LaVern W. Parmley

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LaVern W. Parmley
Photo of LaVern W. Parmley
5th General President of the Primary
1951 – 1974
Predecessor Adele C. Howells
Successor Naomi M. Shumway
First Counselor in the general presidency of the Primary
1943 – 1951
Called by Adele C. Howells
Predecessor Adele C. Howells
Successor Arta M. Hale
Second Counselor in the general presidency of the Primary
1942 – 1943
Called by May Green Hinckley
Predecessor Janet M. Thompson
Successor Dessie G. Boyle
Personal details
Born LaVern Watts
(1900-01-01)January 1, 1900
Murray, Utah, United States
Died January 27, 1980(1980-01-27) (aged 80)
Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
Resting place Salt Lake City Cemetery
40°46′37″N 111°51′29″W / 40.777°N 111.858°W / 40.777; -111.858 (Salt Lake City Cemetery)
Occupation Physics professor
Employer University of Utah
Notable works Editor of The Children's Friend and The Friend
Spouse Thomas J. Parmley
Children 3
Awards Silver Buffalo

LaVern Watts Parmley (January 1, 1900 – January 27, 1980) was the fifth general president of the Primary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). Parmley was the first woman to be awarded the Silver Buffalo Award from the Boy Scouts of America.

LaVern Watts was born in Murray, Utah. She married Thomas J. Parmley, a physics professor at the University of Utah.

In 1942, Parmley was asked to become the second counselor to May Green Hinckley in the general presidency of the Primary. She served in this capacity until Hinckley's death the following year. When first counselor Adele C. Howells succeeded Hinckley, Parmley was asked to be her first counselor, and she remained in this position until 1951, when Howells was released and Parmley was selected to succeed her as the fifth general president of the Primary. Parmley served as Primary president until she was succeeded by Naomi M. Shumway in 1974; in total, she served 23 years as president and 32 years as a member of the presidency.

During Parmley's tenure, Scouting was integrated into the Primary program for boys ages eight through eleven. The Primary curriculum was also revised and became more centered on teaching doctrines of the LDS Church. "I Am a Child of God", written by Naomi W. Randall, was introduced to Primary in 1957 and CTR rings were introduced in 1970.

From 1951 until 1970, Parmley was the final editor of The Children's Friend. Parmley oversaw its phase-out and the launch of the church's new magazine for children, The Friend.

Parmley was the first woman to sit on a national Scout committee in the United States and in 1976 became the first female recipient of the Boy Scouts of America's Silver Buffalo Award.

Parmley died in Salt Lake City, Utah and was buried in the Salt Lake City Cemetery One of her sons, William W. Parmley, became a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy and a general authority of the LDS Church in 2003.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • Carol Cornwall Madsen and Susan Staker Oman (1978). Sisters and Little Saints: One Hundred Years of Primary (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book) 135–178
  • Janet Peterson and LaRene Gaunt (1996). The Children's Friends: Presidents of the Primary and Their Lives of Service (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book) 79–101
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints titles
Preceded by
Adele C. Howells
President of the Primary
1951 – 1974
Succeeded by
Naomi M. Shumway
First Counselor in the
general presidency of the Primary

1943 – 1951
Succeeded by
Arta M. Hale
Preceded by
Janet M. Thompson
Second Counselor in the
general presidency of the Primary

1942 – 1943
Succeeded by
Dessie G. Boyle