“Virginia Urry Jensen First Counselor, Relief Society General Presidency,” Ensign, May 1997, 108
“I celebrate womanhood,” says Virginia Urry Jensen, newly called first counselor in the Relief Society general presidency. “Women come in all shapes and sizes and from many backgrounds, and I love them all.”
Sister Jensen, a native of Salt Lake City, Utah, attended the University of Utah, and in 1963 married J. Rees Jensen, president of a shopping center development company. “My husband is one of my greatest blessings. He is patient, kind, and charitable. My life’s work has been my family and home,” she says. “I made a point to be there when my children came home.” Her community involvement has revolved around programs that directly affected the family during the years she stayed at home to rear her three daughters and son.
Once her children began leaving home, Sister Jensen turned to volunteer work. Seventeen years ago she accepted her first Church hosting assignment. Ten years later she was asked to serve as assistant director for hosting, an assignment she had for three years. One and one-half years ago, Sister Jensen was asked to become the director of Church hosting for the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, Church Office Building, and Relief Society Building on a full-time Church-service basis, managing a volunteer pool of more than 500 people. She now leaves Church hosting to accept her new responsibilities.
Sister Jensen says she feels deeply about the divine nature of women. Because many sisters struggle seemingly alone with challenges of life, Relief Society is in a unique position to help them. She believes that because women sometimes feel that their problems are unique, they need to help each other. Women enrich the world through their natural tendencies for love and nurturing, Sister Jensen explains. “We need to help all women be the best they can be and recognize their divine worth. Through Relief Society, we can create bonds of friendship that will help lead sisters to Heavenly Father.”
Sister Jensen, 57, has served in the Primary, Young Women, and Relief Society organizations, with most of that time spent in Relief Society callings. “I have learned that Heavenly Father is always there to help us. These are his programs,” she says. “I am only a tool to do what he would want done.”