Sheldon Child learned early the value of hard work. Born 8 May 1938, he spent his childhood helping on the family’s 20-acre farm located in Syracuse, Utah, a small town near the Great Salt Lake. When Sheldon was eight years old, his parents gave him a calf to raise. When the calf was sold, Sheldon carefully counted out money for tithing and took it to the bishop. Counting the money again, Sheldon realized he had brought more money than he actually owed, but he gave it to the bishop anyway. Even then, Sheldon was generous with things pertaining to the Lord, a pattern that would continue throughout his life.
He attended Utah State University and the University of Utah. In 1957 he married Joan Haacke in the Salt Lake Temple. He went to work with his brother Bill at the R. C. Willey store, then a two-man appliance shop. Over the years the two brothers built the small business into a seven-store home furnishings chain.
During those years of hard work, Church callings took priority in Brother Child’s life. In the Syracuse Second Ward, he served as elders quorum president, then as bishop. Later he was called as president of the Syracuse Utah Stake. These years, rich with Church experience, were also spent in community service and in raising the couple’s six children. His greatest joys come from his family, he says.
One of his highlights in Church service came with a call to serve as president of the New York New York Mission. Upon their return, the family moved to Salt Lake City to be nearer to his work. It wasn’t long after his return that he accepted a call to serve as an Area Authority for the Utah North Area.
Of his recent call to the Second Quorum of the Seventy, Elder Child says: “I love the Lord and have a strong testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I always want to be found doing the things the Lord would have me do.”