As a teenager, Linda Kjar Burton had a sudden realization during a Church meeting in Christchurch, New Zealand. “I knew the gospel was true,” she recalled. “I was also aware I had always known.” That testimony will now sustain her as she serves as Relief Society general president.
Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, to Marjorie C. and Morris A. Kjar, Sister Burton was 13 years old when her family left Utah so her father could preside over the New Zealand South Mission. Sister Burton—the second of six children—attended the Church College of New Zealand and associated with Latter-day Saint teens from across the Pacific. She returned to Salt Lake City with not only a love for varied cultures and traditions but especially for the Lord and for her family.
Sister Burton was attending the University of Utah when she met and married Craig P. Burton in August 1973 in the Salt Lake Temple. The couple decided not to delay starting a family; the first of their six children was born almost a year later.
Working together with her husband, she was able to stay home with the children while he made a career in real estate. Early financial challenges taught the couple to look to the future with confidence “because we knew we had done something hard with the help of the Lord,” she explained.
The family took simple vacations and enjoyed being together. Sister Burton served in Young Women, Primary, and Sunday School and on the Primary and Relief Society general boards. She served together with her husband as he presided over the Korea Seoul West Mission from 2007 to 2010. In the mission field, Sister Burton realized—just as she had years earlier in New Zealand—that love transcends language and culture.
She hopes in her new assignment that something she learned from a friend in Korea will apply again: “They will feel your love.”