“So many of the things that are good in my life happened because of Relief Society,” says Bonnie D. Parkin. “I believe in the goodness of women to look out for each other in ways that cheer each other on.”
Born on 4 August 1940 to Jesse H. and Ruth Butikofer Dansie, Sister Parkin is the third in a family of five children. She was reared in Herriman, Utah, in the southwest part of the Salt Lake Valley, which had been settled by her father’s grandfather at the direction of President Brigham Young. Her mother’s parents were Swiss converts who settled near Idaho Falls, Idaho.
In 1962 Sister Parkin graduated with a B.A. degree from Utah State University and, soon after, began teaching third grade in Bountiful, Utah. In February 1963 she met James L. Parkin, who was in his first year of medical school at the University of Utah. They married on 1 July 1963 in the Salt Lake Temple.
Now the parents of 4 and grandparents of 14, the Parkins still enjoy family vacations together. Sister Parkin also loves gardening, tennis, and early-morning walks.
“As I look at my life, every calling has strengthened me,” she says. “Being called to serve as Relief Society president when I was one of the youngest mothers in my ward was a challenge, but sweet peace came as the women of the ward accepted me. That calling blessed my life and helped me grow.”
Sister Parkin served on the Relief Society general board from 1990 until 1 October 1994, when she was called as second counselor in the Young Women general presidency. Then, in 1997, her husband was called to serve for three years as mission president of the England London South Mission.
“The blessing of serving a mission with my husband greatly strengthened me,” she says. “We loved the British Saints, as well as our elders and sister missionaries and learned so much from them.”
Eager to encourage young women to discover the joys of Relief Society and for Relief Society sisters to reach out to young women, Sister Parkin says, “For all sisters, Relief Society is a place that can help us come unto Christ.”