Grampa Bill's General Authority Pages
D. Todd Christofferson D. (David) Todd Christofferson


1945 - living
spacer
  • Born 1945 American Fork, Utah
  • Baptized as a child; Aaronic Priesthood as a youth; Melchizedek Priesthood as a young man
  • Mission to Argentina North Mission, 1964-1966
  • Married Katherine Thelma Jacob 1968, Salt Lake Temple; five children
  • Bishop, Stake President, Regional Representative
  • First Quorum of the Seventy 1993-2008
  • Presidency of the Seventy 1998-2008
  • Ordained Apostle and called to the Twelve 2008-present

    David Todd Christofferson was born on 24 January 1945 to Paul V. Christofferson and Jeanne Svenson in American Fork, Utah and raised in Pleasant Grove and Lindon, Utah. An event that occurred when he was about twelve years old proved to be a metaphor for his life's work. Todd'a father was a veterinarian and had a small farm near Lindon. He was on a business trip to Chicago in the early spring when thirteen ewes gave birth to their lambs. Unfortunately, a winter storm hit the same night. Todd called his grandfather for advice on how to care for the newborn lambs, and while the blizzard howled, he rubbed the lambs with gunny sacks to keep them warm, and helped the ewes to care for their young.

    The next morning, Todd's father, having heard about the storm, called. "So, how many lambs did we lose," he asked.

    "Dad," Todd replied, "We didn't lose any lambs." It had been an all-night vigil for the young man but against the odds, and despite the inclement conditions, he had been totally successful. His wife later described the incident as illustrative of the faithfulness and tenacity that characterized her husband's watch care over the Savior's lambs that came under his stewardship over the years.

    He was fifteen years old when his family moved to New Jersey. There, Todd found experiences and people in his new East Coast location that created some favorite memories.

    “It was during that time that my faith matured into a full-blown testimony,” recalled Elder D. Todd Christofferson. “I grew up with faith among family and friends and others who influenced my life; I don't recall a time when I didn't have that belief that the gospel was true. But in New Jersey I became conscious of knowing that it was true and that it mattered.”


    It mattered enough that he served a mission in Argentina and resolved ever after to do his best as a member of the Church. Upon his return he entered Brigham Young University where he receiced a Bacelor's Degree in English and International Relations. While there, he met and subsequently married Katherine Thelma Jacob. The marriage for Time and all Eternity was solemnized in the Salt Lake Temple on May 28, 1968. The couple had five children.

    He earned a bachelor's degree from Brigham Young University and a law degree from Duke University and then began his career which would encompass service as Associate general counsel of Nation's Bank Corp. (now Bank of America) in Charlotte, N.C.; former senior vice president and general counsel for Sovran Bank of Tennessee in Nashville; practiced law in Washington, D.C.; and as a law clerk to U. S. District Judge John J. Sirica. In the Church, Elder Christofferson served as a stake mission president, bishop, stake president, and regional representative. Through the years Elder Christofferson found that the most significant thing he learned is how to pray effectively.


Katherine Thelma
Jacob Christofferson

    “It is through prayer that you can learn to maintain perspective and to build stability into your life. You find help through the one source that can truly offer it,” he explained.

    Elder Christofferson offered two suggestions for effective prayer: gratitude and solitude. “One of the things that puts us in tune with the Spirit is prayer that is extensive in expressing gratitude for specific blessings,” he observed.

    “Beyond that, I think a person needs to find occasions when he or she has unlimited time alone, without fear of interruption, to talk with the Lord. Those hours offer priceless opportunities to grow close to the Lord.”

    On August 15 1998, Elder Christofferson was called into the Presidency of the Seventy. He was sustained to this new calling October 3, 1998.

    Then, on April 5, 2008, Elder Christofferson, in the 178th Annual General Conference of the Church, was called to the Holy Apostleship and sustained to the Council of the Twelve.

    Does the reader belive in coincidence, or does he see the hand of the Lord in all things? Consider that the March 2008 edition of the Ensign, a special issue on the Savior, contained an article by Elder Christofferson on "Becoming a Witness of Christ" (pp. 58-63). An apostle, of course, has a special charge to be a witness of Christ in all the world (see Doctrine and Covenants 107:23).

    As it happened, Elder Christofferson began writing the article several months earlier to meet the magazine's deadline, he related to a Church News reporter, and noted that he had no idea what would transpire barely a month after the article was published.

    And though he mentioned the commission that apostles bear, he remarked in the article: "Yet the Apostles must not and do not stand alone. All of us who are baptized and confirmed have taken upon us the name of Jesus Christ with a commitment 'to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places' (Mosiah 18:9). It is within the capacity of each of us to become His witness."

    "He's always been a person who is concerned about everybody," Sister Christofferson said. "He's worked diligently with some people who have had real spiritual needs or other needs to try to bring them back or keep them steady and give them some reason to hope."

    At age 31, while working as a law clerk in Washington, D.C., he was called as a bishop. There he had occasion to experience the importance of seeking and receiving forgiveness from one who had been offended.

    While heading out of the driveway for a family vacation, he was called by a member of the ward whose mother had just died. The man, a convert of a few years, seemed to expect that Bishop Christofferson would attend the funeral with the ward member. He expressed his sympathies, explained the situation and departed on the planned vacation.

    On his return, he found that the man had been deeply hurt by his bishop having declined to attend the funeral. The family had ceased attending Church meetings. "My initial reaction was to justify myself that his expectation was not reasonable," Elder Christofferson reflected. "But the Spirit worked on me."

    He went to the man's home, was initially met with a cold reception, but through an hour or so of conversation, asked for and received the man's forgiveness. They parted as friends. Less than six months later, the man died.

    "If I hadn't acted on that impression of the Spirit, (the ill will) might have gone on until he died, and the family would have been out of the Church," he said. "This way, when he died, I could help the family, because we were close again. So I learned how crucial it is, whether you think you're right or wrong, where there's been an offense, take the initiative to resolve it. Don't worry about where the blame lies. And do it as soon as possible."

    Undergirding Elder Christofferson's love for people is his love and reverence for the Lord. This was expressed in November 2004 during a Church Educational System fireside in an address he titled: "A Sense of the Sacred."

    "The importance of having a sense of the sacred," he said in that discourse, "is simply this: If one does not appreciate holy things, he will lose them."

    A sense of the sacred throughout his life has given him what he characterizes as "great admiration and respect for those who serve as apostles." He continues to serve as one of them at this writing.


Bibliography
   "News of the Church: Elder D. Todd Christofferson," The Ensign, May 1993, p. 99 (Primary Source)
   "Three called to the Presidency of Seventy." Church News Archives, August 29, 1998
   "Elder D. Todd Christofferson: A sacred sense"Church News Archives, April19, 2008
   2005 Church Almanac, p. 29

Talks, Treatises, Sermons, and Discourses
   "A Sense of the Sacred" CES Fireside, BYU, November 7, 2004



Hosted by