“Elder Darwin B. Christenson,” Liahona, July 2000, 125–26
Elder Darwin B. Christenson, a new member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy, says that experiences with his children have strengthened his testimony of the gospel, the eternal family, and the power of the priesthood. Not long after he and his wife went through the heartbreak of losing a baby shortly after birth, their next child, Stephen, was born prematurely. Because the baby’s lungs were underdeveloped, doctors gave him a 50 percent chance of surviving.
Elder Christenson and the family’s home teacher gave the tiny infant a blessing as he lay in a hospital incubator, surrounded by tubes and medical equipment. Afterward, says Elder Christenson, “I told my wife not to worry; he was going to be OK.” The next morning, true to the impression Elder Christenson had received, Stephen showed marked improvement. Today, Stephen is the father of three boys.
A native of Idaho, born in Firth on 11 August 1935, Elder Christenson grew up in Blackfoot. On 19 January 1962, two years after returning from the Brazilian Mission, he married Sandra Joelene Lyon in the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple. They are the parents of four children, three of them living, and have 10 grandchildren.
Elder Christenson earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Idaho State University. After graduation he worked for the Idaho State Tax Commission and the tax division of the Church Finance Department. In 1981 he returned with Sister Christenson to Brazil, this time as president of the Brazil São Paulo North Mission. “We had marvelous experiences there,” he recalls. “We often witnessed the protection the Lord gave our missionaries, and we saw many of them learn to become very reliant on the Spirit.” Elder Christenson has also served as bishop, high councilor, counselor in two stake presidencies, and temple recorder at the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple.
“The Church is the center of our lives,” says Elder Christenson. “We love the Lord, we love the gospel, and we love the members of the Church. It’s an overwhelming blessing to be able to provide service and be with the members as part of this calling.”