“Elder Jay E. Jensen,” Liahona, Nov. 2008, 128
After spending several days taking care of a problem while serving as president of the Colombia Cali Mission, Elder Jay Edwin Jensen, recently called to the Presidency of the Seventy, recalls opening his scriptures on the flight back to the mission home.
A line from Doctrine and Covenants 3:5 caught his attention: “Remember also the promises which were made to you.”
“Throughout life we face difficulties, but the Lord seemed to be reminding me that the promises are always greater,” Elder Jensen says.
Elder Jensen first began learning of the Lord’s promises from his parents, Ruel Whiting and Ethel Otte Jensen. Born in Mapleton, Utah, USA, on February 5, 1942, he was the 6th of 10 children in a home “where the gospel was lived and taught,” he says.
After serving in the Spanish American Mission from 1961 to 1963, he married Lona Lee Child on November 1, 1963, in the Manti Utah Temple. They are the parents of six children. He earned his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees from Brigham Young University.
After teaching seminary, he worked as director of curriculum for the seminaries and institutes of religion, director of training for the Missionary Department, and director of scriptures coordination for the Church’s Curriculum Department.
Elder Jensen has served as a bishop, counselor in the Provo MTC presidency, high councilor, high priests group leader, Young Men president, Sunday School teacher, and mission president. He was called to the Second Quorum of the Seventy on June 6, 1992, and to the First Quorum of the Seventy on April 1, 1995.
What he has learned from a lifetime of service is illustrated by that early experience he had with the scriptures as mission president. “There is power in the word of God,” he says (see Alma 31:5). He hopes, as Gideon did in the Book of Mormon, that his words “have been of service” to the King and the members of His kingdom (Mosiah 22:4).