He traveled the world for LDS Church and still loves the area
By RODNEY D. BOAM
Although Joe J. Christensen, 83, an emeritus general authority for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has traveled the world in his church service, he maintains his roots and home are in Banida.
He related his childhood in Banida in an interview with The Citizen. As a young man growing up in the “Poverty Flats,” there were eight boys born within a couple of years of each other in age. The group became good friends he said.
The boys called themselves “The Banida Bummes.” They all ran around together, so much so, they got to be pretty good at team sports. They “modestly” claimed to have won stake basketball tournaments.
“When the time came, the small Banida ward supported seven of the eight boys as missionaries, all out at the same time. Our ward consisted of about 124 people,“ Christensen said. “That was quite a feat.”
He enjoyed the farm and the tiny town of Banida and valued the religious studies that would become the basis of his life of service in the church.
“My ambition was to teach seminary somewhere close and be able to stay there and work on the family farm,” he said. But that wasn’t meant to be.
Christensen graduated from high school at 16 years old and then went to Utah State University for a couple of years. “That was our school (USU). It was the closest place to go to college and that’s just what you did back then,” he said.
This story is sponsored by FCMC Home Health and Hospice.
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