Presidents & First Ladies home

1985-1989

Joe and Barbara Christensen

Joe & Barbara Christensen
Joe J. Christensen

Elder Joe J. Christensen was born and grew up in the little farming community of Banida in Southeastern Idaho. He received his undergraduate degree from Brigham Young University and his PhD from Washington State University. He fulfilled his military obligation serving as an officer in the United States Air Force.

Prior to his call as a General Authority, he served in the Church as a missionary in Mexico and Central America, as bishop, regional representative, as a mission president in Mexico, and for four years as president of the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah during which time more than 58,200 missionaries received their preliminary training.

He has been a counselor in the general presidency of the Sunday School and a member of the general boards of the Young Men and Melchizedek Priesthood MIA. He has been active in Scouting, serving as Commissioner in the Teton Peaks Council and as a member of the National Exploring Standing Committee. He is the author of four books on Church-related themes.

He has been associated with the Church Educational System for many years, and has been director of several institutes of religion adjacent to various universities, including Washington State University, the University of Idaho and the University of Utah. In 1970, he was invited to serve as Associate Commissioner of Education, responsible for the administration of the worldwide program of seminaries and institutes of religion.

Elder Christensen was invited to serve as President of Ricks College in 1985 and was serving in this capacity at the time of his call to be a General Authority in 1989. He is currently serving as president of the San Diego Temple.
Barbara Kohler Christensen

Barbara Kohler was born and reared in Midway, Utah. Along with her twelve siblings, she enjoyed the privileges of growing up on a farm, where all learned to work.

After graduating from Wasatch High School at Heber City, Utah, she attended and graduated from Brigham Young University where she majored in business subjects. She taught at Box Elder High School in Brigham City, Utah. While teaching there, she received her call to serve a mission in Mexico. After serving her mission, she taught in the Business Department at BYU.

She married Joe J. Christensen in the Salt Lake Temple and they have been blessed with six children and twenty-eight grandchildren.

Barbara has enjoyed assignments with her husband when he served as president of the Mexico City Mission and for four years at the Missionary Training Center at Provo, Utah. She has also served as president of the Relief Society in the ward and stake, president of the Primary and in a variety of teaching and music callings.

She enjoyed accompanying her husband to Ricks College where he served as president. His church callings also took them to Brazil where they lived for three years.

She is currently serving as Matron of the San Diego Temple.
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