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Thursday, February 6, 2020

Elder Ronald A. Rasband Marks His 69th Birthday Today

Hello again, everyone! On this morning of February 6, 2020, I am pleased to bring you all here a post in tribute to Elder Ronald A. Rasband, who is marking his 69th birthday today. Here is some biographical information about him: Ronald Anderson Rasband was born on this day in 1951 in Salt Lake City, Utah, to Rulon Hawkins Rasband and Verda Anderson. 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. He began his professional career in the Huntsman Container Company as a Sales Representative in 1976. Still in that employment 11 years later (in 1987), he was promoted to the position of president and chief operating officer of Huntsman Chemical Corporation, where he closely worked with Jon Huntsman Sr. and later served on the board of directors for that company. He has served extensively in the Church throghout his life, having previously been a bishop, an institute instructor (during which time my wife was in one of the classes he taught), Temple Square missionary guide, member of the Church’s Pioneer Sesquicentennial Committee (which was observed in 1997), and, from 1996-1999, presided over the New York New York North Mission. On April 1, 2000, he was sustained as a general authority and member of the First Quorum of the Seventy, where he would serve in the Europe North & Europe Central Areas from 2000-2003. From August 2003-August 2004 (at which time oversight for all North American areas was transferred to the Presidency of the Seventy), he served as president of the Utah Salt Lake City He then served from 2004-2005 as Executive Director of the Temple Department. He and his future fellow apostle, Elder Neil L. Andersen, were called to serve in the Presidency of the Seventy in August 2005, at which time Elder Rasband was assigned oversight of the North America Northwest and North America West Areas for two years, then was reassigned to preside over the Utah North, Utah Salt Lake City, and Utah South Areas. By August of 2008, he had become the second most-senior member of the Presidency of the Seventy. The following April, as a result of Elder Neil L. Andersen's call to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Elder Rasband succeeded him as the Senior President of the Seventy, and, as such, was given oversight for all areas in the United States and Canada.

He was still serving in that capacity when, 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 (something that had not happened since 1906), the number of those who had served as members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles reached a total of 100. He is currently the eighth in seniority among the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, making him the eleventh in overall apostolic seniority). By age, he ranks as the sixth-oldest among the members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. and is resultantly the ninth-oldest of all 15 current apostles. As long-time readers of this blog can confirm, prior to the filling of the 3 apostolic vacancies in October 2015, and again when two others were filled in April 2018, I offered some thoughts about who might be called to fill those vacancies. But I also advocated for the practice of praying in advance for a personal witness that whoever was called had indeed been chosen by the Lord. And in every single one of those 5 most-recent calls to the apostleship, no sooner had their names been presented than I felt the Lord's spirit confirming to me that their calls came from Him. As a result of those witnesses, anytime a new apostle is called, I know the Lord's hand is deeply involved with that process.

Because Elder Rasband has spent nearly 2 full decades as a General Authority, (including a decade of service in the Presidency of the Seventy, and 4.5 years in the apostleship), he has given 15 addresses thus far in General Conference: 1 as a General Authority Seventy, 5 others during his tenure in the Presidency of the Seventy, and the remaining 9 since his call to the apostleship almost 4.5 years ago.  I am grateful for this opportunity I have had, in my own small way, to pay tribute to and reflect on the life and ministry of Elder Rasband today as he is celebrating his 69th birthday. I do continue to monitor all apostolic updates, general Church news, and any temple-related developments and will keep bringing word of those to you all here as I become aware of such reports.

In the meantime, looking ahead on my planned schedule for upcoming projects on this blog, aside from anything unexepeced, and ongoing reports of the usual kind, although the next apostolic birthday will not be observed until May 31 (at which time President Henry B. Eyring will be 87), I am preparing to post my first 2020 apostolic milestone update on this blog, which I plan to do on Sunday February 16 (that update coming on the same day the Durban South Africa Temple will be dedicated). That does it for now. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated, on any post at any time, as long as such comments are made in accordance with the established guidelines. Thank you for the privilege of your time. If you enjoyed what you read here and would like to stay informed of newly-added content, please feel free to subscribe. 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.