Shirley D. Christensen
Shirley D. Christensen served in the Second Quorum of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Sains from April 2003 to October 2009. Prior to his call as a General Authority, he presided over the Argentina Resistencia Mission. He has also served as a bishop, branch president, counselor in a stake presidency, and was a temple ordinance worker. Before he attended Brigham Young University, he served a full-time mission in Uruguay.
Christensen’s business was growing apples in Washington State. An incident was shared in the Ensign magazine:
- The morning of 18 May 1980 stands out vividly in Elder Shirley Dean Christensen’s memory. It began as a beautiful, sunny spring day. But by noon the skies over Royal City, Washington, were black, and the once-green fields and orchards were covered in ash. Mount Saint Helens, about 150 miles (240 km) west of Royal City, had erupted.
- During the next few days, Elder Christensen watched in horror as the ash-laden trees in his orchards dropped much of their precious fruit. He thought the impact of the catastrophe on his apple-growing business would be devastating.
- But eventually Elder Christensen realized that the remaining apples were of excellent quality, and the thinning of the fruit had actually benefited his crop. “The Lord really did protect our crop,” he says. “That turned out to be one of the most productive years we’ve ever had.” He links that blessing to his family’s faithful payment of tithing and to their desire to obey the Lord’s commandments. The experience also taught him that adversity sometimes brings blessings in unexpected ways.
Christensen was born on January 8, 1939, in Preston, Idaho and was reared in Idaho and Washington. He and his wife, Geniel, have six living children; one of their children passed away from SIDS. She passed away in 2005 during his full-time Church service.