Huntsville Utah Stake 

Lance A. Albrechtsen , President - W. Rick Bailey , First Counselor - Chris Phipps, Second Counselor

Marlin K. Jensen
1st Huntsville Stake President

The Mormon Historic Sites Foundation, which originated in 1992 as the Ensign Peak Foundation, recently honored Elder Marlin K. Jensen, emeritus Seventy, with the Junius F. Wells Award.

“I really believe that you serve in whatever role the Lord needs you and, in that role, you have the opportunity to see the Spirit of the Lord and its power in people’s lives.”
—Elder Marlin K. Jensen, emeritus Seventy

Elder Marlin K. Jensen

Elder Marlin K. Jensen was “content, downright happy” to be working on his Huntsville, Utah, ranch and practicing law in nearby Ogden when, in 1989, the Lord called him at age 46 to serve as a General Authority. In October, he received emeritus status from the First Presidency and has “gone home.”

That observation was made by master of ceremonies Glenn Rawson at a November 14 dinner, during which the Junius F. Wells Award was presented by the Mormon Historic Sites Foundation to Elder Jensen, whose release as Church Historian and Recorder coincided with his release from the Seventy and being granted emeritus status at general conference in October.

Brother Rawson quoted this statement from Elder Jensen: “I really believe that you serve in whatever role the Lord needs you and, in that role, you have the opportunity to see the Spirit of the Lord and its power in people’s lives. That happens everywhere in any calling we have. And wherever the Spirit of the Lord is active and present, that’s where the spiritual action is.”

Named after the man who organized the 
YMMIA (forerunner to the Young Men organization of the Church) and who spearheaded the erection of the granite monument to Joseph Smith at the Prophet’s birthplace in Vermont, the award was given to Elder Jensen “for his leadership, his intense interest and integrity in preserving Church records and in honoring hallowed places across the land and always doing so with abounding love,” Brother Rawson said.

Previous recipients have included the late Church President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008) and Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

Friends and family of Elder Jensen—including many of his associates in the Church History Department—filled a banquet room in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in Salt Lake City, Utah, for the dinner and award program. They included Elders L. Tom Perry, Russell M. Nelson, and M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Presiding Bishop Gary Stevenson and Elder Steven E. Snow of the Seventy, Elder Jensen’s successor as Church Historian and Recorder.

“I feel so grateful for the Church, which has provided us with such tremendous opportunities to serve, to learn, to grow, and to have association with some of the finest people on earth,” Elder Jensen said in response to receiving the award from foundation chairman Kim R. Wilson.

“I really accept this on behalf of all my associates in the Church History Department whose creativity, hard work, and initiative taking and just all that has been done there through the years—especially during the time that I was blessed to pass through that portal—have done such great things for the Church,” Elder Jensen said.

Asking his wife, Kathy, to stand beside him, Elder Jensen praised her as “my best peer reviewer, best friend, best companion, best supporter.”

Earlier in the evening, Brother Rawson had described the Jensens as lovers of religious and symphonic music, “and especially the oldies-but-goodies.” In an interview in preparation for the program, the couple had identified their favorite song as “Wake Up Little Susie,” so program organizers engaged pianist Merrill Smith to perform that 1957 Everly Brothers tune at the award dinner.

Brother Rawson also related that the couple’s courtship had occurred while Sister Jensen was working at Lagoon, the amusement park in Farmington, Utah. He said that on one occasion they were watching the famous 1960s pop duo the Righteous Brothers perform on the main stage at Lagoon, and one of the two singers kept winking at Kathy.

“It went nowhere; she was not interested,” Brother Rawson quipped, “But Elder Jensen has never been willing to let that go and has joked and teased about it ever since.”

Taking a cue from that incident, Gabe Redondo and Danny Inkley performed two selections in a Righteous Brothers style at the dinner.

In a presentation of projected images with accompanying narration, Elder Jensen’s life and accomplishments were highlighted, including his ancestry and boyhood in Huntsville, which claims President David O. McKay as a favorite son.

“Because I’ve been able to stand on the strong shoulders of my father and grandfathers, I feel the strength of my roots,” Elder Jensen was quoted as saying.

His tender relationship with his older brother Gary, who was born developmentally disabled, was mentioned, as was his service as bishop at age 25 and stake president at age 35 in Huntsville.

“In his seven years as Church Historian and Recorder and as executive director of the Church History Department, he has left his imprint on every aspect of record keeping, archival processes, and historic site preservation,” said Brother Rawson in the narration.

Recorded tributes from some of Elder Jensen’s associates were given, including one from Assistant Church Historian and Recorder Richard E. Turley, Jr. He told of first meeting Elder Jensen in 1989, when he came to the Church Historical Department as part of General Authority training. 

“I remember he asked probing questions that reflected wide reading and deep thinking,” Brother Turley said, “and I also remember thinking, ‘I hope I get a chance to work with that man someday.’ I got my wish. And after years at his side, I have come to know his strengths and his weaknesses, I have partially experienced his joys and his sorrows, and I have to conclude I have never met a better man.”

The Mormon Historic Sites Foundation originated in 1992 as the Ensign Peak Foundation. It raised funds for the present-day nature trail and other improvements to Ensign Peak, a pioneer landmark that overlooks Salt Lake City on the north. Since that origin, the foundation has been involved in numerous other projects, commemorations, publications, films, and exhibits to preserve Church history.

Elder Marlin K. Jensen - May 1989 Article

The dark wool pinstriped suit and silk tie of the lawyer could keep you from recognizing the Huntsville, Utah, farmer in Marlin K. Jensen. But once he places his strong, square hand in yours, tells you about the family farm where he and his wife, Kathleen, are rearing their eight children, growing vegetables, and breeding and caring for livestock, you begin to know the man.

“I love farming and life on a farm, so I practice law in order to be able to live this way,” he confesses.

Elder Jensen, who has been called to the First Quorum of the Seventy, says Huntsville is “home to five generations of Jensens. I love it here. But I will do what the Lord wants of me. He has blessed us so much.”

Marlin Keith Jensen was born 18 May 1942 to Keith Grow and Lula Hill Jensen. When he was twenty-eight and just out of law school, Brother Jensen was called to be bishop of the Huntsville Ward, as had been his father and grandfather before him. Later, he served as a priests quorum adviser, then as a stake president, and most recently as a Regional Representative.

“I love the Lord, love people, and know how to work hard,” Elder Jensen says. “Because I’ve been able to stand on the strong shoulders of my father and grandfathers, I feel the strength of my roots.”

Family heritage gave Elder Jensen a sense of stability as he went through law school at the University of Utah. “I don’t think of myself as particularly smart, but I did gain confidence from knowing the value of hard work and by relying on the Lord. And knowing I came from good stock, I decided that if I didn’t succeed, it would be my own fault.” His conscientious efforts brought him from somewhere in the upper third of his class during his first year as a law student to number one at graduation.

This tradition is being passed on to another generation of Jensens. “Working together as a family is the best way to strengthen ties,” Elder Jensen says. The whole Jensen family participates on the farm—gathering eggs, feeding the calves, milking, sewing, baking, doing their part.

After returning from his mission in 1964, Marlin Jensen met Kathleen Bushnell on a blind date while he was attending BYU and she was attending Utah State University. They married 9 June 1967 in the Salt Lake Temple. Since then, both have served in many callings.

“I love working in the nursery and with the Cub Scouts,” says Kathy. She was recently released as Relief Society president to give birth to Sarah Jane, their eighth child. They have five other daughters—Jennifer, Julie, Emily, Kate, and Allison—and two sons—Matthew (currently serving a mission in Germany, where his father and grandfather served) and Ryan.

“Kathy’s magnificent obsession is to be a mother,” Elder Jensen says of his wife. “She loves her children and me, and her cheerful disposition is the model for the whole family. As a mother, she loves to learn right along with her children, reading aloud and sharing discoveries.”

“We are doing whatever we do for the Lord,” Kathy says, “and it is supremely important that I be there for my children. At times when I have become too involved elsewhere—PTA or even Church things—I see the difference here at home.”

The Jensens describe their parental pattern as a kind of cooperative effort. “We try to have very few rules,” Elder Jensen explains. “In fact, we tend not to make a rule until one seems needed. Instead, we all feel mutually supportive, sharing our belongings pretty openly, attending each others’ events to show our care—whether it’s one of the children’s performances, games, or events, or one of Dad’s ‘old-men’ basketball games at church.”

The Jensen family farm has prepared Elder Marlin K. Jensen in many ways for his labors in the Lord’s larger vineyard.

Elder Marlin K. Jensen - First Quorum of the Seventy 1989-2012

Elder Marlin K. Jensen was named a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on April 1, 1989. He served as Executive Director of the Church History Department and was sustained as Church Historian/Recorder in the April 2005 general conference. Previously he served in the Presidency of the Seventy and as the Executive Director of the Curriculum, Historical, Priesthood, and Family and Church History Departments. He has served as the President of the Utah North, North America Northeast, and Europe Central Areas. He was president of the New York Rochester Mission from 1993 to 1995.

At the time of his call as a Seventy, he was serving as a regional representative. Prior to that assignment, he had served in the Church as president of the Huntsville Utah Stake, bishop of the Huntsville Ward, priests quorum adviser, and elders quorum president.

Elder Jensen previously practiced law in Ogden, Utah, specializing in business and estate planning. He is a partner in a family ranching enterprise. He received his bachelor’s degree in German from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, and his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Utah Law School in Salt Lake City, Utah.

He was born May 18, 1942, in Ogden, Utah, to Keith G. and Lula Hill Jensen. He is married to Kathleen Bushnell of Clearfield, Utah. They are the parents of eight children and have twenty-five grandchildren.

Stake Presidencies of The Huntsville Utah Stake of Zion

Seeking Better quality pictures

14 May 1978 - 5 Feb 1987

Marlin K. Jensen, Stake President
Lowell G. Stallings, First Counselor
Dale E. Dawson, Second Counselor

Seeking Better quality pictures

15 Feb 1987 - 11 Sep 1994

Daurel H. Barnes, Stake President
Delwyn L. Richardson, First Counselor
Fredrick Froerer III, Second Counselor

Seeking Better quality pictures

11 Sep 1994 - 22 Feb 2004

Nathan P. Hale, Stake President
Douglas A. Taggart, First Counselor
Mark A. Ferrin, Second Counselor

Seeking Better quality pictures

22 Feb 2004 - 17 Feb 2013

Douglas A. Taggart, Stake President
Robert W. Wood, First Counselor
Richard G. Holley, Second Counselor

Seeking Better quality pictures

17 Feb 2013 - 6 Feb 2022

David L. Wadman, Stake President
Lon W. Child, First Counselor
Larry A. Rigby, Second Counselor

Seeking a picture of the new Stake Presidency

6 Feb 2022 - 9-Apr 2023

Lance A. Albrechtsen, Stake President
W. Rick Bailey, First Counselor
Aaron T. Hall, Second Counselor

9-Apr 2023 -

Lance A. Albrechtsen, Stake President
W. Rick Bailey, First Counselor
Chris Phipps, Second Counselor

Carl B. Cook was born in Ogden, Utah, on October 15, 1957. He married Lynette Hansen in December 1979. They are the parents of five children.

He received a bachelor of arts from Weber State College in 1981 and a master of business administration from Utah State University in 1982. Prior to his call he worked in commercial real estate development.

He has served in a number of Church callings, including full-time missionary in Hamburg, Germany, Bishop, Stake President, Area Seventy, and New Zealand Auckland Mission President.

Elder Cook was named a member of the Presidency of the Seventy on March 31, 2018. At the time of his call to the Presidency of the Seventy, he was assigned to Church headquarters. Elder Cook has also served as President of the Africa Southeast Area.

Carl B. Cook

Ryan K. Olsen, Senior vice president/chief operating officer, Moreton & Company; recently released as president of the Uruguay Montevideo West Mission; former bishop, counselor in a bishopric, high councilor, stake mission president and stake president. Wife, Julie; four children. 

Called to serve as new Area Seventies during the Saturday afternoon session of the 189th Semiannual General Conference on October 5, 2019. 

Aaron T. Hall, Huntsville, Utah; director, Finding, Missionary Department; served as stake presidency counselor of the Huntsville Utah stake; former bishop, bishopric counselor, high councilor and mission president; wife: Kim; four children.