Florence Smith Jacobsen

Sixth Young Women General President



“No woman—and no man either—can fulfill herself by focusing first on her own needs. Serving others fulfills you by making a bond between you and them that you can’t duplicate any other way.”

(Lavina Fielding, “Florence Smith Jacobsen: In Love with Excellence,” Ensign, June 1977, 29)


“I had a Junior Gleaner in my MIA class who simply wasn’t attending. . . . She lived with an aunt who told me she might feel self-conscious about her clothes, so my marvelous husband decided that our Christmas presents for each other that year would be a wardrobe for this girl. . . . We left them wrapped on her doorstep on Christmas Eve, and I kept phoning her as I had every week to say, ‘We missed you at MIA. Your seat was empty.’”

“She did come back to Church occasionally, but she married young and moved away. I never knew what happened to her until one June conference when a MIA Maid teacher in California wrote and asked if she could bring her class to meet me after June Conference. It was my girl! And every single member of her class was there. She said, ‘I got them the way you got me—by missing them and letting them know it.’

“But what really touched me was that I’d always felt close to her, even through all those years when I didn’t know where she was. The kind of doing, sharing, and concern that I’d felt for her had made a bond that had lasted that long. . . .

“And you see, it was the Church that gave me the opportunity to learn that lesson. The Church has taught me many lessons in excellence. When I think of how the Church has brought me the friends that are most precious, the experiences that are most dear, I can only feel how empty my life would have been without it and how full and wonderful my life has been because of it.”

(Lavina Fielding, “Florence Smith Jacobsen: In Love with Excellence,” Ensign, June 1977, 29)


  • 1960s—Large Churchwide festivals are held annually.
  • 1962—Worldwide youth conferences are held.
  • 1969—YWMIA celebrates its centennial.
  • 1971—New Era magazine is published for youth.
  • 1971—Personal Achievement program emphasizing journaling and goal setting begins.