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Arizona Supreme Court

Chief justice calls Church constant in his life

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The Arizona Supreme Court recently announced that Justice Charles E. Jones will become the next Chief Justice for the state.

A member of the Arcadia Ward, Scottsdale Arizona Camelback Stake, he has served in many capacities in the Church, including bishop and stake president. He was president of the France Paris Mission from 1990-1993, and served a mission in western Switzerland, southern Belgium and eastern France the 1950s. He currently serves as the ward choir director and high priests group instructor.

He said the Church is a constant in his life.

"The doctrines, principles, and [my] testimony are ever present," he said. "I don't recall a single moment in my life when I have doubted Joseph Smith and his experience in Palmyra. That event did take place, I have no doubt about it."

Brother Jones said he hopes to make improvements in the state because of the court's solemn duty to "be honest with the people."

He said there are several pressing issues facing Arizona at this time and although they may not be solved, he, along with the other members of the court, would like to do their share to bring about improvements.

Brother Jones, 66, practiced law for 30 years; he has served on the Arizona Supreme Court for six years. He said religion has definitely played a part in these aspects of his life, as well as in all other areas.

"Because of our beliefs and code of conduct, it's always an issue," he said. "Religious beliefs play a role in everyday life."

His standards are evident in some of the awards and recognitions he has received. He was the first recipient of the University of Arizona Feuerstein Award for Ethics in the Law of Industrial relations. He was listed in the "Best Lawyers in America" from 1983 until his judicial appointment in 1996.

He said his membership in the Church has never been detrimental to him and that he has had nothing but positive experiences with others, whether they are members of the Church or not.

He was born and raised in Lethbridge, Alberta. His parents, the late Lorena Holman Jones and the late Charles E. Jones Sr., migrated to the area with their parents. Lorena moved when she was 8 and Charles' parents accepted a call from the First Presidency to migrate to the area.

He met his wife, Ann Anderson Jones, at Brigham Young University, where he gained his undergraduate degree in 1959. He received his law degree from Stanford University in 1962.

Brother and Sister Jones have seven children and 22 grandchildren.

He said, "Our family has been greatly blessed. We express pride in each of our children, their spouses and our grandchildren, as all are faithful, worthy members of the Church. And at the end of the day, nothing seems more important than that."

E-mail: Ngrubbs@desnews.com