3 Church History Questions Answered by Elder and Sister Rasband
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“3 Church History Questions Answered by Elder and Sister Rasband,” Liahona, July 2021

Young Adults

3 Church History Questions Answered by Elder and Sister Rasband

From a Face to Face event with Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Sister Melanie Rasband, on September 13, 2020. To watch the full event, go to

We all have questions sometimes. But thankfully, we have loving Apostles who can help us find answers.

Face to Face: Ronald A. Rasband

How did you come to know that Joseph Smith truly is called of God to be the prophet of the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ?

Elder Rasband: We realize that the way you are going to come to a knowledge of your testimony might be different than ours. I was born in a devout family and gained my testimony as a young man that has lasted with me to this very day.

I’d like to share with you a scripture on [gaining a testimony of the restored gospel], found in the 46th section of the Doctrine and Covenants, where it talks about the gifts of the Spirit that we might be given.

I’d like to go to verses 13 and 14, which are two verses that speak about the gift of testimony. Verse 13: “To some it is given by the Holy Ghost to know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that he was crucified for the sins of the world.” I want you to know that’s where my sweetheart and I are. We have witnesses of the Lord Jesus Christ that burn within our bosom, and we know that He is our Savior.

Verse 14 suggests another gift, and I emphasize it’s also a gift: “To others it is given to believe on their words, that they also might have eternal life if they continue faithful.” So, our young friends, we’re all in a different pathway with that testimony [of the restored gospel]. Some of us have those burning testimonies. Others of us are believing on the testimony of others, and that’s OK. You can believe on ours, or you can believe on your friends’, your parents’, your leaders’, your teachers’. It’s OK to accept the testimony of others. In fact, it’s a gift to be able to do that. So for those of you working on your testimonies, remember that this is a journey and a process.

In the proclamation on the Restoration,1 it says, “We as His Apostles invite all to know—as we do—that the heavens are open.” What does this invitation mean to you? If God wishes to speak with us, why is it so hard to hear Him?

Sister Rasband: Well, I think most of what is worth obtaining in this life doesn’t come easy, and I think that humbly seeking and praying to learn how we hear the Holy Ghost is a key to learning how to hear Him. Usually we just have a good feeling. Sometimes we may see something. Sometimes we actually hear words, and we mistakenly think that it’s our own thoughts and feelings that we’re hearing. I think it’s an important thing to be able to learn how to hear the Holy Ghost for yourself.

I invite each one of you to look steadfastly, always, towards heaven, with a willing heart and ears open to hear Him (see 3 Nephi 11:5).

Elder Rasband: I’ve found the word of the Lord by reading the scriptures. If I have issues that I’m troubled about, or worried about, in our family, in my work, in my assignment and calling, I’ll topically try and find something that can apply, and then something will jump out at me, and it’s as if the Lord is giving me a very specific directive through His holy word in the scriptures.

So it can happen in a multitude of ways. All of you will have your own ways. Heavenly Father knows you. He loves you. You are His children, and He will respond to you in ways that are familiar and correct for you.

What is your favorite part of the Restoration or the First Vision? What truths do you hold most dearly that came as a result of that event?

Sister Rasband: For me, it’s simple. When God the Father addressed and called Joseph Smith by name, saying, “Joseph, this is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!” my testimony just grew that God the Father and the Son know each and every one of us. They love us. And if we listen to the Son, we will learn the ways [of the Father] and be taught how to obtain eternal life.

Elder Rasband: The aspect of the Restoration that I treasure is that Joseph Smith was a 14-year-old boy when he went to the grove of trees in response to reading the scriptures to ask his Heavenly Father in humble prayer. Joseph Smith actually was a model for us in this regard: he had a question that he had been laboring with for a long time, and he took his question to Heavenly Father, expecting that he would get an answer, and he did.


  1. See “The Restoration of the Fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ: A Bicentennial Proclamation to the World,”