Offering his first general conference address as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Elder Ronald A. Rasband said the words of a favorite Latter-day Saint hymn describe his feelings:
"I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me. … Oh, it is wonderful, wonderful to me."
Elder Rasband, who was serving as the senior president in the Presidency of the Seventy at the time of his call as an apostle, said during the Sunday morning session that a few days before general conference he had the privilege to meet with the First Presidency and receive his new calling from President Thomas S. Monson.
“I want to witness to all of you of the strength and love of President Monson as he said to me, ‘This call comes from the Lord Jesus Christ.’"
Elder Rasband said he is “overwhelmed, and shaken to my very core” to consider the import and significance of those words.
“President Monson, President Eyring, President Uchtdorf I love you, and will serve the Lord and you, with all of my heart, might, mind and strength,” said Elder Rasband.
The new apostle then spoke of his love for President Boyd K Packer, Elders L. Tom Perry and Richard G Scott. “I am blessed to have been trained and taught at the feet of these dear brethren,” Elder Rasband said. “Not in the smallest part am I able to walk in their shoes, yet, I am honored to stand tall on their shoulders and carry on in the Lord's ministry.”
When thinking of those who have helped him, Elder Rasband said he first thinks of his “sweet and selfless companion, Melanie.”
“Her love and support, and that of our five children, their spouses and our 24 grandchildren sustains me.”
Elder Rasband said he, like Nephi of old, was “born of goodly parents in the gospel and they of goodly parents back six generations.”
“My earliest ancestors who joined the Church were from England and Denmark. These early pioneers gave their all to live the gospel of Jesus Christ and leave a legacy for their posterity to follow.”
Many others have contributed to preparing his life for this new call, he said.
“They include my childhood friends and family, early leaders, teachers and lifelong mentors. I must include those from my early mission to the Eastern States and our beloved missionaries from the New York New York North mission.”
Elder Rasband said he has cherished serving with his brethren of the Seventy. “For 15 years I have been in one of the greatest quorums and loving brotherhoods of the Church.”
Now, he said, he looks forward to belonging to a new quorum. “President Russell M. Nelson, my love is deep for you and each member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.”
Elder Rasband said he and his wife have been blessed to visit members on many assignments in congregations and missions around the world. “We love the Latter-day Saints everywhere! Your faith has increased our faith, your testimonies have added to our testimony.”
Elder Rasband said if he could leave one small message with Church members it would be this: “The Lord has said, ‘Love one another; as I have loved you.’ I'm confident that there is no choice, sin, or mistake that you or anyone else can make that will change His love for you or for them. … Jesus Christ looked past people’s ethnicity, rank, and circumstances in order to teach them this profound truth.”
Elder Rasband said he has been asked many times when he received his testimony. “I can’t remember not believing in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. … That early belief has now grown into a knowledge and witness of a loving Heavenly Father who hears and answers our prayers. My testimony of Jesus Christ has been built from many special experiences where I have come to know His great love for each one of us.”
Elder Rasband concluded: "As we follow our prophet, I pray that we may have charity in our hearts towards others, and that we will become a living witness and indeed stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers us."
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