Linda K. Burton
Linda Kjar Burton was named as the sixteenth general Relief Society president on March 31, 2012, during the April General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (frequently called the Mormon or LDS Church). She replaced Julie B. Beck, who had served as president for the past five years.
At the time of her call, Sister Burton (all members of the Church are considered brothers and sisters as children of God) was serving as a member of the Relief Society general board and had previously been a member of the Primary General Board (organization for Latter-day Saint children under 12). She also held callings in the Young Women, Primary, and Sunday School organizations. She returned to Utah in 2010 after serving with her husband, Craig, who was the president of the Korea Seoul West Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ. She also taught LDS seminary and studied elementary education at the University of Utah.
She married Craig P. Burton in 1973, and they are the parents of six children. Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, she is the daughter of Morris Ashton Kjar and Marjorie Castleton, the second of six children. As a teen she lived in New Zealand, where her father served as a mission president.
During her first public speaking assignment since becoming president, Sister Burton addressed close to 14,000 attendees on April 26-28, 2012, at the annual Women’s Conference sponsored by Brigham Young University and the Relief Society.
The theme of the event was taken from 1 Nephi 14:14, “And they were armed with righteousness and with the power of God in great glory.” Sister Burton correlated the scripture to a painting of a strong pioneer woman. Artwork by Minerva Teichert had been chosen to represent the theme.
- “I love the image of this pioneer woman, one hand on the handcart, shoulder to shoulder with her husband, arm raised high, and mouth open as if inviting those around her to follow in her footsteps,” she explained.
- “I like to think she is calling to us this morning to follow her path of discipleship which she has undertaken. With great faith, she provides a meaningful symbol of a valiant woman armed with righteousness and with the power of God in great glory,” she said.
Later in the meeting, Sister Burton and her counselors, Sister Carole M. Stephens and Sister Linda S. Reeves, conducted an open discussion describing how hardships have made them stronger through serving the Lord.
Sharing their own experiences, the presidency illustrated how personal behaviors invite the Spirit into each home and explained the sacred responsibility of women to strengthen families, to help those in need, and to increase faith in the Savior and in His infinite Atonement.
She was released from her calling as general president of the Relief Society at General Conference on April 1, 2017. Following this calling, she served with her husband as assistant director of Church Hosting and a temple ordinance worker. In March 2019, it was announced that she would serve as matron of the Jordan River Utah Temple. Her husband will serve as president. They begin their service in November 2019.