Courtesy of Elder Renlund

Elder Dale G. Renlund was sustained as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Oct. 3, 2015. Elder Renlund was born in Salt Lake City on Nov. 13, 1952, to Mats Åke and Ranghild Mariana Andersson Renlund. He and his wife, Ruth, are the parents of one daughter, Ashley. On Sunday, Elder Renlund will celebrate his 64th birthday. Information for these questions was gathered from a number of biographical articles written about Elder Renlund and from talks he has given and his social media account.

Question #1
Courtesy of Elder Renlund

Why did Elder Renlund’s parents decide to immigrate to the United States?

a. To marry in an LDS temple
b. For a job opportunity
c. To be closer to family
d. To be baptized

Answer
Deseret News archive

a. To marry in an LDS temple

According to an article on mormonnewsroom.org.uk, Elder Renlund’s father, who was born in Finland, was going “to become a Swedish citizen before emigrating to the United States so he could marry his fiancé… in a Mormon temple.”

R. Scott Lloyd wrote for the LDS Church News that Elder Renlund’s mother “was determined to marry only in a temple. With no temple in Europe at the time, they came to Salt Lake City. She arrived in 1948, and he in 1950. The couple married in the Salt Lake Temple in May 1950. The endowment ceremony had not yet been translated into Swedish. ‘So they went through the temple, not understanding a word and counting themselves eternally blessed,’ Elder Renlund said.”

Question #2
Courtesy of Elder Renlund

Why did Elder Renlund’s family move back to Sweden when he was a young boy?

a. To see where his ancestors lived
b. To take care of his grandparents
c. His father was called on a mission

Answer
Deseret News archive

c. His father was called on a mission

In an article on Mormon Newsroom, it states that in the early 1960s Elder Renlund’s father, Mats Renlund, was called on a church building mission in the Nordic countries. “And so our family went with him and lived for seven of the coldest months of my life in Helsinki, Finland,” Elder Renlund told the LDS Church News. “Then, we went to Göteborg, Sweden, and I went to Swedish schools with my siblings.” The family returned to Utah three years later. While in Finland, Mats Renlund worked on the Haaga chapel in Helsinki before he was moved to Sweden.

Question #3
Deseret News archive

Elder Renlund is what number of apostle since the Church was restored in 1830?

a. 98th
b. 100th
c. 95th
d. 99th

Answer
Deseret News archive

b. 100th

Elder Renlund was called as the 100th apostle in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles during the October 2015 general conference. Elder Ronald A. Rasband and Elder Gary E. Stevenson were also called on the same day and were the 98th and 99th apostles. The three filled the vacancies created by the passing of Elder L. Tom Perry, President Boyd K. Packer and Elder Richard G. Scott.

Question #4
Deseret News archive

Which area presidency did Elder Renlund serve in?

a. Europe
b. Europe East
c. Central America
d. Africa Southeast

Answer
Courtesy of Ruth Renlund

d. Africa Southeast

According to an LDS Church News article written by R. Scott Lloyd, Elder Renlund was assigned to the Africa Southeast Area after he was called to be a General Authority Seventy in April 2009. Prior to his call he had served as an Area Seventy from 2002 to 2009.

In an article on Mormon Newsroom, Elder Renlund shares an experience he had one Sunday in Central Congo. Elder Renlund wanted to help the people and asked them multiple times what challenges they were facing. After asking three times a man stood up and said, “Elder Renlund, how can we have any challenges? We have the gospel of Jesus Christ.” Elder Renlund told Mormon Newsroom that, “When I grow up, I want to be like these Kananga Saints, who pray for food every day, are grateful every day for food, who are grateful for their families. They have nothing, but they have everything.”

Question #5
Deseret News archive

Elder Renlund was what kind of doctor?

a. Cardiologist
b. Pulmonologist
c. Cardiothoracic surgeon
d. Orthopedic surgeon

Answer
Deseret News archive

a. Cardiologist

Elder Renlund specialized in heart failure and heart transplantation. Later in his career Elder Renlund was a professor of medicine at the University of Utah and was the medical director of the Utah Transplantation Affiliated Hospitals Cardiac Transplant Program.

In an article on Mormon Newsroom Elder Renlund said his career was a “phenomenal and extraordinarily fulfilling career.” He also said that he, “is grateful for the important lessons he has learned from those he cared for during his career. ‘As a physician, one learns to care about people and how to solve problems,’” he said. “Those lessons have served him well in his Church service, ‘which is all about love and solving problems.’”

Question #6
Deseret News archive

From which university did Elder Renlund earn his BA and MD degrees at?

a. Brigham Young University
b. Stanford University
c. University of Utah
d. Johns Hopkins University

Answer
Deseret News archive

c. University of Utah

A biographical article on Mormon Newsroom says that Elder Renlund “received BA and MD degrees from the University of Utah, with further training in medicine and research at Johns Hopkins Hospital.”

Question #7
Deseret News archive

What was one of the lessons that Elder Renlund said he learned from his patients?

a. Love one another
b. Sharing the gospel is not a burden
c. Listen to the promptings from the Holy Ghost
d. Heartache can become joy through the gospel

Answer
Deseret News archive

d. Heartache can become joy through the gospel

In a recent talk given to the Collelgium Aesculapium which was reported by the LDS Church News, Elder Renlund shared six lessons he learned when as a third-year medical student another student asked him, “We learned from the patients, and then we wrote the textbooks: What did you learn from your patient?” One of those lessons was that through the gospel of Jesus Christ, heartache can be turned to joy.

“Elder Renlund told of a heart transplant patient who met with the family of his heart donor and expressed gratitude to them.

“‘When [he] met with them he told them he felt impressed to share with them the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and the doctrine of eternal families,’ Elder Renlund said. ‘He told them he couldn’t bring their son back but he could do something to help them understand where their son was.

“‘[He] bore his testimony, involved missionaries, and discussions were arranged. The family was taught and joined the Church. [He] was thrilled to be present as they were baptized and then as temple blessings were received.’

“Later, members of the donor family were present as Elder Renlund officiated in the wedding of the transplant recipient at the Provo Utah Temple.

“‘Needless to say, emotions ran high. The mother of the donor experienced something very sacred in the temple that day. Her grief had become joy, her sorrow had turned to hope, and her hope was centered in Jesus Christ and His Atonement.’”

Question #8
Courtesy of Elder Renlund

What was Elder Renlund’s wife’s profession?

a. Secretary
b. Attorney
c. Nurse
d. Pediatrician

Answer
Deseret News archive

b. Attorney

“From 1980 to 1986, the Renlunds lived in Baltimore, Maryland. During those years, Elder Renlund receiving further medical and research training at Johns Hopkins University and Hospital,” R. Scott Lloyd wrote for the LDS Church News. “However, in 1981, their lives were turned upside down. Sister Renlund was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and underwent two surgeries and a year of chemotherapy.

“‘Early on in the illness, Sister Renlund decided that she needed to do something to take her mind off the illness,’ Elder Renlund said, ‘and that’s when she was inspired to go to law school.’

“‘I just thought, this will only be a bad experience unless we make something good of it,’ Sister Renlund said. ‘It wasn’t in our plan for me to have cancer as a young woman and have only one child. And my survival was in doubt. We felt like law school was the right thing, and I really felt inspired that that’s what I needed to do.’”

During the last three years that the Renlunds lived in Baltimore, Sister Renlund attended the University of Maryland School of Law and Elder Renlund served as the bishop of the Baltimore Ward.”

Sister Renlund became the president of her law firm and stayed in that position until Elder Renlund was called as a General Authority in 2009.

Question #9
Deseret News archive

How old was Elder Renlund when he received a witness of the truthfulness the Book of Mormon?

a. 19
b. 12
c. 21
d. 11

Answer
Deseret News archive

d. 11

In an interview with the LDS Church News, Elder Renlund shared his experience of how he gained a testimony of the Book of Mormon. He was living in Sweden when the mission president “issued a challenge to all of the Aaronic Priesthood youth,” to read the Book of Mormon Elder Renlund said. At the time his brother, Gary, was an Aaronic Priesthood holder. Gary accepted the challenge and Elder Renlund followed his brother’s example. “I remember praying and asking if it was true and having a distinct impression: ‘I’ve been telling you all along that it’s true.’ And that was an amazing experience,” Elder Renlund said.

Question #10
Deseret News archive

What common Christmas tradition did Elder Renlund’s family participate in with his father?

a. Read the Christmas story in Luke 2
b. Christmas caroling
c. Writing Christmas cards
d. Hanging Christmas lights

Answer

a. Read the Christmas story in Luke 2

In a post on Elder Renlund's Facebook account, Elder Renlund recalls how his father would read Luke 2 every Christmas Eve. “Dad invariably read without comment, past Mary pondering the events in her heart (verse 19) and on to the account of Simeon,” Elder Renlund wrote. His father would read verses 28-32 where Simeon holds the baby Jesus in his arms and testifies that he is the Christ. “Then,” Elder Renlund said “in the accented English my siblings and I and our children cherished, Dad would say, ‘I can’t hold that baby Jesus up in my arms, but I know just as well as Simeon who that babe from Bethlehem was. He is my Savior and He is yours.’ That would be it, and it would be on to the Swedish meatballs and pickled herring.”

Question #11
Deseret News archive

What is Elder Renlund’s first language?

a. English
b. Finnish
c. Swedish
d. Dutch

Answer
Deseret News archive

c. Swedish

“My mother tongue is Swedish and we spoke Swedish in the home until our parents recognized that we were going to be needing to get to school. And then our parents made a conscientious effort to speak English in the home to help their children,” Elder Renlund said in an article on the United Kingdom Mormon Newsroom. Elder Renlund has several ties to Sweden, including the years he lived there while his father was serving a church building mission. While his father was Finnish, Elder Renlund’s mother was Swedish. His parents met in Sweden and moved to Salt Lake City, where Elder Renlund was born. Elder Renlund also served his two-year mission in the Stockholm Sweden Mission.