Get to Know Mary Jo: Our Guiding Voice Through Nanahood

Author, speaker, and nana to nine, Mary Jo Bell, will be Studio 5’s leading voice through our new Nanahood series. So, it’s time for you to get-to-know Mary Jo.


Get to Know Mary Jo

Mary Jo Bell is the author of the 2022 Costco bestseller “The Pursuit of Happi-Nest.” This book is a unique mash-up of both silly and serious, offering Latter-Day Saint strategies for raising strong families. Zero readers need to become Latter-Day Saints to enjoy and apply methods shared in this book. The Latter-Day Saints are considered experts in the field of family raising. It’s time they got a book.

“I Can Feel it in My Heart” is for parents to read to very young children. It’s aim is to offer gentle guidance for little ones trying to navigate life in this demanding digital age. It helps kids know what to do, should they accidentally bump into inappropriate digital images (including pornography).

Publishers have slated this for release in February, 2023.

Publishers have also indicated that Mary Jo’s third book (on Nanahood!) will be released in the fall of 2023.

Mary Jo is also the host of the podcast Moms Meet World (her favorite episode is “Moms Meat World), now playing on Buzzsprout and all other major podcast platforms. This podcast ranks in the top 10% of global podcasts, and is currently #13 on the list of “90 Mom podcasts you must listen to in 2022.” It is also all about strengthening home and family. Sometimes Mary Jo’s family is interviewed on the show, along with lots of other fun guests. Once in a rare while, there is a solo cast.

Mary Jo has written for The Huffington Post, LDS Living, Meridian Magazine and Thrive Global. She is a graduate of Brigham Young University, a wife of 40 years, of mother of eight, and a Nana of nine (so far).

Along with her passion for Nanahood and all things home, family, and heaven (our future home), Mary Jo enjoys studying health and nutrition, and applying some of the things she reads about. She loves most of life, including reading, walking, yoga, dancing, cooking, singing, laughing, aspirational gardening (read: currently non-existent), and the possible stitching up of matching granddaughter dresses. If she ever actually pulls off this last one, she will share some photos.

You can find her on:



Mary Jo is passionate about grandparenting. Here’s what she says are her core nanahood philosophies

Nanas may seem like real life versions of fairy godmothers. This is because they shine with light. But Nana light is even better than that which emanates from magic wands.

Nana light is real.

Warm, glowing Nana light grows brighter over decades of participation in advanced “Life School classes.” Subjects include: Forgiveness, Honesty, Gentleness, Kindness, Patience, Integrity, Best Health Practices, and more.

These classes have qualified Nanas for bonus years working in the Department of the Interior (inside their hearts) where they have gathered enormous quantities of shareable love.

This love is extra. Nanas know how to offer the deepest acceptance, and even “irrational” love (more on that in our Nanahood series). Nanas can encourage grandchildren and their parents with love unbounded.

Nanas have a “zoomed out” perspective from living long, and discerning much. They are conscious of the ticking mortality clock. Can Nanas be extra calm in a crisis? They can. They have been through many. They know that “This too, shall pass.”

They will still be filled with that deep family love, even after they lead the way back to our heavenly home. They will still be watching, from heaven, still looking for every chance to help in sending blessings.

Like another lady-Lady Liberty-carrying light, Nanas have a similar (tongue in cheek riff on a) sometimes plea:

“Give me your tired toddlers, your hungry teens,

Your huddled middle schoolers yearning for hugs and listening ears..

Send these, all the tempest-tost, to Nana me,

I lift my lamp beside the welcome door!”

May that light ever shine from Nanas through families everywhere.

We need Nana (and awesome Grampa) love, perhaps now more than ever.

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