About Utah: Leading the choir suits this Mac very well

Published: Thursday, Jan. 13 2011 9:00 p.m. MST

"This is the best calling in the church," says Mac. "I get to be around geniuses."

"I've stayed out of the music end," he stresses, but he has nonetheless made his mark. The choir's popularity is as high as ever, and after Mac helped the choir acquire its own record label in 2003, revenues are definitely up.

"Instead of 10 cents for every CD, we do a lot better," says the businessman-president.

Not that it affects Christensen's personal bottom line. There are only 12 paid positions associated with the choir, and president isn't one of them.

"I receive no pay," says Mac before looking toward the ceiling and adding, "Well, hopefully, maybe later on."

At 76, he unabashedly praises his dream job that constantly stresses the good things in life. He's seen his share of the other side — the nadir came in 1985 when his oldest son, Steve, was murdered by convicted forger and killer Mark Hofmann after Steve became involved with Hofmann in purchasing what were purported as historic LDS documents.

"I don't think he ever had a bad thought," Mac says of Steve.

In the 25 years since the incident, he has used his son's goodness as an example of how to live and how to forgive.

Of Hofmann, who is ensconced at the state prison, he says, "I've forgiven him. I wouldn't ask them to let him out, but I've forgiven him. That's what you have to do. You have to forgive and just help people."

Sometimes that means joining the choir. And sometimes that means not joining the choir.

Lee Benson's About Utah column runs Monday and Friday. E-mail: benson@desnews.com.

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