Born in Tremonton, Box Elder County, Utah, Hansen grew up on a family farm in the vicinity of East Garland, Utah. On graduating from Utah State University, he studied law at the University of Utah and later was called into active military service. He was sent to Fort Lee in Virginia and then served a year on active duty in South Korea from 1954 to 1955. He completed his study of law at the University of Utah in 1958 and entered private law practice. From 1979 to 1980 Hansen was president of the Utah Bar Association. Other achievements include reaching the rank of colonel in the military reserve.
While a general authority of the LDS Church, Hansen served in the Asia Area Presidency during the time the building of the Hong Kong China Temple began. He also served as the executive director of the church's Temple Department while he was a member of the Presidency of the Seventy.