The following biographical sketch is adapted from
the "News of the Church: Elder Lynn A. Mickelsen of the Seventy" published
in the Ensign for May 1990 on the occasion of Elder Mickelsen's call to
the Second Quorum of the Seventy.
Commenting on important experiences and lessons that
have influenced his life, Elder Lynn Alvin Mickelsen says, “I have learned
to understand the law of the harvest. There is a time to plant, a time
to irrigate and nurture, and a time to harvest.”
From a very tender age, Elder Mickelsen was tutored
at his father’s side on their farm in Idaho Falls. “I learned that there
is a time when you must perform,” he says. “And when there is a job to
do, you do not stop until it is finished.”
Understanding this principle has blessed Elder Mickelsen
and his family in many ways. Their home has been a haven of learning, where
all nine children have learned frugality and domestic arts, cultivated
gardening skills, and studied the scriptures. Their home has also been
a haven for many with special needs.
“They’ve lived and worked and eaten at our table
and have shared our home,” says Jeanine Mickelsen. “They are a part of
Elder Mickelsen’s education began in a little red
schoolhouse with eight grades and thirty-four students. After attending
Idaho Falls High School, he attended Ricks college, then Brigham Young
University, where he received a degree in agricultural economics.
He met his wife, Jeanine (Andersen), in 1957, after
returning from a mission in Central America. Speaking of their courtship,
Elder Mickelsen says, “I shared my desires for the future and told her
that I would someday like to return to Latin America as a
missionary. Only two weeks after we were married [in the Idaho Falls
Temple on 17 June 1960], she started studying Spanish.”
In 1984, the Mickelsens were called to preside over
the Colombia Cali Mission. In addition to his missionary labors, Elder
Mickelsen has served as a bishop, a high councilor, a stake president,
and a regional representative. Most recently, he has
served as Gospel Doctrine teacher in his ward, and he and his wife
have served as Spanish-speaking officiators in the Idaho Falls Temple.
“Each calling I’ve had has been a beautiful experience
for me,” he says, “because I have been able to share my testimony of the
gospel. I have learned that when one serves, one must live what he teaches.
That is fundamental preparation for an effective teacher.”
Elder and Sister Mickelsen’s children—Mark, Don,
Jean (Karren), Karen (Davis), Lynda (McClellan), Janet (Lightheart), Marilyn,
Leanne, and Paul—have been richly blessed by their father’s example and
teachings—particularly his teachings from the scriptures. “We read directly
from them,” says Jeanine. “Lynn teaches them in a very simple way so we
can apply their teachings to our own lives and situations. He loves the
scriptures. He loves the doctrine.”
Elder Mickelsen was born 21 July 1935 in Idaho Falls,
Idaho, to Lloyd P. and Reva Willmore Mickelsen. His father served in many
leadership positions, including that of stake president and mission president.
Elder Mickelsen’s grandfather also served as a stake president. “My father
and grandfather have been great examples for me to follow,” says Elder
Elder Mickelsen loves to sing, and he is an avid
reader, with a great interest in world affairs. He loves to learn. “I spent
many extra hours at the university as a student because I love to be around
people who know more than I do. I read and study every
day. That’s a very important part of my life.”
But his greatest joy comes from his church service.
“That is where he finds the sweetness of life,” says Jeanine. Elder Mickelsen
says he has grown tremendously from each calling he has had in the Church.
“I don’t ask what the assignment will do for me, but how I can help the
Church in building up the kingdom.”
Elder Mickelsen served but three years of his five-year
call to the Second Quorum of the Seventy before being sustained to the
First Quorum of the Seventy on April 3, 1993. He served in the First Quorum until being granted an
honorable release, and designated an Emeritus General Authority in the General Conference of October