Elaine Anderson Cannon

Eighth Young Women General President



“Thoughts of the morrow must include adhering to our covenants to carry out the Lord’s work valiantly as lively members of his team. No amount of knowledge or skill can compensate for the absence of the powers of heaven in our lives. . . . A thinking woman will be interested in remembering that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled nor enjoyed unless righteousness and compassion prevail in her life. . . . A thinking woman is one ready to be known as a disciple of Christ[,] . . . considers her life sacred[,] . . . [and] wants to function, in every instance, according to God’s will and way.”

(Elaine Cannon, “As a Woman Thinketh,” in Elaine Cannon, ed., As a Woman Thinketh [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1990], 3–4)


“Our family home was on the foothill of a solitary, beehive-shaped mountain that was a moving force all of my young life. I could see it from my bedroom window and felt a certain security in its closeness. . . . One day—driven by desire to go to the mount, like Moses, to commune with God, to consider who I was and what I was going to do about it—I set out alone to climb that peak. I was 16, and this day my aloneness on that mountain was exhilarating. . . .

“With fascination I sat looking down at the houses I knew so well and at their people beginning to stir with the sun. . . . Everywhere I looked was someone who had touched my life. At 16 I was the sum of them—parents, school chums, storekeeper, Church leader. My heart flooded with a new awareness. Suddenly I realized I had some debts to pay. In 1847 Brigham Young had led a band of pioneers to the top of the mountain and raised an ensign to the Lord. . . . Well, I raised my own standard that day. I vowed that I would try to be useful. I knew I needed the help of God, and when I turned to him, my soul filled with an awareness that he lives, that he cares even about a little person sitting on a mountain thinking she can make a difference in the world. When I came down off the mountain the world seemed beautiful, and I was glad to be alive.”

(Elaine Cannon, “A Wonderful Adventure,” New Era, Apr. 1983, 9)


  • 1978—First general women’s meeting is held in the Tabernacle.
  • 1980—Sesquicentennial of the Church. Young women are encouraged to make banners representing commitment to heritage.
  • 1980—Sunday instruction for young women begins due to consolidated meeting schedule. Young Women was previously held on a weekday.
  • 1980—Practice of repeating the annual Mutual theme is reinstated.