The Schlenskers

I’m thrilled to announce the third annual Mothers’ Retreat at Southern Virginia University! Thank you so much for the outpouring of love and support you have shown over the past few years. None of this would be possible without you!

The theme this year is, “From Generation to Generation.” As women and mothers, we are in a unique position to love, teach and nurture God’s children. The work of a righteous mother is no small task and has the power to influence generations. In the words of Elder M. Russell Ballard, “There is no role in life more essential and more eternal than that of motherhood.”

Join us for another weekend of inspirational speakers, delicious food, amazing music, and unparalleled sisterhood, as we celebrate our role as women, mothers, and daughters of God.

Megan Knight Schlensker


Friday, May 17, 2019
3:00 – 5:00 p.m. Check-In
5:00 – 7:00 p.m. Dinner
7:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Evening Session

8:30 – 10:00 p.m. Ice Cream Social
Saturday, May 18, 2019
7:00 – 8:30 a.m. Breakfast
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Morning Session

12:00 – 1:30 p.m. Lunch
1:30 – 4:00 p.m.

Afternoon Session


Elaine S. Dalton

Former Young Women General President

Elaine Dalton was born and raised in Ogden, Utah. She received her bachelor’s degree in English from Brigham Young University.

Sister Dalton married Stephen E. Dalton in the Salt Lake Temple. They are the parents of five sons and one daughter and after 50 years of marriage, they find themselves surrounded by twenty-one blond-haired grandchildren!

Sister Dalton served as the Young Women General President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 2008 until 2013. A calling she feels is a grand privilege and blessing in her life.

Elaine currently serves as chair of the board of trustees at Utah Valley University

Sister Dalton enjoys being outdoors, running, and hiking with her family and dancing with her granddaughters. She has run 17 marathons and qualified for and completed two Boston Marathons. She loves to read classic literature and especially loves the Book of Mormon, —a book that has guided her life. And she loves the Lord.

Her favorite scripture and life’s motto is found in Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not to thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths.”

Sister Dalton loves life and believes in people. She has great confidence in the rising generation of noble youth. She often says, “I believe that one virtuous young man or young woman led by the spirit can change the world!”

Leslie Graff


Leslie Graff holds Bachelors and Masters degrees from Brigham Young University. She has taught Family Studies and Child Development at BYU and Ohlone College. She loves using her background in social science to explore the human experience in art. Her work is regularly seen in group and solo shows in galleries and universities and has been exhibited in more than a dozen art museums. Her pieces are held in numerous private and institutional, museum, and educational collections around the world. She has been highlighted in numerous books, magazines, including features in the Boston Globe,, and Inquiry on NPR. Leslie is currently on the studio faculty at the Danforth Art Museum. She is the psychosocial expert for the Vascular Birthmarks Foundation and does international medical missions with Operation Smile and VBF. She serves on numerous advisory boards in arts and education. She lives in Sutton, MA with her husband and is the mother of three sons.

Kathleen Knight

Gospel Teacher

Kathleen Nelson Knight was born in St. George and raised in Orem, Utah. She married Glade Knight in 1968 then quickly moved to Virginia for Glade’s military service during the Vietnam War. Kathleen holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Education from Brigham Young University and an honorary doctorate from Southern Virginia University.

Kathleen has found great joy in teaching the gospel for the better part of her adult life. She taught early morning seminary in her home for fourteen years (teaching all four of her children) and is currently in her seventeenth year of teaching adult institute. She served as a district ordinance worker in the Washington D.C. temple for seventeen years, until it recently closed for renovation. Kathleen also planned and organized twenty annual education conferences at Southern Virginia University before passing the baton to her daughter, Megan. She has used her talent of shorthand to record and transcribe hundreds of patriarchal blessings. She is currently a scribe to her husband, their stake patriarch and founder of Southern Virginia University. 

Kathleen and Glade recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with their four married children and sixteen grandchildren (plus one granddaughter-in-law). Kathleen’s greatest loves are her family, the temple, scripture study, gospel teaching, and Southern Virginia University.

Brian Rhodes

Singer, Songwriter & Producer

Brian Rhodes is a singer/songwriter/producer from Northern California. He was named a “Top 10 New LDS Artist” from a major LDS distributor and has been featured on BYU Television, sung on various albums, including projects for Deseret Book, EFY, and Jenny Phillips, and has recorded two solo albums.

Brian received a bachelor’s degree in music from BYU with an emphasis in media music and a Masters in Education degree from the University of Phoenix. He has worked as an elementary and high school music teacher, EFY counselor, MTC teacher, and has taught seminary and institute. He currently works in a family jewelry business and is studying to become a marriage and family therapist.

Brian and his wife Tierney have a baby boy and will welcome a little girl in April!

Emily Snyder

Chief of Staff, Chip and Joanna Gaines’ Magnolia

Emily Snyder has lived in Seattle, all over Utah, Hong Kong, Northern CA, Italy, France, Russia, Boston, New York City, and is currently living in Waco, Texas. She graduated from BYU in Elementary Education and worked as a 6th, 7th, and 8th-grade teacher. While she will always consider herself a teacher at heart, she was taught countless life-lessons while she was an assistant to Sister Julie Beck’s Relief Society general presidency, and an assistant to Clayton M. Christensen, at the Harvard Business School. Emily is currently the Chief of Staff at Chip and Joanna Gaines’ company, Magnolia.

While she waits to live her dream job as a full-time mama, she has taught institute, created a “Why I Stay” single’s conference in Boston, a “LISTEN” inter-faith fireside series in NYC, received her Master’s of Business Administration at Columbia Business School in Manhattan, and is working on her annual round of birthday goals, #41dreams by the time she turns 41 this summer.

She is single, considers herself a family of one, served a full-time mission in the Russia, St. Petersburg mission, wishes she could eat pizza & chocolate chip cookies every day and is the Primary chorister in her ward. Emily feels so lucky to have a wonderfully supportive cheerleading team via her biological and “adoptive” families from all the chapters of her life.

Jeff Swinton

Former Area Seventy & Mission President

Brother Swinton has served as an Area Seventy in the Utah Salt Lake City and Utah North Areas; as President of the England London South Mission from 2006 to 2009; Director of the Laie Hawaii Temple Visitors’ Center from 2016 -2018; and is currently a sealer in the Salt Lake Temple where he has served since 2010.

He was the President of the Salt Lake Central Stake for 9 years and served as a Counselor in two prior Stake Presidencies for an additional 9 years. Prior to that, he served 8 years as the bishop of a singles ward. He directed the creation of the Salt Lake Inner-City Service Mission in 1996 and served as its priesthood leader for 10 years.

In the community, he has served as the Chairman of the Utah State Board of Services for People with Disabilities and has practiced law in Salt Lake City for 44 years.

He has been married to Heidi S. Swinton for 47 years and they have 5 sons (4 living), 4 wonderful daughters-in-law, and 13 grandchildren.