“Heavenly Father has endowed women with so many wonderful gifts and abilities and qualities,” says Kathleen H. Hughes, newly called first counselor in the Relief Society general presidency. “With His help, and with help from each other, we can’t fail.”
Sister Hughes says that the words of the scriptures, together with her knowledge that she is a daughter of God, have anchored her and helped her find peace, even during the difficult periods of her life. Once, for example, while she was struggling with what she says may have been postpartum depression, she and her husband visited the Liberty Jail in Missouri. They reviewed the Prophet Joseph Smith’s experience there and read the revelation he received, as recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 121 [D&C 121]. Sister Hughes realized that just as the Lord had sustained Joseph Smith, He would help her endure her own trials. “It was one of those times you remember—a defining moment when I sensed the presence of the Lord in my life and realized what the scriptures can do to bring comfort and peace,” she says.
Sister Hughes was born on 19 October 1944 in Tooele, Utah, to William Daly and Emma Johanson Hurst. She married writer Dean T. Hughes on 23 November 1966 in the Salt Lake Temple; they have three children and five grandchildren.
Sister Hughes earned her bachelor’s degree in English education at Weber State College in 1966, and she earned her master’s degree in special education at Central Missouri State University in 1974. She taught school for many years and has been working as an administrator in the Provo (Utah) School District since 1985.
Most recently Sister Hughes has served as the Young Women president in her ward. She has also had callings in the Relief Society, Primary, and Sunday School and has served on the Young Women general board.
“The purpose of Relief Society is to help the sisters and their families, with the help of the priesthood, come to Christ,” she says. “I feel such peace about this calling and know it will be a wonderful opportunity to work with these great women in the presidency.”