April 29, 2019
Writer: Brandon Isle
Elder Ronald A. Rasband, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and his wife Melanie shared their experiences and thoughts about the Rome Temple during a devotional at BYU-Idaho.
The devotional was held on Sunday, April 28, rather than the regular Tuesday time. Elder Rasband shared the love of Church President Russell M. Nelson to the students. He said President Nelson had charged the Twelve Apostles to speak about the dedication of the Rome Temple as they go throughout the world.
He recounted, “President Nelson said, the Church leaders’ time in Rome will be ‘…a blessing for the people all over the world because these Apostles now will go… and recap the experiences that they felt here as this holy house was dedicated.’”
Sister Rasband said she wondered several questions while in Rome. Questions such as, “What made Rome so extremely special? What was this I was feeling? Was it the joy of the Italians to finally have a House of The Lord in their country?” She had many other questions as well. She said her questions were answered, “All of these things contributed to the powerful spirit of being at the Rome Temple, because they all bore witness that Jesus is the Christ!”
Elder Rasband recalled that when he and Sister Rasband had a young family the Church dedicated its 20th temple, the Jordan River Utah Temple. Now, there are 163 dedicated temples with 11 under construction and 35 announced.
He said he was a little concerned about how the Catholic Church would welcome The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the temple in Rome. He led a group on a tour of the temple. They asked, “Will you please try and base this tour on the holy scriptures, so we know how to tie this whole work to the scriptures?” He said that was exactly what he had prepared for.
Elder and Sister Rasband had asked the students to watch two different videos he and Elder David A. Bednar made while in Rome. One was when they testified outside of the Mamertine Prison in Rome, where the Apostles Paul and Peter were imprisoned, that “the same keys that were on the earth at the time of Peter and Paul, are on the earth again, with The First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.”
The second video is a virtual tour of the Rome Temple. He asked students to share those videos on social media with their member and non-member friends. “Think of someone you can do a little missionary work with using one or both of these videos,” he said.
He said his favorite photo taken during the trip was one he didn’t even know had been taken at the time. It was when President Nelson greeted him with a warm welcome to the temple. “I so love our dear Prophet,” he said. “I will always treasure the pure joy that is on President Nelson’s face.”
He said the main reason President Nelson asked him and the other members of the Twelve to speak about the event is to bear their personal witness.
“As daunting and as humble as it makes me feel to say this, I too hold those keys and I want to bear my personal witness to you that this is the Church of Jesus Christ on the earth today,” he said. “President Nelson is our Prophet, and Jesus Christ presides at the head of this Church. I love Him. I am so honored to follow Him. I am so grateful that He is the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, the Prince of Peace, and hundreds and hundreds of other names that apply to our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”