Elaine A. Cannon

Elaine Anderson Cannon (April 9, 1922 – May 19, 2003) was the eighth general president of the Young Women organization of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) from 1978 to 1984. Cannon has been a writer and an editor and is the author of over 50 books.

Elaine A. Cannon
Photo of Elaine A. Cannon
8th Young Women General President
1978 – 1984
Called bySpencer W. Kimball
PredecessorRuth H. Funk
SuccessorArdeth G. Kapp
Personal details
BornElaine W. Anderson
(1922-04-09)April 9, 1922
Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
DiedMay 19, 2003(2003-05-19) (aged 81)
Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
Resting placeSalt Lake City Cemetery
40°46′37″N 111°51′29″W / 40.777°N 111.858°W / 40.777; -111.858 (Salt Lake City Cemetery)
EducationSociology degree
Alma materUniversity of Utah
Spouse(s)D. James Cannon
ParentsAldon Joseph Anderson
Minnie Evaline Egan Anderson
WebsiteElaine Anderson Cannon


Elaine Anderson was born to Aldon Joseph and Minnie Egan Anderson in Salt Lake City, Utah.[1]:13 As a teenager, she started writing a daily column aimed at teenagers for the Deseret News.[1]:74 She studied Philosophy, English, History, and Speech at the University of Utah.[1]:59 She graduated in 1943 with a degree in sociology.[2] On March 25, 1943 she married D. James Cannon in the Salt Lake Temple.[1]:59

She also did freelance work, publishing articles in national magazines including Seventeen and Better Homes and Gardens.

Cannon was key figure in organizing the LDS Student Association. While she worked in establishing Lambda Delta Sigma, the church's sorority, W. Rolfe Kerr worked to establish the church's fraternity, Sigma Gamma Chi. Cannon was also a member of the church's Priesthood Correlation Committee.

In 1959 she served as a delegate to the White House Conference on Youth.[2] During this year, she became an associate editor for "Era of Youth," a section of the Improvement Era that was targeted to adolescents. In 1971, the church magazine New Era was launched, which was patterned after the "Era of Youth" section of the Improvement Era.

In 1978, church president Spencer W. Kimball appointed Cannon as the successor to Ruth H. Funk as the general president of the Young Women Organization. During her tenure, the young women of the church began holding a yearly meeting in the Salt Lake Tabernacle; the meeting was intended for all adolescent girls of the church and their mothers, and it was broadcast by satellite around the world. Also during her tenure, young women classes began being held on Sundays as part of the church's consolidated worship services.

Cannon was released in 1984 and was succeeded by Ardeth G. Kapp.

Cannon died on May 19, 2003 in Salt Lake City.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d Metcalf, Holly C. (2011). Love's Banner: Memories of the Life of Elaine Cannon. Kennmore, Washington: Lamb and Lion. ISBN 9780615428994.
  2. ^ a b c "Elaine Cannon dies at age 81". LDS Church News. May 24, 2003. Retrieved October 14, 2016.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints titles
Preceded by
Ruth H. Funk
Young Women General President
Succeeded by
Ardeth G. Kapp