This post was written by Kevin Ralston, who was a friend of mine through my teens years, and who was lucky enough to be one of my mom’s seminary students. The picture below was taken at a prom dinner that my mom put together for me and some of my friends.
Sister J is bubbly.
You would think that I would have learned my lesson, once referring to her as such from the pulpit when our Senior Seminary class was asked to speak in Sacrament Meeting. It drew laughs from the congregation, and immediately I wished I could take that description back, fearing it may have embarrassed her. Who was I kidding? Sister J didn't embarrass easily.
She was the most down-to-earth teacher/friend/friends' mom you could ask for. One of her more memorable quotes (for me) was "Your body is a temple, not a visitors' center." Risqué? Maybe. Hilarious? Yes. Easy for teenagers to understand? Definitely. Her main concern was to teach us rowdy kids, and to make sure we held to the Iron Rod.
What better testament of her love for youth, than her own kids? I am lucky to have been acquainted with the Jeppson 8. I knew the older 4 the best, and enough can't be said for their friendship, their love of the gospel, and their academic accomplishments.
A little over a year ago, by sheer happenstance, I ran into a very pregnant Lindsey one day at the grocery store in Mesa. She told me that her mom was coming to town soon. My wife and kids and I were lucky enough to get to have dinner with her and Lindsey's family, and my wife finally got to meet the famous Sister Jeppson.
At the end of the dinner, as we were leaving the restaurant, I got to hug her goodbye. I thought my choice of words was kind of random, at the moment.. I told her "I love you." She returned the gesture and told my wife that she really did love me. Looking back, I'm glad that those were the words that came out. I really do love Sister J. She stands out in my mind as a great influence during the formative years of my life, and I will always be grateful for that.