Mae Taylor Nystrom was a leader of young Mormon women for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (inadvertently called the “Mormon Church” by some). Mae was called by a prophet of God to serve as the second counselor of the first presidency of the Young Ladies’ Mutual Improvement Association (YLMIA) which is presently called the LDS Young Women’s organization (a global female youth organization) (Caroline H. Benzley, “134 Years Young!”, New Era, November, 2003). My participation in the Young Women’s program (as a Mormon youth) has blessed me with a stronger testimony of Christ and increased confidence in myself.
Mormon Women Leaders:
From 1905-1923, Mae served with various Mormon women such as the LDS woman leader Martha H. Tingey (the young women’s president from 1905-1929), and first counselor Ruth May Fox. In 1923, she moved to Wyoming, and Lucy Grant Cannon (1923-1929) took her position as the second counselor. She also served on the General Board of the YLMIA and as her congregation’s YLMIA secretary, treasurer, and second counselor, and stake president of the YLMIA from 1926-1929 (Jenson, Andrew, Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia, , 264).
Mormon Women: Mae Taylor Nystrom’s Life
Mae grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah, among three brothers and her parents, George Hamilton Taylor and Elmina Shepherd (who was the first young women’s president). Susa Young Gates wrote:
The ideal of her girlhood was to become a perfect homemaker. With this in view she quietly set about its accomplishment. Under her mother’s direction she studied the varying phases of domestic science— cooking, sewing, sanitation, the care of the sick, and rounded out her homemaking preparations by the oft repeated entertainment of her friends. Home, as Mae Taylor grew to understand it, “was the place where her family was loved and made happy ;**and it was also the place where friends should most surely*find welcome, hospitality and peace. Today the ideal of her girlhood is the ideal of her life. In her heart home holds first place (History of the YLMIA of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints from November 1869 to June 1910, 1911, 293).
Mae enjoyed learning, teaching, and helping Mormon women around her. She attended LDS College and the University of Utah. She moved to Wyoming in 1923 and returned to Utah in 1929. She “was a delegate to the National Council of Women in 1908 and to the triennial session held in Seattle in 1909” (Jenson, Andrew, Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia, , 264). She took a book-keeping course to help fulfill her duties as the corresponding secretary for the General Board while working simultaneously as a teacher of physical culture. She lived with her mother until 1900 when she married Theodore Nystrom. Susa Young Gates said:
One phase of education that early attracted her was physical culture. After some study in Salt Lake City she spent the summer of 1893 at Harvard in advanced work, and upon her return taught two years in the Utah School for Physical Culture under the direction of Maud May Babcock. She also took charge of the school as director for two years. With the hope of carrying- the benefits of physical culture to the Y. L. M. I. A. of the nearby wards, she at this time conducted drills in the monthly officers’ meetings, held in the Fourteenth ward (History of the YLMIA of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints from November 1869 to June 1910, 1911, 162, 293-294).
Keith L. Brown
Keith L. Brown is a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, having been born and raised Baptist. He was studying to be a Baptist minister at the time of his conversion to the LDS faith. He was baptized on 10 March 1998 in Reykjavik, Iceland while serving on active duty in the United States Navy in Keflavic, Iceland. He currently serves as the First Assistant to the High Priest Group for the Annapolis, Maryland Ward. He is a 30-year honorably retired United States Navy Veteran.