If Mormons were to pick 100 women to represent the religion’s “cool” factor to a world-wide audience, who would be on the list?

Here is a modest proposal in alphabetical order. Who are we missing when it comes to cool Mormon women?


139 Responses

  1. What a great list! I love Sydney from thedaybookblog.com. She was my first fashion blog that I read, and she is super funny!

  2. Jen Marco, co author of Healing Through Christ, professional singer with over 200 projects recorded, including Donny and Marie Osmond, Biggest Loser Fitness albums, EFY, and Manheim Steamroller.

  3. Jessie Clark Funk, Singer, Motivational Speaker for teens, Creator of non-profit, “Ivy Girls Academy” which helps teen girls build self-confidence, healthy boundaries, goal setting, etc.

    1. I desperately searched for Noelle — she’s current, not like Shawn King, who is rather publicly embarassing, I’d swap her out… and reorder them, were this my list.

      May I also suggest adding: Courtney Jane Kendrick – Deseret News columnist at one point, Mommy blogger and mother and a host of downtown Provo music scene.

      Stephanie Nielson, Mommy blogger, plane crash survivor, mother.

      These three are cooler than some soap opera actresses — especially when you consider what they represent in totality.

  4. Joanna Brooks should definitely be on this list!!! She was on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart talking about MORMONS and her Mormon faith, and she published a memoir about the topic.

    Also Fiona Givens and Terry Tempest Williams, both are amazing Mormon women and published authors.

  5. Jaime Heiner. A 17 year old victim of rape by her teacher who is standing up and being heard. She is a talented, intelligent young woman, public speaker, musician and all around cool teen.

  6. Ruth Todd is now the VP of public affairs for NuSkin…she’s easily one of the coolest LDS women alive–and teaches us you can have and do it all!

  7. Fun list. It does bother me that they are the “coolest” because of their accomplishments outside the home. It sends a message that women of LDS faith should accomplish something in the world, to be recognized, rather than having their accomplishments in the home be the first thing they are recognized for. Perhaps each persons accomplishment blurb should have started with “mother”, or “wife” or “primary teacher” or “housekeeper, nanny, taxi driver, financial director” anyway, you get the idea.

    1. Biology isn’t the only accomplishment available, says the woman with infertility who were it not for medical science, would be unable to have anybody to keep house for, nanny, or taxi drive anywhere.

      You might note that we have been asked to extend our realm of influence not only within our homes, but also outside of them, to be involved in our communities. These women represent that, too.

    2. I agree with you, Laura. I am disturbed that not one of the women were listed as a Mother and Homemaker for her accomplishments.

      1. Actually #61 (was #62 looks like they’ve redone the graphic several times to fix mistakes and add people which makes me wonder who got dropped!) was California Mother of the Year a recognition from American Mothers. That’s all they do is recognize mothers!

        Too bad they didn’t see fit to add all the other LDS Young Mothers of the Year and Mothers of the Year to this list too though – there are 13 other women who were recognized this year and they are just as “cool.”

    3. I personal don’t feel like being a mom is something that should be labeled “cool”. Rewarding, valuable, enriching, essential – yes. Definitely. But if you’re out to make your job as a mom “cool” then you are missing the point of what being a mother really is.

      Parents aren’t meant to be cool. They are meant to teach their children how to work hard, be responsible, be disciplined, educated, etc. Can you have fun along the way? Of course! But lets not turn into the mothers who are out to win the approval of their children and their children’s friends. Let’s keep the more important things in mind, and not try to make our job as mothers “cool”.

      What these women have done isn’t just cool, it’s awesome. Don’t take away from their accomplishments just because it doesn’t mention their work in their homes. I know these women are wonderful mothers, in addition to their stellar careers. Aren’t we proud of our LDS sisters who show the world we are competent and capable not just by the churches standards, but the worlds as well? I saw bravo to these fab women! And bravo to those at home as well! We need to stick together, not tear each other down.

  8. While I agree that these women are pretty “cool,” and all of the women are are admirable and great role models, the title of the list made me feel uncomfortable. Rather than naming them the “The Coolest Alive” I would have felt better if they were listed as “Some Very Cool Women.” There are LDS women all over the world doing remarkable things, some in quiet yet equally amazing ways. Shortly after reading this list I read this blog post, and I thought it was a very nice counterbalance: http://lemmonythings.com/2014/01/22/giving-up-on-the-quest-to-be-extraordinary-and-how-it-will-change-your-life/

    1. Also, I know from experience that some of those women actually aren’t all that cool. Just because they’re well known doesn’t mean they’re great.

    2. This list has some great well known women that do extraordinary things. The way they titled it shouldn’t make anyone feel bad for not making the list. Mormon women are awesome!!! We do amazing things but there are millions of us! They can’t name everyone. I guess instead of being uncomfortable, I would say be happy for those women to get some spotlight, and be happy to have somethings in common with them. I personally know I’m the coolest Mormon woman in this house!! 🙂 but there is a lot of competition outside these walls! Go us!!!!

  9. I live in Buena Vista and 3 of my children have attended SVU. As far as I know, Dr. Kellog is not LDS. You should have included Rose Datoc Dall.

  10. You’re missing many great women like Kristen Oaks author of A Single Voice and wife of Elder Oaks, Anita Stansfield who has written tons of books, Traci Hunter Abramson who worked for the CIA and author and Whitney Award winner, Josi Kilpack author and Whitney award winner, Rachel Ann Nunes author/ Whitney Award winner, and Stephanie Black author/ Whitney Award winner to name a few. Also, please list more credentials for Julie Hanks: author singer daughterof Lex de Azevedo, and Elizabeth Smart: author and missing children advocate. I was disappointed in some of your choices. I don’t believe Mormon women who align themselves with inappropriate TV shows or movies should make the list. Mormon women featured should be examples for good.

    1. I totally agree with your comment about the TV shows. Some of those shows are not allowed in our home because of their inappropriate content.

  11. I agree with the commenters who have expressed that the title of this article is bothersome. It strikes me as pandering to the “in crowd” as it were. There seems to be a persistent need for Mormons (I am one) to prove that we do indeed have celebrities and people lauded by the world among our number. Goodness knows, there are millions of LDS women who are pretty stellar and “cool” who don’t make lists like these. I agree that many on this list are to be held in very high esteem for their accomplishments; there are hundreds and hundreds of others who likewise deserve to be on this list but are not simply because they are not in the public eye. My solace is that Heavenly Father knows their deeds and will reward them beyond measure.

    1. Are you sure Stephanie McKnight is the National Young Mother? I think she is California’s Young Mother. At least that’s how it appears on the American Mother’s website. Tara Trobaugh from Georgia (not a mormon) was the 2013 National Young Mother. Although, I’m sure Stephanie McKnight is very cool. Fun list!

    1. You go Girl! Al has touched the lives of so many in a way a lot of us can’t comprehend. I love her.

      You are missing a ton of other women. This list is centered too much on Utah women.

  12. I’d say Kristine Haglund, editor of Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, blogger at ByCommonConsent.com, go to media interviewee and all around great person belongs on the list. One of the coolest people I know.

  13. I just love Jane Clayson Johnson so much! She is beautiful inside and out! I am so grateful for her message about the importance of motherhood. I saw her speak at EFY and I stood in line to meet her. When she shook my hand and asked about me, she smiled at me and made me feel like she was truly glad I was there, I don’t think just anyone has that quality. Keep Shining bright Jane, I love ya!

  14. Obviously there are many more mormon women who could have been on the list but it was limited to 100 . Just be thankful that there are literally thousands of mormon women around the world living the gospel, sending their missionary children out to preach the gospel to others, accompanying their husbands on missions, setting a great moral example to others, and representing a force for good in the world. Do t get picky about who is on the list, Heavenly Father holds the master list and so many of you will be on it. God bless.

  15. You neglected to include Kathleen Flake, a nationally respected scholar of early Mormon history, and the first occupant of the Richard L. Bushman Chair of Mormon Studies in the University of Virginia’s Department of Religious Studies.

  16. Where are the people last week that were complaining about women not being represented on the top 50 men list? This list has 100, last weeks was 50. Doesn’t seem like it’s fair representation.

    1. If you read the comment section on that article you’d find a post from the author saying that due to the high number of suggestions on the “Top 50” list for men, they’d attempt to increase the list for women to 100. There were enough men listed in the comments to have supported a “Top 100” list.

  17. I can’t believe you left off Heidi Swinton. She has written numerous books, including the prophets biography and is a fabulous speaker!

  18. Jenna Kim Jones, stand-up comedian based in LA. Funny, clean, cute, used to work on the Daily Show, has done some very cool stuff. JennaKimJones.com

  19. I think it’s cool that you had to open the list up to 100, instead of just 50 for the men’s list. I also like how more international this list is and how much more diversified. (It isn’t mostly athletes.). I know people talked about these women as wives and mothers. But I think they are cool because they have done things that I haven’t done. 🙂

  20. What about Moms who raise extraordinary children? ALL children are extraordinary. That is the highest work of Heavenly Father. ALL else is secondary.

    1. So, for those of us who can’t have children or who have callings in other areas of life, our lives purposes are meaningless?!?!? Don’t you think that many of these women help other people’s children (or other people’s parents) through their influence? As long as Heavenly Father is pleased with our choices, it’s not your concern how we use our time and talents. But, thanks for once again for slamming my life circumstances.

    2. Barbara, This is a list of women who are reaching a “world-wide” audience. I happen know a handful of these women & they are extraordinary moms, too. Should we not recognize women’s contributions beyond their homes? And in recognizing their professional efforts, how does it take away or diminish the value of mother’s?

  21. I would like to submit the name of Wendy Anne Gardiner Hoop. My daughter, my hero!! Wendy is the most loving Mom of 6 (with a poignant story to tell), writer extraordinaire, actor, blogger (her blogs make you laugh one minute and cry the next) and Public Speaker. She has my vote many times over as one the coolest Mormon Women Alive Today!!!

  22. The qualities of women in general that I find admirable are no where on this list. As a Mormon woman, I’m much more interested in lives of dedication to family and God-not the visible and outward recognitions and positions. It’s simply not what matters long term.

  23. Rachel Parcell???? Seriously she doesn’t represent the Mormon women at all. She is very immodest. What a joke! She is nothing but a spoiled little silver spoon-er. Not an ounce of charity in her.

  24. Dr E. Susan Kellogg is a fantastic professor, amazing woman who I learned a lot from but she is not LDS. If that is the criteria for this list, someone did not do their fact checking.

  25. Dayna Karlinsey needs to be on the list: the most charitable, selfless woman I know. She quietly dedicates her life to lifting others in need — emotional, temporal, or spiritual. Scores, if not hundreds, of people have had their lives lifted to a higher plane because Dayna was a part of their circle. During the past three decades she has made her life a prolonged “service mission” in a dozen cities across three continents, sacrificing her pride and comfort to learn languages, adapt to cultures, and face hardship so that she could support her husband in his career, and simultaneously assure that none of these barriers got in the way of magnifying her callings at Church with all of her heart and strength. Mostly, she has consistently, and daily, dedicated her time, talents, and resources to teaching, strengthening, and guiding her children — making it her life’s work to assure that they will make the world a better place.

  26. You left out my wonderful wife of Gloria 46 years–greatest Relief Society President ever; mother of four–all returned missionaries, all college graduates of which two are doctors and two full time mothers and all four married in the temple. Grandmother of 17 soon to be 18 and still slim and trim. Who could ask for anything more.

  27. Why do we need this list? Didn’t all the “cool” women get enough of that attention in High School? Sorry but it just reinforces the “click” problem in the church!

    1. That would be a clique, not click, Mommyof4.

      We do this to tell ourselves we are not all overweight slugs, making and eating funeral potatoes even when nobody died.

      My LDS friend Amanda Van Orden sang in this original musical that was conceived by LDS actress, opera singer and producer Rachel Payne, who also hired everyone and sang in it. (She’s the blonde; Amanda is brunette.) It was directed by Kym Mellon, another awesome LDS woman here in Utah County.

      Let’s celebrate a few of these women, too: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smfHHjpHZFI What really helps is if people watch the Youtubes all the way to the end, click “Like” and then share them on social media sites.

      Musical song cycles are a bit intense for the Disney music crowd, but if we want other LDS women to succeed in their chosen fields, we need to stop bickering and start supporting. Most of these women were gifted from a very young age, but the only attention they got in high school was from bullies.

  28. Maybe someone should do there research because Professor Kellogg is not a member. Unless she was baptized in the seventies and she doesn’t remember.

      1. YOU obviously don’t know Dr. Kellogg very well. She has never vocally expressed her views about the Church. She’s received several blessings from priesthood holders and told us on numerous occasions she wants her work done when she’s gone. So, nice try. She may not be LDS, but she is by far one of the most incredible women I’ve ever met.

  29. I disagree that Marie Osmond is on the list. Maybe she used to be a cool representative of a true Mormon Woman, but she in recent years has become much too immodest in her dress.

  30. This list makes me want to die – what is the requirement for being on this list? Just what Mormon women need – some scale to live up to that is ridiculous.

  31. There are so many women worthy of emulation. Though I don’t agree with many on the list, it’s not my list. I would definitely add Camille Fronk Olsen, M. Katherine Thomas, April Perry and Saren Loosli-founders of Power of Moms, and for sure Al Fox!

  32. I’m sure all great Women, Educated, Fashionable, Cool but like the scripture below

    John 12:42-43 “For they loved the praise of men more that the praise of God”

    Who would be the one presenting the plan of the Worldwide United Foundation show me that one and she’ll have my vote.

  33. I would add
    Kristine Haglund, editor of Dialogue
    Claudia Bushman, author, editor, historian
    Mara Kofoed, Blog About Love
    Elle Rowley, owner of Solly Baby Wraps
    Eva Jorgenson, owner of Sycamore Street Press
    Hediyeh Baradaran Coombs, doctor, and sister of the law professors listed
    Rebecca Thomas, director of Electrick Children
    Ash Mae Hoiland, watercolor painter, children book author

  34. Heidi Thompson, President and CoOwner of Scentsy, the fastest growing consumer products and services company in the country. What and elegant and refined lady! Dedicated to family and the gospel while managing a successful business. This woman is true to herself and radiates what it means to be a Mormon.

  35. Fairly unprofessional article here. The set up is odd, the choices are unbalanced, a few important typos, some lack of research, inconsistent bios and photos. Hopefully UtahValley360 can up their game to the level of many of the women listed.

  36. Eww! Natalie Hill?? She’s the antithesis of cool to me.

    I think that if they were going to include a Mormon blogger, it should have been Naomi Davis of Rockstar Diaries instead. I guess that they chose Natalie Hill, because she’s single and didn’t want to emphasize the Mormon Mommy blogger archetype for their “cool” list.

  37. Some of these choices are just baffling…Carmen Rasmussen? She was on a few episodes of American Idol many years ago…what else is she known for? So many more Mormon women who have done great things. Maybe she is related to someone who made this list?

  38. Your list is out of date. Cindy Ady, number 3, is no longer an elected politician. She is now director of Tourism Alberta. Sylvia Allred is no longer a member of theGeneral RS Presidency. I expect there are others that are out of date also.

  39. #101 – Wendi Harrison-Smith,

    Musician, Mother of 3 Eagle Scouts, 3 Missionaries, Granddaughter of BYU Professors of Botany Bertrand and Lorna Harrison, Niece of BYU Professor of Physics Kent Harrison, Quilter extraordinaire, Wife of Utah Youth Soccer Vice President Brian Smith.

  40. And you all wonder why your kids are rating others on social media sites. They follow your example. This ranked list is everything that’s wrong with LDS culture. Insane.

  41. Amy Antonelli, an RM,a BYU grad, and Harvard grad who left Apple to spend 5 years working in the leprosy colonies of India to establish a modern high-tech school for the children of leprosy effected parents, and helped facilitate micro-lending for victims to become self sustaining in small businesses. Her only desire was to become a wife and mom, but has not yet married.

  42. Amy Harmon – New York Times Best Selling author, to date she has five books published.
    She has been a motivational speaker, a grade school teacher, a junior high teacher, a home school mom, and a member of the Grammy Award winning Saints Unified Voices Choir, directed by Gladys Knight. She released a Christian Blues CD in 2007 called “What I Know”

  43. Some of these comments unfortunately remind me of why I do not like to walk into church. Is it so hard to be respectful in the way we speak to each other even behind the anonymity of the internet?

  44. we talk about the need for moms to raise their children and be at home and then we make all those moms feel worthless because they don’t do cool stuff like run a business. And we make their lives look boring because we say if you aren’t just like there 100 ladies you’re not cool. I think these women are amazing but can we give some credit to moms who work just as hard at home but no one ever sees it? Just my 2 cents …..

  45. Sonia Clayton is hands down the neatest LDS woman out there. Here are just a few of the awards she has reveived for the company she owns.
    Fastest Growing Woman-Owned Business; Houston Business Journal 2009

    Top 50 Fastest-Growing Woman-Owned Business; Houston Business Journal 2008 [7]

    Fast 100 Growing Companies; Houston Business Journal 2008 (ranked 43rd)

    Top Women in Technology Honoree; Association for Women in Computing 2007 [8]

    Female Entrepreneur of the Year; Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce 2007 [9]

    Top Houston Woman in Technology; Texas Gov. Rick Perry 2007

    Top Minority-Owned Business; DiversityBusiness.com 2005

    Emerging Ten (E-10) Award; Houston Minority Business Council 2001-2004 [10]

  46. Whitney Johnson, double rated investment banker for Merrill Lynch. Author of Dare, Dream, Do. Blogger. Regular contributor to Harvard Business blog. Pianist and sometime Time Out for Women performer. Mother. Wife. Friend.
    Chrysula Winegar, Author of When You Wake Up a Mother, works for multiple NGO’s at the UN and in Africa promoting Shot for Life and other programs that promote health and education for women worldwide.
    Neylan McBaine. Princeton Graduate. Senior in marketing at BonCom (formerly Bonneville Communications). Author of Women in the Church.

    I may have some mistakes, I’m just typing this off the top of my head.

  47. There are so many lds woman doing amazing things. I can name at least 10 but on that list of 10 I will name 2. I met Jill Knapp from Idaho about 2 yrs ago. After being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes lost 100 pounds. She then went on to compete in the mrs. Idaho pageant at age 45 and got 2nd runner. She created a blog I followed for yrs before I met her. Anyways, Dr Oz found her blog on line and had her out to new York and featured her on his show. She was also on the cover of woman’s world magazine. She was also featured on Web MD diabetes TV. All of her social media stuff is under the name of her Web site. ” Get Up and Get Moving or gogle Jill Knapp weight loss. When I met and heard Jill speak at an even I was really inspired. It was more that she’s been through so much in life but never let her punch her to the ground. Her journey was very inspiring and I left feeling I could change the world if I wanted to and to be my own super hero as she told the crowd.

    AL Fox is another awsome lady who is very inspiring. I heard her speak a week ago and again had that wonderful feeling that I could change the world after her talk. She’s spunky and funny.

    1. I agree Jill is great. I met her at a health conference in New Jersey and found out she is a Mormon. I loved meeting her. You need to add Valerie Hudson and Heidi Thompson and also miss pretty dang cool Al Fox who just released another book and is doing a ton of book signings. Met her last week. shes is super nice and is doing a great job at spreading the gospel message through a very different journey.

  48. For the next List put out I vote for Amberley Snyder. She is MLB’s Cory Snyders daughter. paralyzed from the waist down from a Rollover Accident in her Truck. She has always been a barrel racer with her horses. No one thought she would ever get back. Now she is on the College Rodeo Circuit and she travels the country speaking about Texting and Driving. Check out her Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/Amberley-Snyder-220997234712375/?fref=ts

  49. Linda Margetts and
    Bonnie Lauper Goodliffe

    The two amazing femaie Tabernacle (Temple Square) organists that have been accompanying the Tabernacle choir, accompanying General Conference, and giving daily recitals in the Tabernacle and Conference Center FOR OVER 30 YEARS.

  50. Please, Rachel Parcell? Cool? She’s really a spoiled brat who is very immodest. I don’t believe she’s a very good example at all. She recently released a “line’ of clothes she claimed to design, but over half of them have been shown to be exact replicas of clothing she has in her closet and featured in her blog — that’s right she copied the designs of other designers, rather blatantly in fact. Oh, but her defense? She changed the color! She designed them, she says. No, it looks like she stole them in order to sell 100% polyester clothes made in China… for $140-$185 a pop. But, don’t you dare bring it up to her because you will immediately be labeled a negative influence and her fans will berate you, with vulgar language. Then let’s not forget that she wears VERY short skirts and dresses, and she admitted (yes she admitted this on her social media feed) that she buys her garments 2-3 sizes too small in petite (she is NOT petite!) and that that’s why she can wear such short skirts. She actually told another LDS woman to do that same so she could keep wearing ‘cute’ clothing. I was just appalled to read that. When people pointed out that if she buys those small sizes because of fit problems, she can go to Beehive and get measured for a custom fit, she balked at that, claiming not to have enough time. Huh? She has time to travel totally and Hawaii, to lounge around taking photos of herself all day. She lives in Utah… how hard is it to find distribution center and run a quick errand? Does she not realize there are some of us who lives hours and hundreds of miles from a temple and/or a distribution center? I don’t like talking bad about another sister… but she is just…. not an example people should be looking to. And her most recent escapade with the fashion line clearly shows a lack of integrity, too. It’s not like this is made up. It’s stuff she herself had done or said. But, heaven help you if you speak up and ask her about something she said or did that isn’t gushing praise. Typical mean girl stuff.

  51. Perhaps everyone that responded negatively toward women that made the list could be a bit less judgmental. These negative comments reminded me of my experiences growing up in the church with girls that judged me for my skirt length among many other things. It’s a shame that such scrutiny is placed on other women because of an outfit choice. Isn’t it enough to strive to be a good person?

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