IRI

Elder Ronald A. Rasband, a Utah native and a new member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, turned 65 on Feb. 6.

"His wisdom and his insight will prove extremely valuable to the Quorum of the Twelve and to the church as a whole," said Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, when Elder Rasband was called as an apostle on Oct. 3, 2015.

How did Elder Rasband acquire this wisdom and insight, and how much do you know about his life? Test your knowledge, learn more about Elder Rasband and celebrate his birthday by taking this quiz.

Question 1
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Where did Elder Rasband hope he would be called to serve his mission as a 19-year-old young man?

a. Brazil
b. England
c. New York City
d. Germany

Answer
IRI

d. Germany

According to Mormon Newsroom, Elder Rasband hoped he would be called to serve in Germany because both his brother and his father served there.

"As he privately opened the letter he was perplexed to learn he would be serving in the Eastern States Mission headquartered in New York City," according to Mormon Newsroom.
"'Ultimately I decided that I needed to get a testimony of this or I was going to be in a real sorry condition. I knelt down by the side of my bed and I prayed. You know, I’m just a 19-year-old; I didn’t have that much experience in the scriptures, but I grabbed my Doctrine and Covenants and it opened at the 100th section and I began reading.
“‘"Therefore, follow me, and listen to the counsel which I shall give until you. … And an effectual door shall be opened in the regions round about in this eastern land. … Therefore, verily I say unto you, lift up your voices unto this people" (D&C 100:2–3, 5).

"'I had a witness come across me that not only should I be enthusiastic about that call but I knew it was exactly where the Lord wanted me to go. And I went from depression about my call to elation about my call that fast.'”

Question 2
IRI

Elder Rasband was president of which large Utah-based company?

a. Larry H. Miller Group
b. Huntsman Chemical Corporation
c. Intermountain Healthcare
d. Zion's Bank

Answer
AP Images

b. Huntsman Chemical Corporation

Elder Rasband first met Jon Huntsman Sr. while Elder Rasband was serving as elders quorum president in the Salt Lake University First Stake, where Huntsman served as a high councilman, according to LDS.org.

He began working for the Huntsman Container Company in 1976 as a sales representative, and just 11 years later, he became president and chief operating officer of Huntsman Chemical Corporation, according to LDS.org.

He has often cited his professional experience and the lessons he learned over the course of his career as training for his later responsibilities.

"I learned that people are the most important asset," Elder Rasband told Mormon Newsroom. "I learned that if you take good care of your people they'll take good care of you. I learned many, many leadership skills from the people that I worked with that have served me well as a general authority."

In the press conference following his call to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Elder Rasband paid tribute to the Huntsman family and expressed gratitude for his professional career.

"I’ve had the great honor and privilege professionally of working for one of the great Utah families — the Huntsman family," Elder Rasband said. "I’ve been able to sit at the seat of John M. Huntsman Sr. in my profession where I learned that the life of every human being is more important than the assets that we employ to make our products. So, I think I learned in my profession the value of every person and that people are more important than anything else we can do."

Elder Rasband spoke to the Chicago Tribune in 1994 about the ownership he felt in the company.

"Everybody in this company feels an ownership, feels an empowerment, to do their job," Rasband said then. "Because they've heard the owner stand up and say, 'You're the president of that job, and if you do your job and I do my job, this will be the best company in the world.'"

Question 3
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

Which calling did Elder Rasband say brought him to his knees the most?

a. Mission president
b. Bishop
c. Home teacher
d. Elders quorum president

Answer
Wendy Keeler

a. Mission president

Elder Rasband served as a young missionary in New York City and later returned to serve in the same area as president of the New York New York North Mission.

“The calling that brought me to my knees the most … was serving as a mission president,” Elder Rasband told Mormon Newsroom. “My view is that it doesn’t matter what you’ve done in business. It doesn’t matter what your occupation has been in life. There is really nothing that can completely prepare you or even closely prepare you to be a mission president and companion. So I really learned to rely on the scriptures.”

“I really learned to rely on the Lord. I was on my knees more on that assignment than ever before in my life,” he continued. “I was caught in situations that I had no experience in, things I didn’t know how to deal with, and the Lord spoke to me through the Holy Ghost and I knew what to do. So I began to understand and learn the power of being spiritually dependent on a higher source.”

Elder Rasband was featured in The New York Times during his time as a mission president.

"I love that part of New York that scares others," he told The New York Times. "Some afternoons after a day of being rejected, the only person to talk to was the drunk on the corner. I took solace in that. I could talk to somebody and have a ready audience. Not to convert, but to lift."

Question 4
Mark A. Philbrick, BYU Photo Copyright BYU Photo 2015

Which school did Elder Rasband attend?

a. Brigham Young University
b. The University of Utah
c. Utah State University
d. Southern Utah University

Answer
MSG Gary Qualls Jr.

b. The University of Utah

Elder Rasband attended the University of Utah. He was going into his senior year when he accepted a job offer to work full time for Jon Huntsman Sr. He discussed his decision to accept the offer in a Mormon Channel interview.

In 1995, Utah Valley University awarded him an honorary Doctorate of Business and Commerce, according to LDS.org.

Question 5
Mark A. Philbrick, BYU Photo Copyright BYU Photo 2015

What was one of Elder Rasband's initiatives as president of the New York New York North Mission?

a. Handling the missionary efforts associated with the Manhattan Temple open house
b. Responding to the release of "The Book of Mormon" musical in New York
c. Arranging a way to place missionaries in Harlem
d. Having missionaries serve as volunteers at Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty

Answer
Deseret News

d. Having missionaries serve as volunteers at Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty

Missionaries serving in Manhattan volunteered eight hours each week at Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty as they assisted in conducting a survey for the National Park Service, according to the Deseret News.

The missionaries counted visitors getting on and off the ferries, timed how long tourists waited in line and conducted surveys. They were not allowed to initiate conversations with tourists or to distribute church literature, but they were permitted to dress as missionaries and answer questions about the church.

"They see from 13,000 to 24,000 people a day. These people are all seeing our missionaries there. It's tremendous exposure for the church," Elder Rasband told the Deseret News in 1998. "... We try in every area of the mission to seek out and do, what I call, good, unleveraged Christian service."

Question 6
Deseret News

Elder Rasband's ancestors were converts to the LDS Church. Where did they emigrate from?

a. England and Denmark
b. England and Scotland
c. Denmark and Switzerland
d. Denmark and Germany

Answer
Deseret News

a. England and Denmark

Elder Rasband has spoken of his ancestors multiple times in general conference.

"Like Nephi of old, I was born of goodly parents in the gospel and they of goodly parents back six generations," Elder Rasband said in his October 2015 general conference address. "My earliest ancestors who joined the church were from England and Denmark. These early pioneers gave their all to the gospel of Jesus Christ and leave a legacy for their posterity to follow. I am so grateful for a multigenerational Latter-day Saint family, and I know this is a worthy goal for all of us to strive for."

Question 7

Elder Rasband was assigned to serve as a counselor in which Area Presidency as a member of the Seventy?

a. Central America Area
b. Asia Area
c. Europe Central Area
d. North America Northeast Area

Answer
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

c. Europe Central Area

When the Rasbands first moved to Solihull, England, they took their young single adult daughter and their 17-year-old son with them. Their son was a talented football player, and Elder Rasband recalled his initial concerns with uprooting their children and a special experience he had following their move.

"We were very concerned about them. No friends, no extended family and no American football! I wondered, 'Would this exciting new experience prove to be a serious trial for our family?'

"The answer came in an early assignment I received. I had been asked to speak to the missionaries at the Missionary Training Center in Preston, England," Elder Rasband recalled in his April 2006 general conference talk.

"I called President White of the center and was pleased to hear that he knew of my family situation. He suggested we include our children on our visit to Preston. Once we were there, he even invited our daughter and son to speak to the missionaries! What a thrill for them to be and feel included and share their testimonies of the Lord’s work!

"When finished and after tender goodbyes to those missionaries, we visited the beautiful Preston England Temple, which was close to the Missionary Training Center. As we walked near the front door, there stood President and Sister Swanney, the temple president and matron. They greeted us and welcomed us into the temple with, 'Elder Rasband, how would you and your family like to perform baptisms for the dead?' What a wonderful idea! We looked at each other and gratefully accepted. After performing the ordinances and while my son and I were still in the font with tears of joy in our eyes, he put his hand on my shoulder and asked, 'Dad, why haven’t we ever done this before?'

"I thought of all the football games, all the movies we had attended together, all of the good times we had shared — certainly happy memories and traditions that are so important to build. However, I realized we had an opportunity to add more meaningful spiritual experiences with our children like what we had experienced in Preston that day. Thanks to those caring and observant priesthood leaders, I knew then that our family was going to do fine in Europe."

Question 8
Deseret News

How did Elder Rasband meet his wife, Melanie?

a. At a family home evening activity for young single adults
b. In a college class
c. At a dance
b. At a basketball game

Answer
Deseret News

b. In a college class

Elder Rasband and his wife, Melanie, met in a class at the University of Utah. They were both dating other people, according to a Mormon Channel interview, but they had a class together. One day after class, Elder Rasband suggested that they go out because they were such good friends. They began to walk in opposite directions, but then Sister Rasband ran back toward him.

"I reached in my purse and pulled out a little Hallmark calendar, put my hand on his shoulder and hopped in front of him, and I said, 'When?' And that was it," Sister Rasband said.

As they say, the rest is history.

Question 9
AP Photo/Kim Raff

Which well-known Latter-day Saint's spouse served in the New York New York North mission while Elder Rasband was president?

a. Josh Romney's wife
b. Brooke White's husband
c. Mia Love's husband
d. Julie Stoffer's husband

Answer
AP Photo, Pablo Martinez Monsivais

c. Mia Love's husband

"In January, Rep. Mia Love, R-Utah, was sworn in as a new member of Congress using a Bible provided by Elder Rasband, then a member of the Presidency of the Seventy," Deseret News reported in October 2015.
"Elder Rasband was the LDS Church mission president over Love's Connecticut hometown at the time of her conversion to the church, and her now-husband's mission. The Bible he carried to Washington, D.C., for Love to use to take the oath of office was an 1828 Cooperstown Bible, the same version used by LDS Church founder Joseph Smith.

"The current church leader later stood with Love and her family in her ceremonial swearing-in photo taken with House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.

"'At the mission reunion held just Friday night, he didn't even hint that this calling (to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles) would be announced. President Rasband has stayed close through every stage of our lives,' Love said Saturday. 'May Heavenly Father bless Sister Rasband and President Ronald A. Rasband, my husband's mission president, our spiritual liaison and the family we consider our family. We love you.'"

Question 10
Deseret News

How many times has Elder Rasband spoken in general conference?

a. Three
b. Six
c. Four
d. Seven

Answer
Deseret News

d. Seven

Elder Rasband has spoken in general conference seven times. Click on the links below to read his talks:

"One by One," October 2000 general conference

"Our Rising Generation," April 2006 general conference

"Special Experiences," April 2008 general conference

"The Divine Call of a Missionary," April 2010 general conference

"Special Lessons," April 2012 general conference

"The Joyful Burden of Discipleship," April 2014 general conference

"I Stand All Amazed," October 2015 general conference

Question 11
Deseret News

What was Elder Rasband's first job?

a. Paperboy for the Deseret News
b. Cashier at McDonald's
c. Bagger and checker at Dan's
d. Ride operator at Lagoon

Answer
Deseret News

c. Bagger and checker at Dan's

Elder Rasband told the Deseret News in 1990 that he "almost made the grocery business a career."