Elder Ronald A. Rasband was born on February 6, 1951 in Salt Lake City, Utah was called to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in October 2015 . The scriptures have been a major part of his life. He is married with five children. Elder Rasband was a businessman for his career and the chief operating officer of Huntsman Chemical Corporation in 1987. He has been a member of the Seventy for several years. You can read the church’s news report about him here.
Jesus Christ knows about fierce struggles and trials. He gave His life for us. His final hours were brutal, beyond anything we can even comprehend, but His sacrifice for each one of us was the ultimate expression of His pure love.
No mistake, sin, or choice will change God’s love for us. That does not mean sinful conduct is condoned, nor does it remove our obligation to repent when sins are committed. But do not forget, Heavenly Father knows and loves each of you, and He is always ready to help.
When I have counseled individuals such as my friend, I have explored their decisions made over the years which led them to forget sacred experiences, to weaken, and to doubt. I encouraged them, as I encourage you now, to recall, especially in times of crisis, when you felt the Spirit and your testimony was strong; remember the spiritual foundations you have built. I promise that if you will do this, avoiding things that do not build and strengthen your testimony or that mock your beliefs, those precious times when your testimony prospered will return again to your memory through humble prayer and fasting. I assure you that you will once again feel the safety and warmth of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Each of us must first strengthen ourselves spiritually and then strengthen those around us. Ponder the scriptures regularly, and remember the thoughts and feelings you experience as you read them. Seek other sources of truth as well, but heed this caution from the scriptures: “But to be learned is good if they hearken unto the counsels of God.” Attend Church meetings, especially sacrament meeting, and partake of the sacrament and renew covenants, including the promise to always remember the Savior, that His Spirit may ever be with you.
No matter what mistakes we have made or how imperfect we feel we are, we can always bless and lift others. Reaching out to them in Christlike service can help us feel the love of God deep within our hearts.
Generations are affected by the choices we make.
Never forget, question, or ignore personal, sacred spiritual experiences. The adversary’s design is to distract us from spiritual witnesses, while the Lord’s desire is to enlighten and engage us in His work.
Let me share a personal example of this truth. I distinctly recall a time when I received a prompting in answer to mighty prayer. The answer was clear and powerful. However, I failed to act immediately on the prompting, and after a period of time I began to wonder if what I had felt had been real. Some of you may have fallen for that deception of the adversary as well.
To my friend, and to all who wish to bolster their faith, I give you this promise: as you faithfully live the gospel of Jesus Christ and abide by its teachings, your testimony will be protected and it will grow. Keep the covenants you have made, regardless of the actions of those around you. Be diligent parents, brothers and sisters, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends who strengthen loved ones with personal testimony and who share spiritual experiences. Remain faithful and steadfast, even if storms of doubt invade your lives through the actions of others. Seek that which will edify and fortify you spiritually. Avoid counterfeit offerings of so-called “truths” which are so pervasive, and remember to record your feelings of “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, [and] temperance.”
In the midst of life’s greatest storms, do not forget your divine heritage as a son or daughter of God or your eternal destiny to one day return to live with Him, which will surpass anything the world has to offer.
I bear my solemn witness of the Lord Jesus Christ. He lives; I know He lives and stands at the head of this Church. These things I know for myself, independent of any other voice or witness, and I pray that you and I will never forget sacred eternal truths—first and foremost that we are sons and daughters of living and loving Heavenly Parents, who desire only our eternal happiness. Of these truths I testify in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
I stand today as a witness of God the Eternal Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. I know our Savior lives and loves us and directs His servants, you and me, to fulfill His mighty purposes on this earth.
As we press forward, choosing to follow the counsel and the warnings of our leaders, we choose to follow the Lord while the world is going in another direction. We choose to hold fast to the iron rod, to be Latter-day Saints, to be on the Lord’s errand, and to be filled “with exceedingly great joy.”
The growing question of today is clear: are you standing with the leaders of the Church in a darkening world so that you might spread the Light of Christ?
Relationships with leaders are so important and significant.
I have needed the Savior and the rescue of His hand so many times. I need Him now as never before, as does each of you. I have felt confident at times leaping over the side of the boat, figuratively speaking, into unfamiliar places, only to realize that I could not do it alone.
I Stand All Amazed: My testimony of Jesus Christ has been built from many special experiences in which I have come to know His great love for each one of us.
Now, if I could leave one small message with you today, it would be this: the Lord has said, “Love one another; as I have loved you.” I’m conﬁdent that there is no choice, sin, or mistake that you or anyone else can make that will change His love for you or for them. That does not mean He excuses or condones sinful conduct—I’m sure He does not—but it does mean we are to reach out to our fellowman in love to invite, persuade, serve, and rescue. Jesus Christ looked past people’s ethnicity, rank, and circumstances in order to teach them this profound truth.