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Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Elder Ronald A. Rasband Celebrates His 67th Birthday Today

Hello again, everyone! Due to the volume of Church & temple news I have covered lately and in view of some health issues I have had to deal with in recent days, it almost slipped my mind that Elder Ronald A. Rasband's birthday was today. So as he has marked his 67th birthday, it is time to share some information about his life here on this blog in commemoration. Let's dive right in to all of that.

Ronald Anderson Rasband was born to Rulon Hawkins Rasband and Verda Anderson in Salt Lake City, Utah, on February 6, 1951. He served as a full-time missionary in the Eastern States Mission, which was headquartered in New York City and encompassed the whole New York Metro area, while also stretching into western New York and Pennsylvania. 


He married Melanie Twitchell in 1973, and together they raised five children. He studied at the University of Utah, and would later receive an honorary doctorate degree in business and commerce from Utah Valley State College (now Utah Valley University) in 1995. Joining the Huntsman Container Company as a Sales Representative in 1976, he was appointed president and chief operating officer of Huntsman Chemical Corporation 11 years later, working closely with Jon Huntsman Sr. and later serving on the board of directors of that company. 


He has been a bishop, Temple Square missionary guide, member of the Church’s Sesquicentennial Committee, and, from 1996-1999, president of the New York New York North Mission. On April 1, 2000, he was sustained a general authority and member of the First Quorum of the Seventy. His assignments have taken him all over the world. He served as First Counselor in the Europe North Area from 2000-2001; as First Counselor in the Europe Central Area from 2001-2003; as President of the Utah Salt Lake City Area from 2003-2004. He served from 2004-2005 as Executive Director of the Temple Department. 


On August 15, 2005, he was called to serve in the Presidency of the Seventy. As a member of the Presidency of the Seventy, he had supervisory responsibility for the North America Northwest and North America West Areas (from 2005-2007), and the Utah North, Utah Salt Lake City, and Utah South Areas (from 2007-2009). When Elder Neil L. Andersen was called to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in April 2009, Elder Rasband became the Senior President of the Seventy, and, as such, was assigned a role to assist in all areas in the United States and Canada.

In October 2015, he was called to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. With Elders Gary E. Stevenson and Dale G. Renlund called at the same time, he became the 13th in apostolic seniority. Within the last 4 months, the deaths of Elder Robert D. Hales and President Thomas S. Monson have resulted in his becoming the 11th most senior apostle. He is also the 8th most senior member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, the 6th oldest member of that Quorum, and the 9th oldest overall of the currently 13 apostles.

Depending on the ages of the two new apostles that will be called in April, the standings above could change. In the meantime, I also wanted to note that Elder Rasband has had 11 opportunities to address us in General Conference, 5 as an apostle, 5 more while in the Presidency of the Seventy, and 1 following his April 2000 call as a General Authority Seventy. You can review any of those here.

As soon as Elder Rasband's call to the apostleship was announced, I had confirmation from the Lord that He had approved and directed that call. I always appreciate hearing what Elder Rasband has to say, and it has been my privilege to put together this post in tribute to his birthday.

That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Until my next post, I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.

Mesa Arizona Temple Visitor's Center To Close Indefinitely

Hello again, everyone! I learned just a short while ago that Daniel Woodruff, the Church spokesman that commented on the closures of the Visitor's Centers that I mentioned on this blog a few days ago, also released information that the Mesa Arizona Temple Visitor's Center will close in conjunction with the previously-announced closure of the temple on May 20 of this year.

The interesting thing about that is that, according to the statement released by Brother Woodruff, this closure will be for an indefinite period, since the Church will be evaluating the need for its' continued operation and will plan accordingly. This article provides more detail on all of that.

That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Until my next post, I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.