Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » A Prayer for Jenny Reeder

A Prayer for Jenny Reeder

By: Ardis E. Parshall - November 08, 2010

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?



  1. I learned about this tragedy last night. I know what a wonderful person Jenny is. Her mother, Karen, is a dear friend of mine. Please pray with me that this family will be blessed with strength, peace, comfort, and a full recovery as they embark on this journey.

    Comment by Alana — November 8, 2010 @ 6:21 am

  2. Yes, we will.

    Comment by ellen — November 8, 2010 @ 7:11 am

  3. Sorry to hear that. Best wishes to Jenny, and we’ll remember her in our prayers.

    Comment by Researcher — November 8, 2010 @ 7:30 am

  4. Thanks for this, Ardis.

    Comment by matt b — November 8, 2010 @ 9:09 am

  5. All the best to Jenny!

    Comment by Michelle Glauser — November 8, 2010 @ 9:18 am

  6. Yes, yes. I have also felt “comfort when friends join in a common petition” and am hopeful that Jenny will be strengthened by this effort.

    Comment by David Y. — November 8, 2010 @ 9:26 am

  7. We’ll remember her in our prayers as well.

    Comment by Bruce Crow — November 8, 2010 @ 10:11 am

  8. Will do.

    Comment by michelle — November 8, 2010 @ 12:57 pm

  9. Thanks for the information and update, Ardis. I absolutely love Jenny and hate to see this.

    Comment by Maurine — November 8, 2010 @ 4:53 pm

  10. Thanks for this, Ardis. I know Jenny from her service as a current member of MHA’s Board of Directors. She attended our most recent meeting in SLC about two weeks ago and, as usual, contributed with great insight and what seemed like energy, although she must have been drawing on her reserves without knowing it. Barbara Jones Brown, a SLC friend of Jenny who was with her as she went into the hospital in Arlington, VA , reports that, for those who know Jenny, notes and cards to her home address via snail mail as well as e-mail rather than text messages are the best way to reach her. For those who have not met her, Ardis’s recommendation of prayers would also be welcome. Flowers are out because of Jenny’s medical condition and the chemo regimen she is starting today. An alternate to flowers might be a later contribution to the medical fund that her ward’s Relief Society is forming along with a website that will soon provide a means of staying current with Jenny Reeder’s treatment and progress. Barbara also reports that Jenny’s friends and her Washington area ward have been extremely supportive. With the best wishes, kind thoughts, and prayers of all those people, as well as those of Keepa’s readers, I am confident that our pal Jenny Reeder is in good hands.

    Comment by Bill MacKinnon — November 8, 2010 @ 6:01 pm

  11. Does anyone have Jenny’s home address so that we can send cards?

    Comment by Maurine — November 8, 2010 @ 9:11 pm

  12. Her email address is jennyreeder1 (at) gmail (dot) com (that’s a “one” at the end of her name) and her home address is 3405 S. Utah St., Arlington, VA 22206. Roommates are taking her mail daily, and when she can use her laptop she’ll see your email. (This from Barbara.)

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — November 8, 2010 @ 9:29 pm

  13. Jenny’s blog is being updated by her ward friends, and it now contains some more info. re how we can be of help to her and her family. The blog also has some very upbeat photos of Jenny taken in her hospital room. See:

    Comment by Bill MacKinnon — November 10, 2010 @ 12:09 am

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