Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles was born on June 15, 1952, in Oakland, California. He has served as an Apostle since Oct. 7, 2004.
He served as a young full-time missionary in Southern Germany and then received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Brigham Young University. He received a doctorate in organizational behavior from Purdue University. He was a professor of business management at Texas Tech University and at the University of Arkansas and later served as the president of Brigham Young University–Idaho (formerly Ricks College) from 1997 to 2004.
He married Susan Kae Robinson in the Salt Lake Temple on March 20, 1975, and they are the parents of three sons. Prior to his call as a general authority, he served as an Area Seventy, regional representative, stake president and bishop.
In honor of his 70th birthday today, here are nine quotes from Elder Bednar in the past year.
1. God changes hearts from the inside out
“Often, the world works from the outside in. Changing a person’s circumstances and environment may be considered the best method of changing that person. This approach certainly is important. …
“But God typically works from the inside out through a spiritual rebirth. If a person allows God to change his or her heart, then that person is empowered in remarkable ways to change his or her circumstances and environment.”
— Elder Bednar addresses National Press Club, May 26, 2022
2. ‘Reserved for this day’
“My question is, we tell [the youth] all the time, they’ve been reserved for this day. So why would we be surprised? When will we stop being surprised at the valiant efforts of the young people to do what they know they should do because they know who they are?”
— Video: Elder Bednar asks, why are we surprised by today’s youth, April 20, 2022
3. Heed them not
“I witness that fidelity to the covenants and ordinances of the Savior’s restored gospel enables us to press on in the work of the Lord, to hold fast to Him as the Word of God and to heed not the allurements of the adversary.”
— “But We Heeded Them Not,” April 2022 general conference
4. Temple blessings bring joy, protection and blessings
“The joy and the protection and the power help you traverse the bumps. It doesn’t eliminate them but gives you the strength to press forward and deal with them. …
“All of these things are true. All of these things are real. And all of these things apply individually and personally, in your individual life and in your family.”
— Temple and Family History Leadership Instruction, March 3, 2022
5. Foster friendships across religions
“For the past 200 years, the call to all Latter-day Saints — and really to all people — has been consistent and clear. Peace and unity are possible as we learn to love our fellow human beings throughout the world. Whether they be Jewish, Islamic, fellow Christians Hindu, Buddhist, or any other denomination or faith tradition, we can live together with mutual admiration and respect — without forsaking our religious convictions. The things we have in common are far greater than are our differences.”
— Facebook video, Feb. 8, 2022
6. Covenants and ordinances bind Latter-day Saints to the Lord
“This simply means that we trust in Him, rely on Him, and pull our load with Him during the journey of life. Our best efforts cannot be compared with His. But when we are yoked to and with the Savior and press forward with steadfastness in coming unto Him, we can receive the cleansing, enabling and healing powers of His Atonement in our lives.”
— Devotional broadcast to Europe, Jan. 23, 2022
7. Covenants and ordinances are the heart
“My beloved brothers and sisters, understanding the covenants and the associated ordinances — learning, understanding, living, honoring, remembering them — that is the work of salvation and exaltation. The covenants and ordinances are the heart and the focus of missionary work. The covenants and ordinances are the heart and the focus of temple and family history work. Everything in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is focused on the covenants and ordinances.”
— Devotional to BYU-Hawaii students, Nov. 14, 2021
8. The power of God in great glory
“My assignments as a member of the Twelve take me all over the world. And I have been blessed to meet and learn memorable lessons from many of you. I testify that the covenant people of the Lord today indeed are armed with righteousness and with the power of God in great glory. I have witnessed faith, courage, perspective, persistence and joy that extend far beyond mortal capacity — and that only God could provide.”
— “With the Power of God in Great Glory,” October 2021 general conference
9. Ask, seek, knock
“Joseph’s experience in the Sacred Grove demonstrates for all of us the importance of spiritually asking, seeking and knocking as we strive to learn for ourselves and find answers to our own questions and concerns.”
— Face to Face event, Sept. 12, 2021