The following biographical sketch is adapted from
the "News of the Church: Elder Malcolm S. Jeppsen of the Second Quorum
of the Seventy" published in the Ensign for May 1989 on the occasion
of Elder Jeppsen's call to the Second Quorum of the Seventy.
“Our willingness to do whatever the Lord asks is more
important than the Church position we hold,” says Elder Malcolm S. Jeppsen,
newly sustained as a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy. “It isn’t
our Church positions that bring exaltation; it is the keeping of the covenants.”
Elder Jeppsen is a physician in family practice in
Salt Lake City, where he and his wife, Marian Davis Jeppsen, have lived
for thirty-seven years. He feels that family practice has been ideal for
him: “All day long I go from room to room seeing my patients, my friends—some
who have been with me for thirty years—and taking care of them. I couldn’t
have had a better job than that.”
Elder Jeppsen credits his parents, Conrad and Laurine
Nielsen Jeppsen, with having had the most profound influence on his life.
“I always knew of their devotion to the Lord,” he says. He spent his childhood
in Mantua, Utah, where he was born on 1 November 1924.
From the time he was a young boy, Elder Jeppsen wanted
to be a doctor. He began his training through the Navy, then graduated
from medical school at Baylor University in Houston, Texas, in 1948. Later,
he served in the Korean conflict for one year aboard ship as a navy doctor.
“My biggest challenge,” he says, “is to live in the
world but to keep the world out of my thinking. I suspect it is that way
with a lot of people.” He has served as a bishop, a stake president, a
Regional Representative, and, for the past two years, a sealer in the Salt
In spite of his many commitments, Elder Jeppsen has
always found time to be home with his family. Married in the Logan Temple
on 21 June 1950, Elder and Sister Jeppsen are the parents of seven children:
Julie Ellen, who died four days after birth;
Christine (Clark); Robert M.; Kathryn (Eargle); John C.; David D.;
and Jerry Yazzie, a foster son from the Indian Placement Program who lived
with the Jeppsens from the time he was eight years old.
The Jeppsens credit their success at balancing family,
Church callings, and career to careful organization. “I don’t believe our
family unity suffered because of Malcolm’s busy schedule,” says Sister
Jeppsen. “We have worked at making time for our family to be together,
such as at our evening meal. Traveling also provided time when we could
all be together.
Music is also an important part of the Jeppsen home.
Marian is an accomplished violinist and plays with the Salt Lake Symphony.
Christine is a guest organist on Temple Square, where she plays the Tabernacle
For fun, Elder Jeppsen enjoys experimenting with
electronics around his home. When the Jeppsen children were teenagers,
they could never figure out how their parents always knew exactly what
time they came home at night. Then they learned of one of their father’s
creations: he had connected the hall light switch to the clock so that
when the light was turned off, the clock stopped.
Elder Jeppsen’s testimony has been strongly influenced
by his work as a temple sealer. “One of the sweetest experiences I’ve had
is to seal for time and all eternity many of the young people I delivered
as babies,” he says. “This calling has also allowed me to spend hours in
the temple. The veil is very thin in the temple, and the ultimate teacher
of truths is the Holy Ghost. Many sweet and wonderful spiritual experiences
have come to me in the temple.”
When asked about his new calling, Elder Jeppsen takes
Marian’s hand: “We are overwhelmed with this call. It seems to us that
there are many people more qualified than I am, but we are honored and
happy to accept. We certainly have a knowledge
that it has come from God, and we are united in our desire to serve
Elder Jeppsen faithfully served his five-year call
to the Second Quorum of the Seventy and was honorably released on October