David Erland Isaksen’s father is Norwegian and his mother is English. Isaksen’s wife is half German and half Romanian. He lived most of his life in Norway, but three of their five children were born in the United States. Since 2015, Isaksen has been working as a translator for the Church and as an assistant professor at the University of Southeast Norway and University of Agder, and he teaches a course in English academic writing and publishing for students and faculty in the former Soviet republics of Georgia and Kyrgyzstan.

Previously, he was a teacher at the Preston England MTC. After serving a mission in Germany and Austria, he completed a BA in literature and languages at what is now the University of Southeast Norway (2007–09), an MA in interpreting and translation German/English (2009–10), and an MA in English rhetoric and composition from BYU (2010–12). He is hoping to complete a PhD program in rhetoric and composition from TCU this year.

Isaksen and his family live in Bø, Norway, where he is the mission leader in Skien Ward.