“New Young Women Counselor,” Ensign, May 1990, 111
Two years ago, after thirty-three years as a full-time homemaker, Janette C. Hales became a member of the Utah State House of Representatives and was called to the Primary General Board. Those experiences, along with being a mother to five children, helped prepare her for her calling as second counselor in the Young Women General Presidency, replacing Elaine L. Jack, who was called as Relief Society general president.
Born on 7 June 1933 in Springville, Utah, to Thomas L. and Hannah Carrick Callister, Sister Hales was reared in Spanish Fork, Utah. She attended Brigham Young University and then married Robert H. Hales, a young medical student, on 29 June 1955 in the Salt Lake Temple.
Brother Hales’s medical training took the family to many different places. (They finally settled in Provo, Utah.) Along the way, Sister Hales finished college and served in the community and in the Young Women, Primary, and Relief Society.
Brother Hales passed away in March 1988—just four weeks after being diagnosed as having cancer. “I remember someone telling me that things get worse every year when you’re a widow,” says Sister Hales. “Resisting that bleak possibility provided strong motivation to me not to let that happen.”
She was appointed to fill a seat in the House in June 1988, and in November she was elected to it. “I really enjoy a problem-solving process—when people with diverse opinions and backgrounds work together,” she says.
Sister Hales enjoys playing tennis, doing projects in her home, and participating in activities with friends. She also finds joy in spending time with her children: Ann Hales Nevers, Thomas C. Hales, Jane Hales Ricks, and Karen and Mary Hales.
She remembers struggling one night many years ago with some questions while studying the scriptures. “I felt a beautiful, peaceful witness that the gospel is so very true,” she says. Since then, “It’s just been a matter of constantly recommitting.”