Linda Sheffield Reeves learned in her youth from her stalwart convert mother to turn to God in times of adversity and to strive for excellence as taught by her father.
“I had a strong testimony early on in my life because of challenges that helped me spiritually to mature quickly,” she said.
Sister Reeves was born in Los Angeles, California, USA, in August 1951 to Elbert Jolley and Barbara Welsch Sheffield. She remembers looking up at the starry sky as a 13-year-old at Young Women camp and offering a simple, heartfelt prayer: “Father, are You there?”
“I was enveloped in His Spirit, the knowledge of His presence and reality, and His love for me,” she said.
Sister Reeves met Melvyn Kemp Reeves in her ward in Pasadena. They dated while attending Brigham Young University after his mission. They were married in June 1973 in the Los Angeles California Temple and became the parents of 13 children.
Amid trials, Sister Reeves has held to her testimony of the Atonement, especially after the death of her 17-year-old daughter, Emily Michelle, in a car accident in 2005.
“Adversity is a great teacher,” she said. “Adversity builds us and prepares us for future service in the kingdom, in our homes, and in our community, and to become an instrument in the Lord’s hands.”
Prior to her call to the Relief Society general presidency, Sister Reeves served with her husband as he presided over the California Riverside Mission from 2008 to 2011. She has served as a stake Relief Society president, ward Young Women president, Primary chorister, and Sunday School teacher.
Sister Reeves graduated from BYU in 1974 with a bachelor’s degree in special education. She has many passions, including art, music, photography, family history, and missionary work. She isn’t afraid to speak her mind, especially when it comes to sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with everyone she meets.