Janath R. Cannon

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Janath Russell Cannon served as a counselor in the Relief Society general presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She was also a member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir for close to twenty years, edited the choir’s newsletter, and was among the first missionaries couples to serve in Africa, and the author of several books.

She was born on October 28, 1918, in Ogden, Utah. She enjoyed a pioneer heritage as one of the great-granddaughters of Charles C. Rich. She graduated with honors from Wellesley College and began her missionary service in Paris, France, but was transferred to the Toronto, Canada mission with the outbreak of World War II. She met her future husband, Edwin Q. Cannon, in that mission. After they were married in 1941, they served in many capacities within the Church. From 1971 to 1974 they led the Switzerland Mission. She served as counselor to Barbara B. Smith from 1974 to 1978 (she had served for eight years on the Relief Society general board), and she and her husband were one of two missionaries couples to preach to black people in Nigeria and Ghana. They became the directors of the Nauvoo, Illinois Visitors' Center in the 1980s; they served as interim leaders of the Germany Hamburg Mission; and presided over the Frankfurt Germany Temple from 1989 to 1992—he as president and she as matron.

She was the editor of Nauvoo Panorama: Views of Nauvoo Before, During, and After Its Rise, Fall, and Restoration. She cowrote, with Jill Mulvay Derr and Maureen Ursenbach Beecher Women of Covenant: The Story of Relief Society. She also penned “Edward Hunter, Faithful Steward,” “The Cannon Family Treasury,” and “Together: A Love Story.”

Cannon was the mother of six children. She died on July 5, 2007, in Bountiful, Utah.