Elder David Todd Christofferson is the second most recent member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, the second-highest governing body of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was sustained in that position on April 5, 2008.
In that address, Elder Christofferson acknowledged his witness of the range and sacredness of the apostolic calling, which overcame him through the Spirit as he sustained a newly called apostle earlier in his service in the presidency of the Seventy and for which words were insufficient to describe.
He also expressed gratitude for the influence of “goodly parents” and for generations beyond, whose legacy has influenced his life. Pledging his loyalty to the First Presidency, Elder Christofferson indicated that he would unflinchingly serve the Lord, recognizing his dependence on the Lord for power behind his native ability. He expressed his love for his wife, Kathy, who he said, was filled with “spiritual intuition, humor” and to whom he wished to manifest the depth of his love even “more convincingly” as the days and years go by. He hailed the faithfulness of his 4 sons and their spouses (and in the case of his youngest, of his soon-to-be spouse) and their commitment to the Lord. Elder Christofferson bore his divine witness of the work of the kingdom of God on the earth.
Education and Professional Life
Christofferson was born in American Fork, Utah on January 24, 1945, and raised in Pleasant Grove and Lindon, Utah. He graduated from high school in New Jersey and attended Brigham Young University as an Edwin S. Hinckley Scholar. After receiving his bachelor’s degree from BYU, Christofferson earned a law degree from Duke University School of Law.After graduating from law school, he clerked for Chief Judge John Sirica of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. During Christofferson’s tenure as a clerk under Judge Sirica, he worked on the trial of the Watergate burglars.
During his career, Christofferson practiced law in Washington, D.C., North Carolina, and Tennessee. While in Charlotte, North Carolina, Christofferson was associate general counsel for NationsBank Corp. (now Bank of America). He has also worked in various civic capacities, including chairman of Affordable Housing of Nashville, Tennessee.
Elder Christofferson has served in many positions in the Church, including those of bishop, stake president, and regional representative. On April 3, 1993, he was sustained as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy. On April 15, 1998, he was called as a member of the Presidency of the Seventy, and was sustained in that position on October 3, 1998. While serving in the Presidency of the Seventy, Elder Christofferson had supervisory responsibility for the North America Northwest and North America West Areas.
Elder Christofferson is married to Katherine Jacob Christofferson. They have five children.
Elder Chistofferson, in a 2006 address to male members of the Church in what is known as the Priesthood session of General Conference, called for men not to follow the casual cadence of the world but to raise the bar in spirituality and their ability to engage in and move the Lord’s work forward. He remarked:
The prophet Lehi pled with his rebellious sons, saying, “Arise from the dust, my sons, and be men” (2 Nephi 1:21; emphasis added). By age, Laman and Lemuel were men, but in terms of character and spiritual maturity they were still as children. They murmured and complained if asked to do anything hard. They didn’t accept anyone’s authority to correct them. They didn’t value spiritual things. They easily resorted to violence, and they were good at playing the victim.
We see some of the same attitudes today. Some act as if a man’s highest goal should be his own pleasure. Permissive social mores have “let men off the hook” as it were, so that many think it acceptable to father children out of wedlock and to cohabit rather than marry.1 Dodging commitments is considered smart, but sacrificing for the good of others, naive. For some, a life of work and achievement is optional. A psychologist [called this general phenomenon] ‘young men stuck in neutral.’ …
We who hold the priesthood of God cannot afford to drift. We have work to do (see Moroni 9:6). We must arise from the dust of self-indulgence and be men! It is a wonderful aspiration for a boy to become a man—strong and capable; someone who can build and create things, run things; someone who makes a difference in the world. It is a wonderful aspiration for those of us who are older to make the vision of true manhood a reality in our lives and be models for those who look to us for an example.
The newly called apostle has also raised a voice of admonition regarding the way we treat and relate to sacred things–the scriptures, the Brethren, our spiritual experiences. In his words:
You might ask yourself, “Do I see the calling of the prophets and apostles as sacred? Do I treat their counsel seriously, or is it a light thing with me?” President Gordon B. Hinckley, for instance, has counseled us to pursue education and vocational training; to avoid pornography as a plague; to respect women; to eliminate consumer debt; to be grateful, smart, clean, true, humble, and prayerful; and to do our best, our very best.
Do your actions show that you want to know and do what he teaches? Do you actively study his words and the statements of the Brethren? Is this something you hunger and thirst for? If so, you have a sense of the sacredness of the calling of prophets as the witnesses and messengers of the Son of God.
Elder Chistofferson–bright, articulate lawyer, husband, father, grandfather, former Seventy– is now an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ.