Having served on both a ward and stake level in Primary, Young Women, and Relief Society, Susan W. Tanner sees a relationship between the organizations.
“The little girls learn ‘I am a child of God.’ And that carries them to ‘We are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us, and we love Him.’ Then we come to ‘Charity never faileth,’ and we feel that love enfold us,” she says. “I think there is perfect unity in each stage, with expanded vision and ability as we grow.”
As the newly called Young Women general president, Sister Tanner feels committed to helping young women understand their place in Heavenly Father’s plan.
Born on 10 January 1953 in Granger, Utah, to Richard W. and Barbara Woodhead Winder, Sister Tanner grew up on a large dairy farm. She later earned a degree in humanities from Brigham Young University, where she met John S. Tanner. They were married in the Salt Lake Temple on 3 September 1974. Sister Tanner became a homemaker and piano teacher. The Tanners live in Provo, Utah, and have five children and three grandchildren.
While her family was living in Brazil, where her husband was teaching as a Fulbright scholar, Sister Tanner gained insight into the Young Women program. Her two oldest daughters learned the Young Women theme in Portuguese. “I wanted to learn it with them,” she says. “As I started to memorize the theme, the message really sank into my heart. I am a daughter of Heavenly Father, and He loves me. And because I know this, I love Him and want to show by my actions that I love Him.
“The message is right there in the Young Women theme in the proper order,” she continues. “I just want the young women of the Church to know it can be the foundation of their testimonies, their actions, and their lives.”