David Christensen’s career has had many chapters, but the storyline has always been about mentoring. He spent six years teaching ninth grade in the LDS Church Education System. Then he was in a corporate environment for half his career before teaching religion at Ricks College and then BYU-Idaho.
“I love freshmen and sophomore students,” he says. “Their next two or three years impact everything about their future. We give them education and options, and we watch their lives take on meaning.”
His educational training came to play as he served as both an LDS mission president and MTC president, where David became concerned with Latino missionaries who didn’t know what they were going to do after taking off the name tag.
“The mission had given them new vision and desires, but many didn’t have a home to go home to and didn’t know how to create the life they now wanted for themselves and their future families,” he says.
David’s skills and wills culminated in his role as executive director of Lifting Generations, which is combined from the previous entities One Life At a Time and Cause For Hope.
“Nearly six years ago, I was completely new to the non-profit arena,” he says. “I was approached with the opportunity to apply my heart and vision to learning and leading this foundation.”
Now he has countless stories of lives changed and opportunities opened for grateful faces around the world. For example, he tells of a single mother making 1,000 tortillas a day and earning $160 a month. As she went through the Self-Reliance Services program of the LDS Church, she acquired a mentor and began making $400-$500 a month.
“We’ve made incredible things happen for the spiritual and temporal well-being of Heavenly Father’s children,” David says. “You can change the trajectory of a human life with five weeks and a little follow-up.”
David resides in Lindon but oversees projects around the world. He knows his work is only possible when the dollars roll.
“The real angels support this donor-funded entity,” he says. “I get to execute the plan, but the angels make it possible.”
One of David’s favorite compliments is that he’s a collaborator. Lifting Generations works hand-in-hand with the LDS Church, Reading Horizons, TestOut, the Academy for Creating Enterprise, LDS Business College, Weber State and many others.
“We seek to be a trusted resource and proven partner by providing education and mentoring services,” David says. “We think big, but we also focus on one person, one story, one generation at a time.”
Add Your Light
Lifting Generations needs its own lift through donations of time and money. “Sometimes people think you’ve got to have a lot of money to make a difference in the world,” David says. “But if we get 1,000 people giving $10 or $20 a month, it really adds up.” Other needs include mentors and volunteers to help on projects already integrated with Lifting Generations, such as building out orphanages and providing medical services. Visit liftinggenerations.org to learn more.