Elder Christoffel Golden, Jr., of the First Quorum of the Seventy is of Afrikanner extraction, a descendant of the early Dutch settlers in South Africa. He is bi-lingual, speaking both English and Afrikaans. He was born in Johannesburg, South Africa on June 1, 1952 to Christoffel, Sr. and wife Maria Oosthuizen. Raised in a God-fearing Christian home, Elder Golden told a reporter for the Ensign (May, 2001 p. 104) "I have always had a deep love for the Savior. I grew up reading the Bible and saying my prayers most days."
Thus he and his family were prepared when missionaries from the Church called in 1972. He explained, "When I was twenty, my mother opened the door to the missionaries. I won't ever forget it. We all believed and were baptized." The door was opened to a lifetime of service to the Church and to the Master.
Christoffel Golden, Jr. completed a term of service in the South African military in 1971, then began college. Between 1977 and 1979 he served a full-time mission in the Johannesburg South Africa Mission. He then returned to the University of South Africa where he earned a degree in Political Science in 1981 and a postgraduate honors degree in International Politics in 1990.
Meanwhile, he had met his future wife, Diane Norma Hulbert. She had already graduated and was a registered optometrist. She served a mission in her own right, also in the Johannesburg South Africa Mission, while he completed his schooling. They were married December 12, 1981 and have had four children. Elder Golden reports, "Our lives were centered in the Lord right from the beginning. There is no question that we delight in sustaining the Lord, the Prophet, and the Twelve."
Even as Elder Golden has honored the Lord, so has the Lord honored His servant, calling Elder Golden to positions of sucessively higher reponsibility within the Kingdom. He has served as a Young Men's President, Ward Mission Leader, Bishop, and Stake President. Elder Golden had been ordained a Seventy and was serving as an Area Authority Seventy when he received the call to enter the ranks of the General Authorities in the First Quorum of the Seventy in April of 2001.
Elder Golden left a sucessful career in banking, pharmaceuticals, and optical marketing to serve the Lord. In 1996, he accepted an appointment to serve as Area Director for the Church Education System, supervising both Seminary and Institute.
Elder Golden continues to serve in the First Quorum at this writing.