Junius F. Wells Award - 2012: Marlin K. Jensen
In the October 2012 General conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Elder Marlin K. Jensen, a member of the First Quorum of Seventy, was released as Church historian and recorder. Elder Jensen had served in this calling for seven and a half years, and during his tenure he left a legacy of accomplishment that will be hard to duplicate. He was responsible for the construction of the new Church History Library; the Joseph Smith Papers project; Harmony, Pennsylvania site restoration; he led and supported efforts to make the Mountain Meadows Massacre Historic site a National Historic landmark; the digitization of Church historical collections; helped with the Nauvoo restoration; and significantly strengthened ties with other historical communities.
In recognition of his service and accomplishments, the Mormon Historic Sites Foundation presented to Elder Jensen their Junius F. Wells award, November 14, 2012. A banquet was held in Elder Jensen’s honor at the Joseph Smith Memorial building with a large attendance of historians, friends, family, and Church authorities. Included in the program was a video presentation on the life of Elder Jensen and special musical numbers were presented that were favorite songs of Marlin and Kathy during their early courting days.
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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 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. In the April 2005 General conference he was sustained as Church historian and recorder. He was released from those callings and given emeritus status in the October 2012 General conference. 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 New York Rochester Mission, president of the Huntsville Utah Stake, bishop of the Huntsville Ward, priest 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 and his juris doctorate from the University of Utah Law School, graduating first in his class. While building a successful law practice, his real passion was the Huntsville rural lifestyle on the family ranch.
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, and they are the parents of eight children and twenty-five grandchildren.
After a busy life of raising a large family, a professional career, and demanding Church service, Elder Jensen has but one dream, that some day he can take a hike with a good book, stop at some point, lean back against a tree and just read. “If Kathy was there is would make it even sweeter.”