New apostles introduced at press conference

SALT LAKE CITY– Elder Ronald A. Rasband, Elder Gary E. Stevenson and Elder Dale G. Renlund addressed the public for the first time on Saturday since being sustained as apostles.

The three new apostles discussed their life experiences, feelings regarding receiving their calling as apostles of the Lord and their testimonies of the gospel of Jesus Christ. They also answered questions and gave statements for various media.

“I’m now humbled to be called to the Quorum of the Twelve, and with it, a greater ecclesiastical role,” Elder Stevenson said. “But yet, a responsibility that is very similar in caring for the poor and needy. There is a scriptural charge that says that we succor the weak, we lift up the hands that hang down and we strengthen the feeble knees.”

Elder Renlund said he was stunned and speechless when President Thomas S. Monson called him to be an Apostle of the Lord.

“I think I murmured an acceptance of the calling,” Renlund said. “I was somewhere between apoplectic and catatonic. And I think President Monson sensed that my bones had dissolved and so he looked at me and he said, ‘God called you, the Lord made it known to me.’”

Elder Rasband said President Monson invited him into his office last Tuesday, where he learned of his new calling.

“I was invited to come down and meet with the First Presidency and had the great honor and privilege of receiving this call from a very strong and very loving President Thomas S. Monson, who extended the call personally and used the words with me, ‘Brother Rasband, I want you to know that your call comes from the Lord, Jesus Christ,’” Elder Rasband said.

Different questions were asked by various news networks such as how their professional backgrounds have prepared them, what the challenges they might face and what their plans are as they begin their service as Apostles.

“The greatest joy that comes is helping to bring the Atonement of Christ into the lives of people anywhere,” Elder Rasband said. “I think this gives the opportunity to do that in a bigger scale, in more places and being a witness of Christ in his name in all the world. I can’t imagine what this is going to be like. I really have no clue and what that will be like but it’s being able to see the Atonement of Christ work on people throughout the world. It, to me, is the most fascinating thing that I look forward to.”

Family members of the new apostles were unaware of their new callings until the Saturday afternoon session of general conference, and were invited to come out and congratulate them after the press conference concluded.

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