Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles noted the “blessed experience” members have to raise their hands to sustain Church leaders.
“I have never taken lightly or casually the opportunity of sustaining and being guided by the Lord’s servants. And being just months into my own calling as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, I am humbled by your sustaining vote and confidence. I treasure your willingness to stand with me and with all of these great leaders,” Elder Rasband said during the Saturday afternoon session of the 186th Annual General Conference.
Elder Rasband recalled a trip to Pakistan soon after he was sustained to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. After his return, he received a note from a member he had met, Shakeel Arsahd, which read, “Thank you Elder Rasband for coming to Pakistan. I want to tell you that we Church members sustain you and love you. [We are so lucky] that you were here and we heard from you. It was just a golden day in my family’s life that we met an Apostle.”
Meeting Church members like Brother Arshad, Elder Rasband said, was overwhelming and humbling and “‘a golden day’ for me as well.”
Elder Rasband also recalled his participation in the Face to Face event where he; Sister Bonnie Oscarson, Young Women general president; and Brother Stephen W. Owen, Young Men general president, were able to answer questions from youth from all over the world. In reading through hundreds of questions, Elder Rasband said they learned that “our youth love the Lord, sustain their leaders, and desire to have their questions answered.”
He continued, “We have sustained leaders today who have, by divine inspiration, been called to teach and guide us and who are calling out to us to beware of the dangers we face each day — from casual Sabbath-day observance, to threats to the family, to assaults on religious freedom, and even to disputing latter-day revelation. Brothers and sisters, are we listening to their counsel?”
Elder Rasband recalled his own learning moments from President Thomas S. Monson. “There is no question in my mind or in my heart that he is the Lord’s prophet on the earth; I have been a humbled recipient as he has received revelation and acted upon it. He has been teaching us to reach out, to protect each other, to rescue one another.”
Individuals’ relationships with leaders are significant, Elder Rasband said. “No matter what age leaders may be, how close or far away, or when they may have touched our lives, their influence reflects the words of the American poet Edwin Markham who said: ‘There is a destiny that makes us brothers, no one goes his way alone; all that we send into the lives of others, comes back into our own.’”
Elder Rasband related the story of the Apostle Peter who, seeing the Savior walking on the sea, desires to go to Him. Peter walks on the water to go to Jesus but, noticing the wind and the waves, begins to fear “and beginning to sink, he cried [out], saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him” (Matthew 14:30-31).
“The Lord often reaches out to us through our families and leaders, inviting us to come unto Him — just like He reached out to save Peter,” Elder Rasband explained.
“I pray that we will reach out, reach out and take the Savior’s hand that He is extending to us, often through His divinely called leaders, and our family members, and listen for His call to come.”