At age 19, young Ronald A. Rasband anxiously awaited his mission call. His father, brother and brother-in-law had served missions in Germany, and he wanted to go to Germany as well.
Finally the letter with his mission call arrived in the mailbox. He opened it and read the words “Elder Ronald A. Rasband, you are hereby called to serve as a missionary in the Eastern States Mission, headquartered in New York City, New York.”
Consumed with disappointment, he exclaimed, “No, I’m supposed to go to Germany!”
In a #HearHim video and blog post released Thursday, Oct. 20, Elder Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles described how he heard the Lord’s voice through the scriptures confirm that the Eastern States Mission was where He wanted him to go.
Determined to change his attitude after opening the mission letter, Elder Rasband went to his bedroom and opened up the scriptures. He began reading in Doctrine and Covenants 100.
“Behold, and lo, I have much people in this place, in the regions round about; and an effectual door shall be opened in the regions round about in this eastern land,” he read, pausing on the phrase “in this eastern land.”
He continued, “Therefore, I, the Lord, have suffered you to come unto this place; for thus it was expedient in me for the salvation of souls” (verses 3-4).
Immediately Elder Rasband’s perspective changed. “I knew, by revelation, through this scripture, that that’s where the Lord wanted me to go,” he said in the video.
Another way Elder Rasband hears the Lord’s voice is by following promptings of the Spirit.
Elder Rasband returned to the land of his mission several years later to serve as president of the New York New York North Mission. While serving in that calling, he received news that Elder Neal A. Maxwell of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles would be coming to speak.
As Elder Rasband pondered which of his missionaries to invite to offer the opening prayer, an elder’s name came to mind.
In an interview with this elder, Elder Rasband learned that Elder Maxwell had sealed his parents in the Salt Lake Temple and called his father to be a district president in Accra, Ghana.
“I had no idea about the Ghana connection to his father or the temple connection to his family,” Elder Rasband wrote in the blog post. “All I knew is that when I looked at that roster of missionaries, Elder Appiah’s name stood out almost like it was in neon lights to me. …
“I will never forget following that prompting, being directed to a missionary, and having that experience with an Apostle of the Lord. The Lord knows each one of His children.”
Watch more #HearHim videos from Church leaders here.