“Elder J. Kent Jolley Of the Seventy,” Ensign, May 1997, 105
At age 19, Kent Jolley felt good about life. As manager of the local meat market, he was making decent money and had a good family and good friends.
“And then one afternoon the Spirit touched my heart,” he recalls. “I knew this wasn’t the thing I wanted to be doing then; it was time to make a change. I went to my bishop and told him I was ready to go on a mission.
“That was a turning point in my life. I loved my mission and the experiences I had serving the Lord. I came away from my mission committed to spend the rest of my life doing what Heavenly Father wanted me to do and serving Him.”
Born on 30 December 1933 in Rexburg, Idaho, he returned there after his mission to attend Ricks College, where he met his wife, Jill Waldram Leishman. “She was quiet and unassuming, but it was obvious she had strong commitment toward the gospel,” Elder Jolley observes.
After marrying in the Idaho Falls Temple on 22 November 1957, the couple went to George Washington University, where he worked full time while earning a bachelor’s degree and a Juris Doctor degree. The Jolleys then returned to their Idaho roots, where he enjoyed a successful law practice and also worked in real estate development.
A former bishop, stake president’s counselor, stake high councilor, and Young Men president, Brother Jolley kept growing and serving in the Church. He and Sister Jolley raised seven children.
Life was good, yet the Jolleys began to wonder if it could be more meaningful. “I guess we wondered out loud,” says Elder Jolley, “because within weeks, I had been called to serve as a mission president.” After serving in the Texas Corpus Christi Mission, Elder and Sister Jolley returned to Rexburg in 1994. He returned to law and real estate development. But they missed the spiritual uplift and blessings of full-time Church service.
Reflecting on his recent call to the Second Quorum of the Seventy, Elder Jolley observes with a smile, “Perhaps we wondered out loud again about making life meaningful. I’m humbled and thrilled with this new opportunity. We just want to do whatever the Lord wants us to do.”