May Green Hinckley

May Green Hinckley (May 1, 1881 – May 2, 1943) was the third general president of the Primary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) from 1940 until her death. She was the stepmother of Gordon B. Hinckley, fifteenth president of the LDS Church.

May Green Hinckley
Photo of May Green Hinckley
3rd General President of the Primary
1940 – May 2, 1943 (1943-05-02)
Called byHeber J. Grant
PredecessorMay Anderson
SuccessorAdele C. Howells
Personal details
BornMay Green
(1881-05-01)May 1, 1881
Brampton, Derbyshire, UK
DiedMay 2, 1943(1943-05-02) (aged 62)
Salt Lake City, Utah, US
Resting placeWasatch Lawn Memorial Park
40°41′53″N 111°50′31″W / 40.698°N 111.842°W / 40.698; -111.842 (Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park)
Spouse(s)Bryant S. Hinckley
Childrenstepmother of Gordon B. Hinckley
ParentsWilliam Green
Lucy Marsden


Green was born in Brampton, Derbyshire, England. Her mother had joined the LDS Church three years before Green's birth, but her father never joined the Church. She emigrated to the United States with her mother and some of her siblings in 1889. Green was baptized in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1891, by then living in Salt Lake City.[1]

Green was raised in the Salt Lake 5th Ward of the LDS Church. Early on she was a teacher in both the Sunday School and YWMIA.[2] She served as a Mormon missionary in the Central States Mission of the LDS Church from 1907 to 1909.

After studying booking and accounting Green began work as business manager for a Salt Lake medical clinic.[3]

In 1920 Green was made president of the YLMIA for the Granite Stake in Salt Lake City. She served in this position for the next 12 years, and oversaw the initial establishment of the Gleaner program.[4]

In 1932, at the age of 50, Green married Bryant S. Hinckley, whose wife Ada Bitner had died in 1930. At the time, five of Hinckley's 13 children were still living at home. Green was at that point president of the stake Young Women Mutual Improvement Association (YWMIA).[5] Gordon B. Hinckley, one of the children, later recalled that he and the other children were upset by their father's decision to remarry, but they eventually came to accept their stepmother: "I don't know that it was easy for her to step into our family, but she did it well. We all respected her. We all loved her".[6] In 1935, when Bryant Hinckley became the president of the Northern States Mission based in Chicago, May Hinckley went with him and presided over the Primary Association, YWMIA, and Relief Society within the mission.

In 1940, May Hinckley was asked by church president Heber J. Grant to succeed May Anderson and become the third general president of the Primary Association of the church. In her ​3 12-year tenure, Hinckley introduced a revised curriculum, added a scripture-reading program for leaders and teachers, established a formal scriptural theme for Primary, and selected the official Primary logo, motto and colors.

Hinckley formed a committee that created lessons for use by Primaries in missions (as opposed to stakes). With energy rationing as a result of World War II, she oversaw the creation of more home-based Primary programs.[7]

Hinckley was the editor of The Children's Friend while she was Primary president. Her term ended when she unexpectedly died of pneumonia in Salt Lake City, Utah, the day after her 62nd birthday.[8] She was succeeded by Adele C. Howells, her first counselor.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Janet Peterson and LaRene Gaunt, The Children's Friends: Primary Presidents and Their Lives of Service (Deseret Book Company: Salt Lake City, 1996), p. 42
  2. ^ Peterson and Gaunt, Children's Friends, p. 43
  3. ^ Peterson and Gaunt, Children's Friends, p. 43
  4. ^ Peterson and Guant, Children's Friends, pp. 43-44
  5. ^ Patricia Kelsey Graham, We Shall Make Music: Stories of the Primary Songs and how They Came to Be (Horizon Publishers, 2007.[full citation needed]
  6. ^ Sheri L. Dew (1996). Go Forward with Faith: The Biography of Gordon B. Hinckley (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book) p. 55.
  7. ^ Peterson and Gaunt, Children's Friends, p. 54
  8. ^ State of Utah Death Certificate Archived 2011-07-18 at the Wayback Machine

External linksEdit

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints titles
Preceded by
May Anderson
President of the Primary
1940 – May 2, 1943 (1943-05-02)
Succeeded by
Adele C. Howells