Honolulu, Hawaii, has been the home of Donald L. Hallstrom since his birth there on 27 July 1949 to James E. and Betty Jo Lambert Hallstrom. In fact, he grew up next to the Honolulu Stake Tabernacle, where he later became stake president.
“My brother, sisters, and I grew up in a home where our parents were totally committed to the gospel,” says Elder Hallstrom. “We were encouraged to be successful in all aspects of our lives, but everything was secondary to the gospel.”
From 1969 to 1971 he served in the England Central Mission. “My mission set the pattern for the rest of my life,” he says. “It was a time when everything I had learned at home and been taught previously came together and was turned completely outward in service to other people. It was a joyful experience.”
Returning from his mission, he attended Brigham Young University, where he met Diane Clifton of southern Alberta, Canada. They married on 22 July 1972 in the Alberta Temple and are the parents of four children.
In 1973 Elder Hallstrom graduated with a bachelor’s degree in economics and returned to Hawaii. For the last 20 years, he has worked in real estate consulting as president of his own company, which does valuation and market studies.
Of his family he says: “We have always kept sacred such things as family prayer, family home evening, and family scripture study. We love being together as a family. Every summer we’ve had significant blessings by taking family vacations to Church history sites and other places throughout the United States.”
Before being called to the First Quorum of the Seventy, Elder Hallstrom served as an Area Authority Seventy since 1997. He previously served as a bishop, stake president, and regional representative.
“My opportunities to serve have always brought enormous joy, so they have never been a burden to me,” he says. “My testimony solidified within me at a very young age, but using the gospel to help my family and other people is what keeps my testimony growing.”