Mary Ellen Edmunds
Mary Ellen Edmunds was born March 3, 1940, in Los Angeles, California. She is the second of eight children. In 1943, Edmunds moved with her family to Utah. As a teenager, she worked at Zion National Park. Edmunds attended BYU and earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing in 1962. Later in life, she would teach nursing there for five years.
Edmunds served as a missionary in Taiwan, Hong Kong, the Philippines, and Indonesia. In fact, she was one of the first sister missionaries to serve in the Philippines and in Indonesia. She also served as a director of training at the Missionary Training Center and directed a child health project in Nigeria, West Africa. Edmunds served on the Relief Society General Board for eleven years, serving under both Elaine L. Jack and Barbara Winder.
She has received various awards from BYU, including the Exemplary Womanhood Award in 1984, the Alumni Distinguished Service in 1984, and the Presidential Citation and Medallion in 1994. As an inspirational speaker, Edmunds has spoken at events such as Education Week at BYU, BYU-I, and BYU-H; BYU Women’s Conference; Especially For Youth; and Time Out for Women. She is the author of several books, including MEE Speaks, Peculiar—in a Good Way, and Love is a Verb: And Other Thoughts on the Greatest Commandment. In 2005 the Mary Ellen Edmunds Nursing Endowment for the Healer’s Art was established by the BYU College of Nursing.
Edmunds enjoys spending time with her family and friends, teaching, writing, reading, thinking, serving, and being what she terms a “happifier.”