“Elder Ronald A. Rasband,” Liahona, November 2015, 135
After Elder Ronald A. Rasband received his call to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, he read John 15:16: “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you.”
Elder Rasband said, “I had a spiritual impression that there’s nothing about this [call] that was … my desire. It was the Lord’s decision.”
At age 19 Elder Rasband had already learned a similar lesson about submitting to the Lord’s decisions. He had hoped to serve a mission in Germany, as had his father and older brother, but instead was called to the Eastern States Mission (USA). He turned to his scriptures and read in the 100th section of the Doctrine and Covenants:
“Therefore, follow me, and listen to the counsel which I shall give unto you.
“… An effectual door shall be opened up in the regions round about in this eastern land. …
“Therefore, verily I say unto you, lift up your voices unto this people” (verses 2, 3, 5).
He had a witness that the Lord wanted him to serve in the Eastern States Mission.
Elder Rasband, born on February 6, 1951, comes from humble circumstances. “I was born of a [bread] truck driver and a dear [stay-at-home] mother,” he said. He comes from a multigenerational Latter-day Saint family, a heritage he treasures.
In 1973 Elder Rasband married Melanie Twitchell. They have 5 children and 24 grandchildren. Elder Rasband credits his wife of 42 years for helping him become who he is today. “My wife has taken me like potter’s clay and molded me into something that really matters. … It’s her spiritual influence that has led not only to this beautiful and special calling but also to everything that I’ve done spiritually.”
In 1987 Elder Rasband became president and chief operating officer of a worldwide chemical corporation. He learned from his leaders how to be more effective in Church service. “I learned in my profession … that people are more important than anything else that we can do.” He also “learned many, many leadership skills … that have served me well as a General Authority.”
Elder Rasband has had plenty of opportunities to use those skills. He has served as bishop; mission president; General Authority Seventy since April 2000; supervisor of the North America West, Northwest, and three Utah Areas; counselor in the Europe Central Area Presidency; Executive Director of the Temple Department; member of the Presidency of the Seventy since 2005; and Senior President of the Seventy since April 2009.
His Church assignments have given him a love for Latter-day Saints everywhere. He tells members, “Your faith has increased our faith; your testimonies have added to our testimony” (page 90).
Elder Rasband is humbled to serve as an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ. “I’ve always had a desire to serve Him,” he said. “I will devote my time, my talents, and everything I have now for the rest of my life. I’m committed to do it. I’m honored to do it.”