in the Primary general board and with her husband, who presided over the North Carolina Raleigh Mission.
    • Women’s conference: Sister Esplin spoke in 2011, 2012 and 2014.
  • Sister Linda S. Reeves

    • Born: Los Angeles, California
    • BYU connection: Sister Reeves received her bachelor’s degree in special education from BYU. She met her husband while they were both BYU students.
    • Church leadership: Sister Reeves served as the first counselor in the General Relief Society Presidency from April 2012 to April 2017. She also served in the California Riverside Mission from 2008 to 2011 with her husband, who was the mission president.
    • Women’s conference: Sister Reeves spoke in 2012, 2013 and 2014.
  • Sister Mary N. Cook

    • Born: Midvale, Utah
    • BYU connection: Sister Cook received her bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and Education Specialist degree from BYU. Her bachelor’s and master’s degrees were both in speech pathology and audiology.  
    • Church leadership: Sister Cook served as second counselor in the Young Women General Presidency from 2007-2008 and first counselor in the presidency from 2008 to 2013. She also served on the Young Women general board and served a mission with her husband, who presided over the Mongolian mission.
    • Women’s conference: Sister Cook spoke in 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012.
  • Sister Ann M. Dibb

    • Born: Salt Lake City, Utah
    • BYU connection: Sister Dibb graduated from BYU with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. 
    • Church leadership: Sister Dibb served as the second counselor in the Young Women General Presidency from 2008 to 2013 and as a member of the Young Women general board.
    • Women’s conference: Sister Dibb spoke in 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012.
  • Sister Sydney S. Reynolds

    • Born: Burbank, California
    • BYU connection: Sister Reynolds graduated from BYU with a bachelor’s degree in history, a minor in political science and a teaching certificate in secondary education.
    • Church leadership: Sister Reynolds served as first counselor in the Primary General Presidency from 1999 to 2005, before which she served on the Primary General Board.
    • Women’s conference: Sister Reynolds spoke in 2002.
  • Sister Cheryl C. Lant

    • Born: Provo, Utah
    • BYU connection: Sister Lant studied early childhood development at BYU.
    • Church leadership: Sister Lant served as the Primary General President from 2005 to 2010. She also served on the Primary general board.
    • Women’s conference: Sister Lant spoke in 2006 and 2007.
  • Sister Margaret S. Lifferth

    • Born: Washington, D.C.
    • BYU connection: Sister Lifferth graduated from BYU with a degree in English.
    • Church leadership: Sister Lifferth served as the first counselor in the Primary General Presidency from April 2005 to April 2010. She previously served as a member of the Primary general board.
  • Sister Margaret D. Nadauld

    • Born: Manti, Utah
    • BYU connection: Sister Nadauld graduated from BYU with a degree in speech and English.
    • Church leadership: Sister Nadauld served as the Young Women General President from 1997 to 2002. She also served on the Relief Society general board and in five Young Women ward presidencies.
    • Women’s conference: Sister Nadauld in 2001 and 2002.
  • Sister Susan Winder Tanner

    • Born: Granger, Utah
    • BYU connection: Sister Tanner graduated from BYU with a degree in humanities. She met her husband while she was a BYU student.
    • Church leadership: Sister Tanner served as the Young Women’s General President from 2002-2008.
    • Women’s conference: Sister Tanner spoke in 2003, 2005, 2006 and 2011.
  • Sister Julie B. Beck

    • Born: Granger, Utah
    • BYU connection: Sister Beck graduated from Dixie College and BYU.
    • Church leadership: Sister Beck served as the General Relief Society President from 2007-2012. Before her calling as president, she served on the Young Women general board and as first counselor in the Young Women General Presidency.
    • Women’s conference: Sister Beck will be speaking as a keynote speaker at the 2019 Women’s Conference.
    • Women’s conference: Sister Beck in 2005, 2009, 2010 and 2011.
  • Sister Silvia H. Allred

    • Born: San Salvador, El Salvador
    • BYU Connection: Sister Allred attended BYU, the University of Arizona and the General Francisco Marzan Institute in El Salvador. She has worked as an elementary school teacher and an MTC Spanish language instructor.
    • Church Leadership: Sister Allred served as first counselor of the General Relief Society Presidency from 2007-2012.
    • Women’s conference: Sister Allred spoke in 2007, 2008 and 2011.
  • Sister Barbara Thompson

    • Born: San Luis Obispo, California
    • BYU Connection: Sister Thompson studied social work at BYU before getting a master’s degree in social work from the University of Utah.
    • Church Leadership: Sister Thompson served as second counselor in the General Relief Society Presidency from 2007–2012. Before serving in the General Relief Society Presidency, Sister Thompson was executive director of an international assessment center for abused and neglected children.
    • Women’s conference: Sister Thompson spoke in 2007, 2008 and 2011.
  • Sister Mary Ellen W. Smoot

    • Born: Ogden, Utah
    • BYU Connection: While Sister Smoot received her bachelor’s degree at Utah State University, she attended law school at BYU and received a master’s degree in management science from Stanford University.
    • Church Leadership: Sister Smoot was the 13th General Relief Society President of the Church, serving from 1997-2002.
    • Women’s conference: Sister Smoot spoke in 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2011.
  • Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson

    • Born: Salt Lake City, Utah
    • BYU Connection: Sister Oscarson studied commercial art at BYU and later returned to get her bachelor’s degree in British and American literature.
    • Church Leadership: Sister Oscarson served as the Young Women’s general president from 2013-2018. Sister Oscarson had previously served as matron of the Stockholm Sweden Temple.
    • Women’s conference: Sister Oscarson spoke in 2013, 2014 and 2015.
  • Sister Sharon G. Larsen

    • Born: Cardston, Alberta, Canada
    • BYU Connection: Sister Larsen attended the University of Alberta in Edmonton before transferring to BYU, where she earned her degree in elementary education.
    • Church Leadership: Sister Larsen served as the second counselor in the Young Women’s General Presidency from 1997-2002.
    • Women’s conference: Sister Larsen spoke in 2000.
  • Sister Mary R. Durham

    • Born: Portsmouth, Virginia
    • BYU Connection: Sister Durham attended BYU on a dance scholarship.
    • Church Leadership: Sister Durham served as the second counselor in the Primary General Presidency from 2015-2018. Before joining the general presidency, Sister Durham had served on the Primary General board since 2000.
  • Sister Coleen K. Menlove

    • Born: Salt Lake City, Utah
    • BYU Connection: Sister Menlove received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education at the University of Utah and then received her master’s degree in education at BYU.
    • Church Leadership: Sister Menlove was the 10th General Primary President and served from 1999-2005.
    • Women’s conference: Sister Menlove spoke in 2001 and 2002.
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