SALT LAKE CITY– The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints welcomed Elders Ronald A. Rasband, Gary E. Stevenson and Dale G. Renlund to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles over the weekend.
That welcoming took place in the Saturday afternoon session of General Conference. Immediately after the session, the world heard from the newly called apostles for the first time.
“So of all things that I could say to you, in this opening few minutes, it would be my great honor and my great privilege to serve the Lord, to serve the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve for the rest of my life,” said Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
Opening statements at the press conference included each apostle’s experience receiving their calls from President Thomas S. Monson.
“I was welcomed warmly by President Thomas S. Monson and his two counselors. After we were seated, president Monson looked at me and said, ‘Brother Renlund, we extend to you, the call to serve as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles,” said Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
The apostles continued to affirm their fundamental roles and responsibilities in testifying of Jesus Christ to people both in the United States and around the world.
“Jesus Christ loves everyone and we’re going to be apostles to everyone. We’ve had opportunity to travel through the Church, we love the Latter-day Saints everywhere. Brother Renlund just gave a great example of that. We’re not going to be apostles to our local community or to the state we’re from, we’re called to bear the name of Christ throughout the world and Lord willing, we’ll go do that as He would have us do it,” said Elder Rasband during the press conference.
Elder Stevenson also commented on the global nature of the church in his remarks.
“The great blessings and responsibilities of the Twelve are to be the traveling council and to travel really, the ends of the earth. In a way, this would be something for me that I continue to look forward to, is being able to connect with the members of the church everywhere in the world. It is a global church,” he said.
Elders Rasband, Stevenson and Renland also received an on-camera visit from their families – all of whom learned of the apostles’ call during the Saturday afternoon session of General Conference.
“The children and the grandchildren learned of these calls at the same time you did and most were either in the Conference Center or at home watching. We have managed to assemble at least some of them over the past couple of hours and thought it might be fitting to invite them to greet their fathers and their grandfathers,” Michael Otterson of Public Affairs for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said at the press conference.
Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will hear from the new apostles in Sunday’s sessions of the conference.