Elder Darwin B. Christenson of the Second Quorum of the Seventy grew up poor. He performed chores at home as a young child and entered the work force at an early age. The only problem... he didn't realize the family was poor. And while his friends were playing games, he was learning the value of work.
Darwin B. Christenson was born August 11, 1935 at Firth, Idaho to Lars H. Christenson and Edith Olive Brough. The family was active in the Church and Darwin was taught principles of the Gospel from an early age. He was baptized as a child and received the Aaronic Priesthood as a youth. Family recreation centered on Church social activities, bazaars and potlucks. Darwin earned the rank of Eagle in the Boy Scouts of America at the age of thirteen!
The work ethic he learned as a child and the testimony he gained at his mothers knees stood him in good stead, when as a young man, he received the Melchizedek Priesthood, was ordained an Elder, and was called to serve a full-time mission in Brazil. He was in the South American country almost three years, serving from 1956 to 1959. During that time he saw the membership in the Portuguese speaking nation more than double from 1700 to some 3500. Years later when he returned as a mission preident between 1981 and 1984, it crossed the 200,000 mark.
Returning home, young Elder Christenson was called upon to give a report of his mission in Stake Conference. Among those in the congregation was Sandra Jolene Lyon. Darwin was stricken. The problem... she was already engaged to another. But the hard-working young Elder persevered and three years later was rewarded as he took her to the Idaho Falls Temple on January 19, 1962, there to be sealed as companions for time and all eternity. The couple had four children, one of whom died in infancy. Another was born prematurely with poorly developed lungs and was given a fifty percent chance of survival, but after a priesthood blessing and a confiming promise from the spirit, survived with no ill effects. At the time of Elder Christenson's call to the Second Quorum, he and Sandra had ten grandchildren.
Darwin enrolled in Idaho State University and again his hard work was rewarded, this time with a Bachelor's Degree in accounting and business. Subsequently, after joining the National Guard, he enrolled in the Idaho National Guard's Military Academy. His efforts resulted in a commission. While a Guardsman, he attended the U.S. Army's Command and General Staff College. He would serve in the National Guard some eighteen years from 1959 to 1976, rising in rank to Lieutenant Colonel.
After graduation from college, Darwin accepted employment in 1963 with the Idaho Tax Commission. He remained with them until 1976 when he left them to serve the Church as a Tax Specialist. From 1976 to 1989 Darwin was employed by the Church. On the ecclesiastical side, he was called as a Bishop, as Stake Young Men's President, Stake High Councilor, and Counselor to the Stake President. Between 1981-1984, he was given a leave of absence from his job as Tax Specialist to serve as President of the Brazil Sao Paulo North Mission. He retired from the Church Finance Department in 1989 and returned to ecclesiastical service as Recorder in the Idaho Falls Temple. He was still serving there when in 2000, he was ordained a Seventy and given a five-year call to the Second Quorum of the Seventy, thus becoming a General Authority.
On October 1, 2005, having served with distinction, Elder Darwin B. Christensen was released from the Second Quorum of the Seventy with a vote of thanks by a grateful Church in General Conference assembled.
The Ensign; May 2000; "News of the Church: Elder Darwin B. Christenson of the Seventy"
The LDS Church News; May 13, 2000; "Hard work-this Idaho native 'doesn't know any other way'" by Sarah Jane Weaver, staff writer
The LDS Church News; April 8, 2000; "New Callings"