Famous LDS Women (Divine Nature of Women Series 6 of 7)

Dear Reader,

This is going to be a quick one because in our Blessings of Being a Woman in the Latter-Days' email, we already touched on this topic with our lists of Influencers, Podcasters, and Authors. Still we thought it’d be fun to list just a few more famous LDS women.

First, it’s important to know that the church doesn’t have a lot to say about “fame” per se, but they do have a lot to say about talents. 


Here’s a quote from Church website, Lesson 27: Developing Our Talents:

“We are each blessed with talents and abilities and with opportunities to develop them. Our Heavenly Father expects us to use our talents for the benefit of others as well as for ourselves. Much joy can come to us and those about us when we use our talents for righteous purposes.”


When you have a minute sometime, go to your preferred search engine, and type in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on talents or The LDS Church on talents. I bet you’ll be as surprised as I was by ALL the lessons, talks, scriptures, and more that come up. 

The church takes this topic—developing your talents—very seriously, and I found no less than a dozen church website lessons on the topic—and that without even trying! And that doesn’t count all the other articles that came up. 

I know the idea of “developing your talents” is one I’ve associated with the Church for as long as I can remember. 

And it’s not always easy. Sometimes talents have to be developed. I recall hearing two stories about Heber J Grant when he was young. 

As a youth, his penmanship was terrible. Classmates said it looked like chicken scratch. So, he decided to fix these things. With lots of hard work, he learned beautiful penmanship. When he was still a teen, he was offered a job making three times what he was making at his current job to go to San Francisco as a penman. He also later in life became a teacher of penmanship and bookkeeping at the University of Deseret. Read more here.

Also when Grant was just ten years old, he had a music teacher tell him he couldn’t carry a tune. Later in life, he heard Horace S. Ensign sing, and Grant told him he would give him three months of his spare time if Ensign would be willing to teach him one or two hymns. Ensign asked him if he’d be willing to work hard and practice, and he promised he would. Within two weeks, he could sing Oh, My Father, and after two months, he learned four more hymns. He became a beautiful singer because of his efforts, and when, later in life, the McCunes, owners of the famous mansion of the same name downtown Salt Lake City, offered him their mansion to live in, he chose to stay in his cottage and turned the mansion into a music school. Read the whole story here

I love these stories, because they dispel the notion that talents are just things we’re born with. And that’s just not true! If we’re learning to work hard, we might be surprised by all we can do. That said, I also believe being reasonable is important too. I like the idea of being able to cultivate talents I don’t yet have, but I also know I will never be an Olympian. Haha! Doesn’t mean I can’t learn to lift weights, or run track and do well. That’s why it’s so important to keep an open conversation with Heavenly Father as we proceed with our honest desires to learn and be better.  


Gordon B. Hinckley said the following: 

“Work is the miracle by which talents rise to the surface and dreams become a reality.”


So, here’s a small sampling of women, in a small sampling of areas, where women cultivated their talents, worked hard, and came to world-wide success—even fame!


Music Artists

  • Gladys Knight - Rock and Roll Hall of Famer

  • Jenny Oaks Baker - Violinist

  • Marie Osmond - Singer

  • Kerilyn Johnson - Singer

  • Lyndsay Sterling - Violinist



  • Torah Bright - Gold & Silver Olympic Medalist Snowboarder

  • MyKayla Skinner - Silver Medal Gymnast

  • Rowena Bright - Olympic Skier

  • Melanie Roach - Olympic Weightlifter

  • Lindsay Arnold - Professional dancer on Dancing with the Stars

  • Valerie Adams - Olympic 2 time Gold Medalist, 1 time Silver Medalist, 1 time Bronze Medalist Shot Putter

  • Maria Gabriella Martinez - Olympic Fencer



  • Sheri Dew - CEO of Dessert Book

  • Stephanie Meyer - NY Times and International Bestselling Author

  • Ally Condie - NY TImes Bestselling Author

  • Al Carraway - Public Speaker/Persona author

  • Kathleen Flake - Author, Historian, Attorney

  • Laurel Thatcher Ulrich - Harvard Professor, and Pulitzer Prize Winner


  • Minerva Teichert - Oils on canvas
  • Paide Crosland Anderson - Abstract Painter
  • Rose Datoc Dall - Fine Art



While there are many more famous LDS women in these and other areas, I stopped here because, well, there has to be a stopping place somewhere. Right? But this is another thing you can do an internet search for. It’s pretty impressive. 

In Matthew 5:14-16 it reads, “Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

While I think it can be hard to follow people, even our friends sometimes—let alone celebrities!---online without facing the comparison game, I still find this list highly inspiring. 


President Heber J. Grant said the following:


“That which we try to do, and persist in doing, becomes easy to do, not because its nature is changed, but because our power to do is developed” (Josiah Gilbert Holland [Timothy Titcomb, pseud.], Gold-Foil: Hammered from Popular Proverbs [New York: Charles Scribner, 1859], 291).


And considering all the things he just decided he was going to learn to do, and then actually learned to do, I feel safe saying that he knows what he’s talking about. 

Now we’d love to hear from you? What’s a talent you’ve cultivated that you’re proud of? Hit that reply button and let us know. And be sure to check in next week for our final Divine Nature of Women emails, Women of the Scriptures & What We Can Learn from Them.

If you’re going to our Women’s Conference this Saturday, Fortified in Christ, where some of those above celebrities—and many more!—will be speaking, then we’ll see you there. 



The Cedar Fort Family


P.S. What to learn more about amazing women in the church? We’ve got you covered in our Celebrating Women Collection here, from Bedtime Stories for Girls of Destiny to Women of the Restoration to A Future Only God Can See for You.