Women of Character: Profiles of 100 Prominent LDS Women (Hardcover)

by Susan Easton Black, Mary Jane Woodger


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For generations latter-day prophets have extolled the noble role of womanhood. Leaders often tell of the wonderful contributions that the women in their lives have made both inside and outside the home. From rearing a faithful posterity to demanding and defending rights in the halls of Congress, Latter-day Saint women have been and continue to be a powerful influence for good in shaping the destiny of future generations.

With this book we celebrate noble women in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with one hundred inspiring biographies of LDS women who have accomplished the extraordinary, leaving an indelible mark on history. These are stories about life, love, and a remarkable determination to do one's best — messages that reveal to the reader that neither happiness nor greatness is found in compromising self, but instead is found in reaching to a higher source. By reaching up, these women have reached out to make a valuable difference.

  • Maude Adams
  • Lindsey Anderson
  • Karen Ashton
  • Maud May Babcock
  • Jenny Oaks Baker
  • Algie Eggertsen Ballif
  • Flora Amussen Benson
  • Jane Johnston Black
  • Edwina Booth
  • Torah Bright
  • Juanita Brooks
  • Angela “Bay” Buchanan
  • Claudia Lauper Bushman
  • Ariel Bybee
  • Cherie Call
  • Beverly Campbell
  • Elaine Cannon
  • Martha Hughes Cannon
  • Erin Chambers
  • Wynetta Willis Martin Clark
  • Martha Jane Coray
  • Virginia Cutler
  • Laraine Day
  • Donna Stringham Dewberry
  • Liriel Domiciano
  • Christine Meaders Durham
  • Mary Ellen Edmunds
  • Kimberly Fletcher
  • Ruth May Fox
  • Mary Field Garner
  • Susa Young Gates
  • Rachel Ivins Grant
  • Shannon Hale
  • Paula Hawkins
  • Drusilla Dorris Hendricks
  • Marjorie Pay Hinckley
  • Alice Merrill Horne
  • Florence Jacobsen
  • Vienna Jacques
  • Jane Elizabeth Manning James
  • Jane Clayson Johnson
  • Lucile Johnson
  • Barbara Barrington Jones
  • Ardeth Greene Kapp
  • Camilla Eyring Kimball
  • Sarah Granger Kimball
  • King Sisters
  • Hannah Tapfield King
  • Gladys Knight
  • Lucy Jane (Jennie) Brimhall Knight
  • Ettie Lee
  • Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightner
  • Amy Brown Lyman
  • Ann N. Madsen
  • Elizabeth Ann Claridge McCune
  • Emma Ray Riggs McKay
  • Stephenie Meyer
  • Marie Osmond
  • Romania Pratt Penrose
  • Anne Perry
  • Janice Kapp Perry
  • Amme Osborn Poelman
  • Louisa Barnes Pratt
  • Ivy Baker Priest
  • Rose Marie Reid
  • Alice Louise Reynolds
  • Louisa “Lula” Greene Richards
  • Chelsea S. Rippy
  • Louise Yates Robison
  • Aurelia Spencer Rogers
  • Ann Romney
  • Patty Bartlett Sessions
  • Ellis Reynolds Shipp
  • Amanda Barnes Smith
  • Barbara Bradshaw Smith
  • Emma Hale Smith
  • Jessie Evans Smith
  • Lucy Mack Smith
  • Mary Fielding Smith
  • Mary Ellen Smoot
  • Eliza Roxcy Snow
  • Beverley Taylor Sorenson
  • Belle Smith Spafford
  • Anita Stansfield
  • Liz Lemon Swindle
  • Leonora Cannon Taylor
  • Minerva Teichert
  • Emma Lou Thayne
  • Janie Thompson
  • Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
  • Colleen Kay Hutchins Vandeweghe
  • Lilia Wahapaa
  • Olene S. Walker
  • Jennifer Welch-Babidge
  • Emmeline B. Wells
  • Mary Whitmer
  • Elizabeth Ann Whitney
  • Lead Widtsoe
  • Barbara Winder
  • Zina Diantha Huntington Young

Product Details

  • Size:  6" x 9"
  • Pages:  400
  • Published:  March 2011

About the Authors

Dr. Susan Easton Black joined the faculty of Brigham Young University in 1978, where she is currently a professor of Church history and doctrine. She is also past associate dean of General Education and Honors and director of Church History in the Religious Studies Center.

The recipient of numerous academic awards, she received the Karl G. Maeser Distinguished Faculty Lecturer Award in 2000, the highest award given a professor on the BYU Provo campus. Dr. Black has authored, edited, and compiled more than 100 books and 250 articles.

Dr. Mary Jane Woodger is a professor of Church history and doctrine at Brigham Young University. After obtaining a master of education degree at Utah State University, she received from BYU a doctor of education degree in educational leadership, with a minor in Church history and doctrine. She was honored by Kappa Omicron Nu with the award of Excellence for her dissertation research on the educational ideals of President David O. McKay.

She is the author of several books and has also authored numerous articles on doctrinal, historical, and educational subjects that have appeared in various academic journals and religious publications. Recently, Dr. Woodger received the Best Article of the Year Award from the Utah Historical Society, as well as the Brigham Young University Faculty Women’s Association Teaching Award.

Maude Adams

Theater actress Annie Kiskadden often brought her baby, Maude,
backstage for her performances. When she was starring in The Lost
at the Brigham Young Theatre, the plot called for an infant to
be brought on stage atop a silver platter. When the two-month-old
baby who played the part threw a tantrum, the manager grabbed sevenmonth-
old Maude as a stand-in to play a sleeping baby. Maude sat
up on the platter to the delight of a surprised audience. Baby Maude,
upon hearing the laughter, cooed and blinked at the crowd—and with
that a star was born. Maude subsequently became one of America’s
greatest actresses of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.1

Daughter of James Henry Kiskadden and Asaneth Ann Adams,
Maude was born November 11, 1872, the product of Mormon pioneers
on her mother’s side and, as Maude put it, “gentiles” on her father’s
side.2 Although she spent little time in Salt Lake City, whenever she was
complimented for a kindness she would say, “It was not kindness. It was
Salt Lakeness.”3 Maude viewed herself as an ambassador for the Rockies.
She wrote of the Swiss Alps, “They are inspiring but not friendly like
the mountains that protect the lovely Valley of Salt Lake. . . . a lovely valley protected by friendly mountains is always ‘home.’ The people of
the valley have gentle manners, as if their spirits moved with dignity. .
. . The memory of them, the thought of them, and their lovely valley is
an anchor in a changing, roving life.”4

When Maude was four, she moved with her mother to San Francisco.
There Maude—who became known by the stage name of Little Maudie
Adams—was cast in child parts that had a “strong tendency toward
realism,” while her mother was cast in a variety of roles. By age six,
Maude “was involved in every aspect of her career, including business
arrangements” and refusing roles that “paid too little.” When Maude was
nine, she was sent to live with her grandmother in the Salt Lake Valley to
begin her formal education. Longing for the stage, at age eleven Maude
left school and joined her mother again in San Francisco. 5

While performing on stage in San Francisco, Maude met Charles
Frohman, an up-and-coming New York producer. At sixteen she joined
the Charles Frohman Traveling Stock Company and performed on
stage for two years with them. In early Frohman productions, Maude
was ignored by critics but never by the public. “There’s a charming
little girl in Hoyt’s new play,” audiences would say. “I think her name
is Adams or something like that.”6 On September 28, 1897, Maude
made her debut as the leading actress in The Little Minister at the
Empire Theatre in New York—and became an overnight star. For the
next thirty years Maude was the highest-paid actress on the American
stage, earning $40,000 her first year.7

Maude is best remembered for her starring role in Peter Pan, playing
the role of Peter 223 times.8 Peter Pan author James Barrie said to
Maude, “I want you to know that it was you that inspired the writing
of the play.”9 When Barrie sent the play to her, she was intrigued with
the quaint character of Peter Pan. She “could feel the presence of the
Fairies and the Indians and the Pirates and the lost boys of Never-
Never-Never Land, and in their midst the dashing winsome ‘Peter
Pan.’” Maude performed the play Peter Pan before crowded houses in all the major U.S. cities.10 Her audience included such notables as
President Theodore Roosevelt, who came backstage to compliment her,
and Mark Twain, who said, “It is my belief that Peter Pan is a great and
refining and uplifting benefaction to this sordid and money-mad age;
and that the next best play on the boards is a long way behind it as long
as you play Peter.” But it was to the children and those who sat in the
balcony that Maude showed her characteristic kindness. “She insisted
upon having a good number of seats selling at 50 cents available” at
every performance. When an unscrupulous house manager charged
more, she “demanded that there be a refund of fifty cents to every
person who had paid a dollar to get into the gallery that evening.”11

When Maude retired from the stage, she was not finished thrilling
audiences. She worked with General Electric to develop improved and
more powerful stage lighting.12 From 1937 to 1950 she led the Drama
Department at Stephens College in Missouri. Remarkably, even her
passing did not erase her ability to charm and thrill audiences. The
1975 character of Elise McKenna in Richard Matheson’s novelBid
Time Return
and the 1980 film adaptation Somewhere in Time were
“inspired by a photo [of Maude] that Matheson saw hanging in the
Virginia City Opera House.”13

1. Ada Patterson, Maude Adams: A Biography (New York: Meyer Bros. & Co, 1907), 12–
13; Rachelle Pace
Castor, “Maude Adams: No Other Actress Can Take Her Place,” in Worth Their Salt: Notable but Often
Unnoted Women of Utah, ed. Colleen Whitley (Logan, Utah: Utah State University Press, 1996), 191.

2. Maude Adams was billed as the “Mormon Actress.” To date, a baptismal record has not been found.
Patterson, Maude Adams; Castor, “Maude Adams,” 189–190; Phyllis Robbins, The Young Maude Adams
(Francestown, New Hampshire: Marshall Jones, 1959), 30.

3. Patterson, 27.

4. “Actress found her career—on a tray,” News Centennial Utah, Deseret News, January 30, 1996; Castor,

5. Patterson, 19, 28–30; Castor, 190–194.

6. Patterson, 39; Castor, 195.

7. Patterson, 53, 76.

8. “Actress found her career—on a tray.”

9. Patterson, 67.

10. Patterson, 66; Robbins, 89–109.

11. Robbins, 90, 92; Patterson, 71–72.

12. “Maude Adams as an Inventor: Famous Actress Perfects New Device for Showing Picture in Lighted
Auditorium,” The Bee Va, October 16, 1922.

13. Castor, 200–201.

Maude Adams

Theater actress Annie Kiskadden often brought her baby, Maude, backstage for her performances. When she was starring in The Lost Baby at...

Lindsey Anderson

“I used to be really nervous but now I get excited to race,” says 5'3" steeplechase Olympian Lindsey Anderson. “I get excited to go out there and...
Great book!

by  Customer  -   reviewed on  March 23, 2011

This book is great and has so many stories of influential women with diverse backgrounds. Their stories and examples are faith promoting and great reminders of the influence we can have on others.

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