“It’s a little bit like vegetable soup,” says Sister Coleen Kent Menlove, describing how life experiences have prepared her for her new calling as Primary general president. “Each part and piece brings flavor and dimension to the work. A variety of people and experiences have brought so much depth to my life.”
Born 1 July 1943 and reared in Salt Lake City, Coleen married Dean W. Menlove in 1964 in the Salt Lake Temple. “My husband has been a great influence as we’ve stood by each other’s side,” she says. The couple have seven children and six grandchildren.
After earning a B.S. degree in elementary education from the University of Utah, Sister Menlove worked for a time in the Salt Lake School District before becoming a full-time homemaker. During her years rearing children, she completed a master’s degree in elementary curriculum at Brigham Young University. For the past 14 years, she has taught part time in an elementary school.
Speaking about her hobby of gardening, Sister Menlove says: “I love to put my hands in the soil. It’s very relaxing, and I love working with the colors of flowers.” She enjoys spending time with grandchildren, and she says that doing creative things with her students has been a “real joy.” She also fondly recalls family vacations in the mountains and at lakes and reservoirs.
Sister Menlove has served on the Young Women General Board, on Church writing committees, and in stake and ward Relief Society, Young Women, and Primary callings. “I’ve learned the importance of inspiration and of working in councils,” she says. “It takes all of us cooperating to strengthen our youth and children.”
Sister Menlove says she has always known the Church is true. But recently, she says, “I feel like I’ve been tutored by the Spirit in new ways with greater understanding. I’ve learned that when work needs to be done, we receive spiritual help to do the Lord’s will. Heavenly Father loves each one of us, and we have a divine spark inside each of us. The Holy Ghost will direct and guide our lives.”