Joe J. Christensen

Joe Junior Christensen (born July 21, 1929) was the president of Ricks College from 1985 to 1989 and has been a general authority in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) since 1989. He was also president of the San Diego California Temple from 1999 to 2002.

Joe J. Christensen
Joe J. Christensen.jpg
First Quorum of the Seventy
April 1, 1989 (1989-04-01) – October 2, 1999 (1999-10-02)
Called byEzra Taft Benson
End reasonGranted general authority emeritus status
Presidency of the Seventy
August 15, 1993 (1993-08-15) – August 15, 1999 (1999-08-15)
Called byEzra Taft Benson
End reasonHonorably released
Emeritus General Authority
October 2, 1999 (1999-10-02)
Called byGordon B. Hinckley
Personal details
BornJoe Junior Christensen
(1929-07-21) July 21, 1929 (age 91)
Banida, Idaho, United States

Christensen served as an officer in the United States Air Force[1] during the Korean War, from 1953 to 1955.[2] He received a bachelor's degree from Brigham Young University and a Ph.D. from Washington State University.

Christensen then became an institute director for the Church Educational System (CES), including at the University of Utah for a time.[3]

For a few months in 1970 Christensen served as president of the LDS Church's mission headquartered in Mexico City. However, he was appointed to work under Neal A. Maxwell, who was the Commissioner of Church Education, in running the church's seminaries and institutes and was replaced as mission president.[4] Christensen was an associate commissioner in CES from 1970 to 1985, interrupted by a four-year term as president of the LDS Church's Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah. As associate commissioner he led the expansion of the seminaries and institutes program, especially internationally in the 1970s. One major development he oversaw was recruiting local church members to lead the program in most countries. Starting in 1977, under the leadership of Henry B. Eyring, Christensen continued to oversee seminaries and institutes, while adding responsibility for continuing education programs and primary and secondary schools the church had in eight countries in Polynesia and Latin America. In 1985, Christensen became president of Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho.

In 1989, Christensen was called as a general authority in the LDS Church where, among other assignments, he served in the Presidency of the Seventy. He was designated as an emeritus general authority in 1999.



  1. ^ "The Presidents and First Ladies of Ricks College". BYU-Idaho. Retrieved 2007-07-02.
  2. ^ Freeman, Robert C. and Wright, Dennis A. Saints at War: Korea and Vietnam. Covenant Communications, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2003.
  3. ^ Eaton and Eyring. I Will Lead You Along p. 293
  4. ^ "talk by Christensen on the expansion of the seminaries and institutes outside of the United States and Canada" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-09-25. Retrieved 2008-12-27.

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Academic offices
Preceded by
Bruce C. Hafen
President of Ricks College
Succeeded by
Steven D. Bennion