“A Model Family,” Ensign, Aug. 1993, 68
High standards of gospel living are often noticed and even admired, but not always openly and officially, the way they were for Renan and Evy Disner and their four children. The Disners were chosen from among a hundred outstanding families nominated by community groups and individuals throughout the state of California to be recognized as California’s Hispanic American Family of the Year.
Selected for family unity and commitment to volunteerism, the Disners were quick to credit gospel values for the honor. Along with their involvement in the Church, where Evy is a Cub Scout den leader and Renan is president of the Santa Ana South Stake, both coach soccer teams. Evy coaches a team for five- and six-year-old players, on which their two youngest children play, and Renan coaches a team that their eight-year-old plays on. Family comes first for them, but both parents give a great deal of time to other youth as well. She serves in the Parent Teacher Association, as a translator for the school district; besides her volunteer work in Scouts and soccer, Evy teaches each of her children piano. Renan volunteers as a member of a business task force that visits schools and talks to youngsters about the importance of education and careers.
Theirs is a marriage of both American and Hispanic cultures; Evy was born and reared in Santa Ana, California, and Renan is from Coatza-coalcos, Vera Cruz, on the southern border of Mexico. They met as missionaries when they were serving in Torreon, Mexico. After her mission, Evy returned to Brigham Young University and completed a degree in elementary education. When Renan’s mission was over, he visited Evy’s family; Evy and Renan were married the following year.
After they were married, the young couple lived in Sonora, Mexico, where their first two children, Evy Patricia and Michael, were born, and where Renan taught seminary for the Church Educational System while attending school part-time. In 1984, they decided to move to California, and Renan earned a B.A. in international business and joined an insurance company.
“The love in our marriage is made deeper and stronger by the gospel,” says President Disner. “Through Church service and counseling other couples, I have learned what makes marriages strong and what can make them weak. And I am grateful for that knowledge.
“As we read scriptures together in the mornings in the living room, I look around me and realize how blessed I am.” In interviews he has given to the media since his family was recognized, he has said, “If we are a model family, the model we are trying to follow was given by the Savior himself.”