Commenting on important experiences and lessons that have influenced his life, Elder Lynn Alvin Mickelsen says, “I have learned to understand the law of the harvest. There is a time to plant, a time to irrigate and nurture, and a time to harvest.”
From a very tender age, Elder Mickelsen was tutored at his father’s side on their farm in Idaho Falls. “I learned that there is a time when you must perform,” he says. “And when there is a job to do, you do not stop until it is finished.”
Understanding this principle has blessed Elder Mickelsen and his family in many ways. Their home has been a haven of learning, where all nine children have learned frugality and domestic arts, cultivated gardening skills, and studied the scriptures. Their home has also been a haven for many with special needs.
“They’ve lived and worked and eaten at our table and have shared our home,” says Jeanine Mickelsen. “They are a part of our family.”
Elder Mickelsen’s education began in a little red schoolhouse with eight grades and thirty-four students. After attending Idaho Falls High School, he attended Ricks college, then Brigham Young University, where he received a degree in agricultural economics.
He met his wife, Jeanine (Andersen), in 1957, after returning from a mission in Central America. Speaking of their courtship, Elder Mickelsen says, “I shared my desires for the future and told her that I would someday like to return to Latin America as a missionary. Only two weeks after we were married [in the Idaho Falls Temple on 17 June 1960], she started studying Spanish.”
In 1984, the Mickelsens were called to preside over the Colombia Cali Mission. In addition to his missionary labors, Elder Mickelsen has served as a bishop, a high councilor, a stake president, and a regional representative. Most recently, he has served as Gospel Doctrine teacher in his ward, and he and his wife have served as Spanish-speaking officiators in the Idaho Falls Temple.
“Each calling I’ve had has been a beautiful experience for me,” he says, “because I have been able to share my testimony of the gospel. I have learned that when one serves, one must live what he teaches. That is fundamental preparation for an effective teacher.”
Elder and Sister Mickelsen’s children—Mark, Don, Jean (Karren), Karen (Davis), Lynda (McClellan), Janet (Lightheart), Marilyn, Leanne, and Paul—have been richly blessed by their father’s example and teachings—particularly his teachings from the scriptures. “We read directly from them,” says Jeanine. “Lynn teaches them in a very simple way so we can apply their teachings to our own lives and situations. He loves the scriptures. He loves the doctrine.”
Elder Mickelsen was born 21 July 1935 in Idaho Falls, Idaho, to Lloyd P. and Reva Willmore Mickelsen. His father served in many leadership positions, including that of stake president and mission president. Elder Mickelsen’s grandfather also served as a stake president. “My father and grandfather have been great examples for me to follow,” says Elder Mickelsen.
Elder Mickelsen loves to sing, and he is an avid reader, with a great interest in world affairs. He loves to learn. “I spent many extra hours at the university as a student because I love to be around people who know more than I do. I read and study every day. That’s a very important part of my life.”
But his greatest joy comes from his church service. “That is where he finds the sweetness of life,” says Jeanine. Elder Mickelsen says he has grown tremendously from each calling he has had in the Church. “I don’t ask what the assignment will do for me, but how I can help the Church in building up the kingdom.”