This biographical sketch adapted from "News of the
Church: Elder J. Kent Jolley of the Seventy" in the May 1997 Ensign on
the occasion of Elder Jolley's call to the Second Quorum of the Seventy.
At age 19, Kent Jolley felt good about life. As manager
of the local meat market, he was making decent money and had a good family
and good friends.
“And then one afternoon the Spirit touched my heart,”
he recalls. “I knew this wasn’t the thing I wanted to be doing then; it
was time to make a change. I went to my bishop and told him I was ready
to go on a mission.
“That was a turning point in my life. I loved my
mission and the experiences I had serving the Lord. I came away from my
mission committed to spend the rest of my life doing what Heavenly Father
wanted me to do and serving Him.”
Born on 30 December 1933 in Rexburg, Idaho, he returned
there after his mission to attend Ricks College, where he met his future wife,
Jill Waldram Leishman. “She was quiet and unassuming, but it was obvious
she had strong commitment toward the gospel,” Elder Jolley observed.
After marrying in the Idaho Falls Temple on 22 November
1957, the couple went to George Washington University, where he worked
full time while earning a bachelor’s degree and then a Juris Doctor degree.
The Jolleys then returned to their Idaho roots,
where he enjoyed a successful law practice and also worked in real
A former bishop, stake president’s counselor, stake
high councilor, and Young Men president, Brother Jolley kept growing and
serving in the Church. He and Sister Jolley raised seven children.
Life was good, yet the Jolleys began to wonder if
it could be more meaningful. “I guess we wondered out loud,” says Elder
Jolley, “because within weeks, I had been called to serve as a mission
president.” After serving in the Texas Corpus Christi Mission, Elder and
Sister Jolley returned to Rexburg in 1994. He returned to law and real
estate development. But they missed the spiritual uplift and blessings
of full-time Church service.
Reflecting on his call to the Second Quorum
of the Seventy, Elder Jolley observed with a smile, “Perhaps we wondered
out loud again about making life meaningful. I’m humbled and thrilled with
this new opportunity. We just want to do
whatever the Lord wants us to do.”
Elder J. Kent Jolley was sustained as a member of the Church's Second Quorum of the Seventy in April 1997. As part of that call he served as president of the Brazil South Area and as a counselor in the North America East area presidency. In October of 2003, having served his Lord and his Church faithfully for the term of his call, Elder Jolley was honorably released with a vote of thanks from the Church in General Conference Assembled.