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Memories of father and a schoolmate were 'real blessings'

Elder Joe J. Christensen, saying that "good memories are real blessings," recalled Saturday evening when he was a deacon growing up in Banida, Idaho, he accompanied his father to a priesthood session of general conference.

"I remember we sat in the balcony - right up there on the north side," said Elder Christensen, who was sustained at general conference last April as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy."Before the meeting started, Dad pointed out which one of the Brethren on the stand was President Heber J. Grant and which were his counselors. I saw the twelve apostles and the other Brethren. A warm feeling of love and respect for the leaders of the Church came over me and has continued to grow to this day."

He said he resolved that night to do everything he could to support his father as bishop of the Banida Ward.

Elder Christensen shared other memories he said made a difference in his life, including the memory of his friend, David Carlson, with whom he graduated from Preston (Idaho) High School.

His friend, a star athlete, died soon after graduation from complications in what was thought to be a routine operation. At the funeral, the bishop said he knew David had knelt at the sacrament table with "clean hands and a pure heart. I never had to worry about what he had been doing the Saturday night before."

"I thought that was one of the finest compliments he could have paid to my friend," Elder Christensen reflected.

He also shared a memory of a European missionary who sacrificed a $150,000 career to serve a mission.

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