Elder Ronald A. Rasband, Elder Gary E. Stevenson, and Elder Dale G. Renlund met with the First Presidency in Salt Lake City on Sept. 28, not knowing they were to be called as apostles to the Quorum of the Twelve by the First Presidency. Accepting the calls, these three were then sustained as apostles, seers and revelators on Oct. 3 by the members of the LDS Church.
For the first time in over a century, three spots were filled in the quorum at the same time. Placed by seniority by the time they were called instead of age, Elder Rasband became the 98th apostle, Stevenson the 99th, and Renlund the 100th apostle of the church.
Elder Rasband said the night following his calling to the quorum a scripture came to mind, John 15:16, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you.”
Rasband continued, “I had a spiritual impression that there’s nothing about this that was politically motivated, nothing about it that was an election, nothing about it that was a vote, nothing about it was my desire. It was the Lord’s decision and...I needed to understand that and have it confirmed to me just like President Monson told me.”
Born in Salt Lake City in 1951, 64-year-old Rasband is married and has five children and 24 grandchildren. He served as a missionary in the Eastern States Mission, a bishop, mission president, executive director in the Temple Department, and joined the Quorum of the Seventy in 2000.
“Elder Rasband served in the same mission as me,” said Jolin Chen, a senior from Taiwan studying English. “He taught that after a mission [it is important] to still serve the Lord and follow his example.”
Born in 1955 in Ogden, Utah, 60-year-old Elder Stevenson calls Asia a second home. Serving a mission in the Japan Nagoya Mission, he has returned multiple times to Asia to serve as a mission president and then area president for the Asia North Area. He was also a bishop and counselor in a stake presidency.
Elder Stevenson said he kept a simple philosophy to life and church service, “Keeping the commandments brings blessings, and blessings bring happiness.”
Elder Renlund, who is 62 years old, grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah and spent part of youth living in Sweden. He became a cardiologist, specializing in heart failure and heart transplantation. He married Ruth Lybbert and has one daughter. He served a mission in Sweden and became a bishop, stake president, and joined the First Quorum of the Seventy in 2009 where he and his wife served in the Africa Southwest Area presidency.
Talking about his call to be an apostle, Renlund said, “Wherever the sweet spot is between apoplectic and catatonic, that’s where I was.” He humbly accepted the assignment and, after a few minutes, found himself back in his office, where “I closed the door and fell to
Tia Movai, a junior studying English from Laie said, “[Elder] Bednar summed it up in his last talk, showing how valued the apostles are. They are bringing in new knowledge,insight, and a testimony.”