Margaret Romney Jackson Judd was the first Hispanic Mormon woman leader in the Young Women’s presidency for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (inadvertently called the “Mormon Church” by some). As an LDS woman leader, Margaret was asked by the living prophet David O. McKay to lead Mormon youth as a counselor in the Young Women’s Mutual Improvement Association (YWMIA), which is presently called the LDS Young Women’s organization. (Caroline H. Benzley, “134 Years Young!”, New Era, November, 2003). The Young Women’s organization today still invites Mormon youth worldwide to participate in the program’s weekly activities, frequent service opportunities, annual girls camp, and Sunday services. I have attended in Mexico, the USA, and Europe and know that regardless of location, the same opportunities and teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ are taught to Mormon women.
Mormon Women Leads the Young Women’s Organization
For 11 years, Margaret served as the Young Women’s first counselor with several Mormon women leaders such as Florence Smith Jacobsen (sixth YWMIA president) and Dorothy Porter Holt (second counselor) (Florence Smith Jacobsen). Margaret was the first Mexican Mormon woman to serve in the YWMIA presidency. During her presidency service from 1961-1972, she blessed the lives of many Mormon women. Important milestones included youth conferences held worldwide, the 1969 YWMIA centennial celebration, the annual Promised Valley presentations, the restoration of the Beehive House and Lion House, and the publication of the New Era (magazine for youth) (Florence Smith Jacobsen). Elder Neil L. Andersen (modern apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ) said in an issue of The New Era magazine:
Our spiritual journey is the process of a lifetime. We do not know everything in the beginning or even along the way. Our conversion comes step by step, line upon line. We first build a foundation of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. We treasure the principles and ordinances of repentance, baptism, and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. We include a continuing commitment to prayer, a willingness to be obedient, and an ongoing witness of the Book of Mormon (“You Know Enough,” June 2012).
Youth can read more in the New Era about these messages from modern Mormon leaders, scriptural stories of Christ, and examples of Mormon youth living their beliefs globally. (See this link to read this month’s issue.)
Mormon Women: Margaret Romney Jackson Judd
Margaret Romney was born on September 7, 1909, in Colonia Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico, to Junius and Gertrude Stowell Romney. She was the fourth child among two sisters (Olive, and Kathleen) and two brothers (Junius, and Eldon). At a young age, her family fled their country during the Mexican Revolution of 1912, and she became one of the Mormon Exodus refugees. Despite the challenges of living in a foreign country and learning another language, she graduated from LDS High School and the University of Utah (Obituary: Margaret Romney Jackson Judd, Deseret News, April 4, 1999).
Margaret was baptized a member of the LDS Church, and she was among righteous individuals who were
…desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light; Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life” (Mosiah 18:8-10).
Margaret was married in a Mormon temple (or House of the Lord) where couples can be married for time and all eternity. “Margaret married Junius M. Jackson September 15, 1931, in the Salt Lake Temple. He died February 4, 1981. She later married Dr. George E. Judd. He predeceased her.” At the time of her death, on April 1, 1999, Margaret had 5 children, 28 grandchildren, and 22 great-grandchildren, and one great great-grandchild.  She believed she could live with her family forever and would agree with the modern prophet’s teachings (1995) in “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” which states, “The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally.”
Margaret followed the example of the Lord Jesus Christ by serving her family and community. An ancient prophet king recorded in The Book of Mormon, “When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God” (Mosiah 2:17). Margaret helped “her husband Junius while he presided over the New England States Mission. She also served as a member of the YWMIA General Board and as a hostess at the Church Office Building. Her community involvement, among other things, included terms as president of the PTA, the Classics Club and the Sigma Chi Mothers Club” (Obituary: Margaret Romney Jackson Judd, Deseret News, April 4, 1999).
Mormon Women Today
As a young Mormon woman, I was taught to follow the teachings of modern prophets:
Service to others is an important characteristic of a disciple of Jesus Christ. A disciple is willing to bear other people’s burdens and to comfort those who need comfort. Often Heavenly Father will meet the needs of others through you (Service, For Strength of the Youth).
I know that serving those around me is important and I have felt touched by others who have reached out to me and lifted me up. I invite you to follow our Savior’s example, obey the prophets, and do something nice for another person today.
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.