Jenny Reeder is a young Mormon historian, a grad student at George Mason University, with a particular interest in Mormon women’s history of the 19th century. She has given some fascinating papers at Mormon History Association meetings in recent years and is in the opening stages of a promising career, producing the kind of affectionate and scholarly work that Keepa readers would enjoy and appreciate. She wrote the entry on Eliza R. Snow for Paul Reeve’s and my recent Mormonism: A Historical Encyclopedia and was the very first scholar to turn in her entry — she has the responsibility that an editor only grows to appreciate more with every friendly-but-nagging reminder that goes out to less prompt contributors.
Jenny was diagnosed this weekend with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and begins chemotherapy this morning.
My favorite part of the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” is not the teary ending when, one after another, all of George Bailey’s friends bring their contributions to repay him in part for the unselfish kindnesses he has offered over the years. My favorite part is really the opening few seconds of the movie where we hear voice after voice praying for George Bailey, before we even know who George is or why so many people care. Even when a loving and all-wise Heavenly Father knows our needs before we know them — and surely He knows what Jenny and her family and her doctors need — there is a power and comfort when friends join in a common petition on behalf of someone in need. Whether you know her or not, won’t you join with those who love Jenny and include her in your prayers over the next few weeks?