Elder Ronald A. Rasband
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Elder Ronald A. Rasband was called to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on October 3, 2015. He had been serving as a member of the Presidency of the Seventy since 2005 and was serving as the senior president of the Presidency of the Seventy when called to the Twelve. Elder Rasband was named a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on 1 April 2000. He has served as a counselor in the Europe Central Area Presidency, president of the Utah Salt Lake City Area, executive director of the Temple Department; and has supervised the North America West, Northwest, and three Utah areas as a member of the Presidency of the Seventy.
Elder Rasband attended the University of Utah. In 1995, Utah Valley University awarded him an honorary Doctorate of Business and Commerce. In 1976 he joined Huntsman Container Company as sales representative, and in 1987, he was appointed President and Chief Operating Officer of Huntsman Chemical Corporation.
When he left Huntsman Chemical Corporation in 1996 to serve as a mission president in New York, he was also serving as a member of the Board of Directors.
Elder Rasband has held numerous Church callings, including full-time missionary in the Eastern States Mission (1970-1972), Temple Square missionary guide, bishop, and member of the Church's Sesquicentennial Committee. He presided over the New York, New York North Mission from 1996 to 1999.
Elder Rasband was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1951. He married Melanie Twitchell in 1973. They are the parents of five children and have 24 grandchildren.
BYU-Idaho Business and Communication Convocation Winter 2016
This is a great day in your lives. I feel honored and privileged to be a part of it. I chose this convocation because my own college background is in the business and communication field. You have worked hard to get here; you will work hard when you leave. Your family—spouse, parents, children, and siblings—are heralding this day of accomplishment in your life. Now you go forth to make a difference in a world that needs you.
Sitting in General Conference last Sunday, I had a prompting to change my message to you this evening. As we witness daily, we live in perilous times shown to prophets long ago.
In 2nd Timothy, the Apostle Paul prophesied of our day, saying, "This know also, that in the last day perilous times shall come."
For behold, at that day shall he [the devil] rage in the hearts of the children of men, and stir them up to anger against that which is good.
And others will he pacify and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well—and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell."
Therefore, wo be unto him that is at ease in Zion!
Wo be unto him that crieth: All is well!
And in our day of the Restoration, the Lord knowing the trials that would come, spoke to the Church as recorded in Doctrine and Covenants Section 1:
Wherefore, I the Lord, knowing the calamity which should come upon the inhabitants of the earth, called upon my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and spake unto him from heaven, and gave him commandments;
The scriptures clearly outline ways to find refuge and renewal. From the Doctrine and Covenants Section 87, we read: "Wherefore, stand ye in holy places, and be not moved, until the day of the Lord come; for behold, it cometh quickly, saith the Lord."
And in Doctrine and Covenants Section 45: "But my disciples shall stand in holy places, and shall not be moved;"
I am struck by the emphasis on "stand in holy places." "Temples, homes, and chapels" are 'holy places.' The presence of the Spirit and our behavior there make them 'holy places,' 'sanctuaries from the world.'"
Today my message, prompted by the messages given in the Sunday sessions of General Conference, is centered on one of these holy places: the temple and the importance of temple worship, the power of the priesthood manifest in the ordinances of the temple. Know this: the temple will be both a defense and a place of refuge from the growing storms.
We have watched as the First Presidency has taken temples to the people all over the world. Just last Sunday President Monson announced four new temples in the following locations: Quito, Ecuador; Harare, Zimbabwe; Belém, Brazil; and Lima, Peru.
President Ezra Taft Benson made a statement, what seems not so many years ago—before you were born—but listen to his words:
Our predecessors have prophesied that temples will dot the landscape of North and South America, the isles of the Pacific, Europe, and elsewhere. If this redemptive work is to be done on the scale it must be, hundreds of temples will be needed.
At the time President Benson gave this message, there were nineteen temples operating in the Church, and Sister Rasband and I were just starting our own family. What a grand blessing it is to be living in this, our day, and to witness prophecy being fulfilled. We now have 150 operating temples throughout the world.
You have had a temple in your midst as you have attended this fine institution. President Thomas S. Monson dedicated the Rexburg Temple in 2008 as his first official act as prophet of the Lord's Church. In his dedicatory prayer, President Monson declared, "May Thy faithful Saints of this and future generations look to this temple as a sanctuary."
What temples bring to families and individuals seeking to draw closer to the Lord Jesus Christ and our Father in Heaven, seeking peace in a fractured world, seeking comfort in times of trouble cannot be calculated. Let me give you a personal example.
When I was called to serve in the Area Presidency in England, my wife Melanie and I quickly realized what a sacrifice it would be for our children, particularly our son who was looking forward to his last year of high school and all the athletic competitions he would miss. Being uprooted is not easy.
Once we arrived in England, we tried to help them feel at home, and at peace in a foreign land. Not being too successful, we decided to take the family to the Preston Temple to do baptisms for the dead. That was not something we had done in our busy life back home. Off we went to the north, spending the day at a temple that was, in some ways, foreign to us as well. The minute we walked into the temple baptistery everything changed. We knew the spirit. We knew we were home.
And then the miracle. Our son looked at us as we left that sacred place and commented how cool it had been. Then he said with sincerity, "Dad, why haven't we done this as a family before?"
I learned a lesson that day, brothers and sisters. The power of the temple had changed our perspectives. As a family the spirit of the temple had sanctified us. We had felt peace and joy that no football tournament or basketball game could bring. We had stepped away from the world and been spiritually lifted.
Years ago, at the Logan Temple Cornerstone Ceremony in 1877, President George Q. Cannon said this:
Every foundation stone that is laid for a temple and every temple completed, lessens the power of Satan on the earth, and increases the power of God and Godliness, moves the heavens in mighty power in our behalf, invokes and calls down upon us the blessings of eternal Gods and those who reside in their presence.
Certainly in a day and time like we live in, the importance of every temple built and dedicated to the Lord cannot be overstated.
Prophets, seers, and revelators have promised us blessings, as we faithfully attend the temple.
Our dear and beloved Prophet, President Thomas S. Monson, has made this promise and I testify to you it is true:
Come to the temple and place your burdens before the Lord and you will be filled with a new spirit and confidence in the future. Trust in the Lord and if you do, He will hold you and cradle you and lead you step-by-step along that pathway that leads to the Celestial Kingdom of God.
Now a quote from my much-loved boyhood stake president, President James E. Faust:
We unavoidably stand in so many unholy places and are subjected to so much that is vulgar, profane, and destructive of the Spirit of the Lord that I encourage our Saints all over the world, wherever possible, to strive to stand more often in holy places. Our most holy places are our sacred temples. Within them is a feeling of sacred comfort.
Now I ask each of you, to what end and what purpose is all of this focus and emphasis on temples? How does it apply to you who are just looking at starting careers and families? You, who are worrying about jobs and homes and making a living? Let me point you to a passage of scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 52:14:
And again, I will give unto you a pattern in all things, that ye may not be deceived; for Satan is abroad in the land, and he goeth forth deceiving the nations—
Temple worship is an important pattern for each of us as individuals, and as families. It is critical at every stage of your life. If you have yet to be sealed in the temple, continue to seek for that blessing. For those who have been sealed, honor that covenant with your heart, mind, and strength. Always be worthy to attend the temple.
The blessings of temple service are generational. We know as Latter-day Saints that temple and family history work is pertinent to our salvation. We refer to the feelings that we can have in seeking out our departed ancestors as having the Spirit of Elijah.
President James E. Faust, has said about this work:
Searching for our kindred dead isn't just a hobby. It is a fundamental responsibility for all members of the Church. We believe that life continues after death and that all will be resurrected. We believe that families may continue in the next life if they have kept the special covenants made in one of the sacred temples under the authority of God. We believe that our deceased ancestors can also be eternally united with their families when we make covenants in their behalf in the temples. Our deceased forebears may accept these covenants, if they choose to do so, in the spirit world.
I encourage you to spend time together searching for information about your ancestors on the Internet; you can do that at home with little children running about; then you can take those family members to the temple and do their temple work. They may not be able to speak to you directly like my son did to me, "Why haven't we done this before," but you may feel them with you, and their gratitude will be without words.
The First Presidency has issued as an invitation to all the members of the Church:
Where time and circumstances permit, members are encouraged to replace some leisure activities with temple service. All of the ordinances which take place in the house of the Lord become expressions of our belief in that fundamental and basic doctrine of the immortality of the human soul. As we redouble our efforts and our faithfulness in going to the temple, the Lord will bless us.
As we consider establishing righteous patterns in our lives, it would be well to remember this admonition from the First Presidency.
The statement on the outside facade of every temple reads: "Holiness to the Lord, The House of the Lord." I testify that all of the temples of the Lord are His sanctuaries here upon the earth.
President Monson has taught:
As we go to the holy house, as we remember the covenants we make therein, we will be able to bear every trial and overcome each temptation. The temple provides purpose for our lives. It brings peace to our souls—not the peace provided by men but the peace promised by the Son of God when He said, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
Jesus Christ lives. This is His Church. This service in temples is rolling forward throughout the earth as prophets throughout the ages have seen in vision and prophecy to bless the lives of the Latter-day Saints, and carry out the work of redeeming the dead.
I know that President Thomas S. Monson is God's prophet upon the earth today and holds the sealing power of God; the same authority that was given to Joseph Smith by the Prophet Elijah in the Kirtland Temple. It is by that authority that new, eternal families are created, and sealed together for time and all eternity; so unlike that which is done out in the world relative to the divine institution of marriage.
I leave my testimony and reaffirm these prophetic blessings to you today, in the Name of Jesus Christ, amen.
 2nd Timothy 3:1  2nd Nephi 28:20-21, 24, 25  D&C 1:17  D&C 87:8  D&C 45:32  See Handbook 2:1.4.1: Strengthening the Home  Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 247; published by Bookcraft 1988  ldschurchtemples.com  Millennial Star, November 12, 1877, p. 743  President Thomas S. Monson, Church News, May 8, 1993  Ensign, May 2005  Doctrine and Covenants 52:14  Ensign, President James E. Faust, November 2003  First Presidency letter, March 11, 2003  Thomas S. Monson, "Blessings of the Temple," October 2010