The young lad growing up next to the Honolulu Tabernacle never guessed he
would one day become Stake President. Even less, when he listened to visiting General Authorities,
did he dream he would become one of them. But such is the life journey of Elder Donald Lambert
Hallstrom of the First Quorum of the Seventy.
One of Elder Hallstrom's earliest memories is of sitting in the Tabernacle
singing "Who's on the Lords Side? Who?"
"I remember as a 5-year-old boy wanting to stand up and say, 'I am!' It was
a very sweet experience," Elder Hallstrom recalled in an interview with the LDS Church News
. It was one of the first of a spiritual nature that I had. It was a hymn that's still in our
hymnbook but one that we don't sing as often anymore. But it has always had powerful meaning to me."
Donald L. Hallstrom was born July 27, 1949 in Honolulu, Hawaii to James E.
Hallstrom and his wife Betty Jo Lambert. "My brother, sisters, and I were encouraged to be
successful in all aspects of our lives," says Elder Hallstrom, "but everything was secondary to
Elder Hallstrom and his siblings were raised in a missionary tradition. In
fact, it was a mission that had brought Donald's father to Oahu in 1940. He was still serving there
when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. As his Heavenly Father had first called him to Hawaii, so
too did his Uncle Sam in the later years of the war, stationing him in the islands. After the war,
he returned to the Islands a third time and settling there, reared Donald and his siblings. Thus
raised in the Church, Donald had little difficulty a call to serve in the England Central Mission
from 1969 to 1971.
Following a sucessful mission, Donald matriculated at Brigham Young University
in Provo, Utah. There he met the girl who would eventually become his eternal companion. Diane
Clifton grew up in Taber, Alberta, Canada and was also a student at BYU. Acquaintanceship grew to
friendship, then to courtship and to love. The two were married in the Cardston Alberta Temple on
July 22, 1972, then returned to BYU to complete their studies. They would have four children. Ronald
graduated in 1973 with a Bachelor's degree in economics.
Returning to Hawaii, Ronald established himself at a firm dealing in the
economics of real estate evaluation and development. He would work for others for seven years before
establishing his own business in the same field in 1980. He remained in the field until called into
full-time service to the Lord.
Both Ronald and Diane have been faithful in service to the Lord. She has
worked with the Young Women and as a Seminary Teacher. Ronald held a sucession of increasingly
responsible calls in the Church, including Bishop, Stake President, and Regional Representative
of the Twelve. Then in 1995 he was called as an Area Authority. In 1997, when the Area Authorities
became Area Authority Seventies, he was ordained a Seventy and continued his work in the North
America West Area.
In April of 2000, his five-year call as an Area Authority completed, he might
have expected to return to private life. Instead, he was called as a General Authority and given
an indefinite call to the First Quorum of the Seventy.
Elder Hallstrom was called as a general authority and member of the First Quorum
of the Seventy in 2000. Among other assignments, he served in several area presidencies, including
as a counselor in the church's North America Central Area, then as both a counselor and as president
of the Asia Area. He became a member of the Presidency of the Seventy in 2009, filling a vacancy
created by the call of Neil L. Andersen to the Quourm of the Twelve Apostles
and has responsibility for the work of the church in the North America Northeast area.He continues to
serve at this writing.