Three native Utahns have been called to serve in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced the appointments on Saturday during the Church’s semiannual General Conference.
The new Apostles are Elder Ronald A. Rasband, Elder Dale G. Renlund and Elder Gary E. Stevenson. The Quorum of the Twelve is the highest governing body in the LDS church second to the First Presidency. Each of the apostles spoke of being surprised Tuesday after receiving the call from Church President Thomas S. Monson. Elder Dale G. Renlund described himself as feeling somewhere between apoplectic and catatonic.
“I don’t feel qualified with the exception that I do know that Jesus Christ is the savior of the world,” Renlund says. “I can witness of his living reality. I know that that’s true. And I trust completely that who he calls he qualifies.”
Members of the Quorum of the Twelve oversee the affairs of the church and act as its global ambassadors. It’s been more than a century since the Quorum had three vacancies.
There was some speculation that at least one of the apostles might come from outside the United States. Elder Rasband says the fact that the new apostles are all Caucasian and from Utah has little bearing on how the Quorum will serve.
“We’re not going to be apostles to our local community or to the state we’re from,” Rasband says. “We’re called to bear the name of Christ throughout the world. And lord willing, we’ll go do that as he would have us do it.”
The apostles fill the seats of senior apostles L. Tom Perry, Boyd K. Packer and Richard G. Scott who died this year.