BYU Speeches welcomes Elders Ronald A. Rasband, Gary E. Stevenson, and Dale G. Renlund to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Over the years, all three have given inspiring counsel at BYU. Get to know them by reading excerpts from their BYU speeches. Access the full text by clicking on the article titles.
Ronald A. Rasband
Elder Ronald A. Rasband was born in Salt Lake City in 1951. He was president and chief operating officer of Huntsman Chemical Corporation before being called to the First Quorum of the Seventy. He served as the senior president of the Presidency of the Seventy before his call to the Quorum of the Twelve. Elder Rasband has spoken four times at BYU: once at a commencement ceremony, once at a fireside, and twice at devotionals. His words include thoughts on religious freedom, friendship, temples, goals, and trials.
Religious Freedom and Fairness For All
Given September 15, 2015
“Try to view others through a lens of fairness. To do this requires you to first acknowledge that Heavenly Father loves all of His children equally. He has said, ‘Love one another; as I have loved you’ (John 13:34). 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; nor do we, in ourselves or in others. But that does mean we reach out in love to persuade, to help, and to rescue.
“When you feel completely and perfectly loved, it is much easier to love others and to see them the way the Savior does. Please turn to our Savior in prayer and ask to receive His pure love both for yourself and for others. He has promised that you will feel His love if you ask in faith.”
“I the Lord Am with You”
Given August 15, 2013
“Don’t wait to make enough money so you can afford to serve the Lord. Don’t put your work in front of your parenting. . . . Don’t feel entitled to more than your share of the Lord’s blessings, and don’t boast about them as if they were a measure of your own greatness. Be humble, kind, and forgiving. Be generous. Be gentle and long-suffering—and, most of all, be honest. We need you out there holding fast and helping others to do the same.”
Thy Friends Do Stand by Thee
Given March 7, 2010
“Our most prized friend is Jesus Christ Himself. Is there any greater assurance than His ‘I will be on your right hand and on your left, . . . and mine angels round about you, to bear you up’ (D&C 84:88)? So often those ‘angels round about’ are our friends. . . .
“It was the Savior who said to His disciples, ‘Ye are my friends’ (D&C 84:63). It was the Savior who taught, ‘Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends’ (John 15:13). It was the Savior who beckoned, ‘Come unto me’ (Matthew 11:28). In friendship, as in every other principle of the gospel, Jesus Christ is our Exemplar.”
Making Temple Worship a Pattern in Your Life
Given February 10, 2009
“Certainly in a day and time like we live in, the importance of every temple built and dedicated to the Lord cannot be overstated. . . .
“I would recommend to you today that temple worship is an important pattern for each of you to set—individually and as families—as you consider your own areas of focus and attention, as you put in place firm foundations in your life. I know many of you already do this, and for that we are most grateful to you.”
Dale G. Renlund
Elder Dale G. Renlund was born in Salt Lake City in 1952 to Swedish parents, who immigrated to America to be married in the temple. He was a professor of medicine at the University of Utah and the medical director of the Utah Transplantation Affiliated Hospitals Cardiac Transplant Program. A member of the First Quorum of the Seventy since 2009, Elder Renlund spoke at BYU in 2014 on how we must have spiritual stability to remain afloat.
Constructing Spiritual Stability
Given on September 16, 2014
“Obedience to God’s laws preserves our freedom, flexibility, and ability to achieve our potential. The commandments are not intended to restrict us. Rather, obedience leads to increased spiritual stability and long-term happiness. . . .
“Decide now to be exactly obedient. As we do so, our spiritual stability will be greatly enhanced. We will avoid squandering God-given resources and making unproductive and destructive detours in our lives. . . .
“We can look at each commandment separately and decide whether to obey or not, rationalize disobedience or not, or we can simply settle it in our hearts that we will do the things that the Lord teaches and commands. Nothing will increase spiritual stability more. Nothing will give us greater freedom to accomplish our life’s mission. ‘Faithfulness and obedience’ are not only ‘the marks of true discipleship’; they are ‘the requisites of true freedom.’”
Gary E. Stevenson
Born in Ogden, Utah, in 1955, Gary E. Stevenson worked as the chief operating officer of ICON Health & Fitness before being called as a General Authority. He served in the First Quorum of the Seventy and as the Presiding Bishop. In his BYU devotional address, Bishop Stevenson spoke of the difference between understanding with the mind and understanding on a higher level.
Lean Not unto Thine Own Understanding
Given January 14, 2014
“‘And with all thy getting get understanding’ (Proverbs 4:7) or, said another way, ‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding’ (Proverbs 3:5).
“I have personally observed the heartbreak and personal havoc wrought upon those whose focus is on the worldly ‘getting’ and not on the Lord’s ‘understanding.’ It seems that those who lean unto their own understanding or rely on the arm of the flesh are more likely to develop a disproportionate focus or obsession for material gain, prestige, power, and position. Keeping the ‘getting’ in accordance with this scriptural guidance of ‘understanding’ will temper your temporal appetite.”