Lorna Call Alder suggests that learning comes slowly, step-by-step, unfolding like a flower bud. It is a process that cannot be forced, with repetition a key ingredient.
Alder, who turned 99 in May, has led a life centered on family, education, and service.
Born in the Mormon colony of Dublan in Mexico, she attended the university in Mexico City, then obtained her teaching certificate from BYU. She supervised schools in the five Mormon colonies in Mexico. To comply with government regulations, Alder rewrote and illustrated the basic texts, the first Spanish-vocabulary–controlled readers that later were adapted and published by Ginn and Company in the U.S. At the BYU Elementary Lab School, she taught and supervised student teachers. Her practical, hands-on approach to teaching was an example for hundreds of teachers, and her Art for Elementary Education course became a required BYU education class. She taught and supervised everything from preschool to graduate courses during her 35 years as an educator.
Becoming a stand-in mother to her 11 siblings after the death of her mother, she started her own family later in life, marrying Francis Alder at 39 and having their first son at 41. A second son followed five years later.
She has served temple missions in Peru, Guatemala, and Mexico City and is currently serving in the Provo Temple. She directs her many skills and talents toward varied humanitarian projects. Her life of family, education, and service continues to unfold.