Sister Betty Jo Nelson Jepsen, who served in the Primary general presidency from 1988 to 1994, died July 4, 2020, in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Soon after her call as a general Church leader, she shared her testimony that “every child is born with the right to know about our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. Every child should know he is a child of God. That is my basic philosophy.”
Having grown up in an idyllic little town nestled in the mountains between Preston and Montpelier, Idaho, she developed a simple faith in the gospel and a great love for reading and literature, which eventually carried her to study English at Utah State University in Logan, Utah.
She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and business education and a Master of Education degree in special education. She taught on elementary, high school and university levels and worked as adjunct faculty at Utah State University, instructing future special education teachers.
In Mink Creek, Idaho, the rural community where she grew up, her religious convictions were rarely challenged, but between her sophomore and junior years at Utah State University, she went to Palmyra, New York, to participate in the annual Hill Cumorah Pageant. As she greeted and talked with visitors, she was able to verbalize for the first time her feelings about the gospel.
“I had never doubted my testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel, but that experience solidified in my mind that it was right,” she said.
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