Elder and Sister Rasband Advise Mission President Couples to Be “One Together in the Work”

Contributed By Jason Swensen, Church News staff writer

  • 30 June 2017

Elder Ronald A. Rasband and his wife, Sister Melanie Rasband, speak concurrently during the 2017 Seminar for New Mission Presidents held Saturday, June 24, through Wednesday, June 28, at the Provo Missionary Training Center. 

Article Highlights

  • Great blessings are available to those who serve the Lord in unity as husband and wife.
  • Mission presidents and their wives have the opportunity to set an example of marriage for their missionaries.

“You will come to know and love each other more deeply because of the opportunity of working together, testifying, and teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ with your missionaries and watching over them.” —Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Elder Ronald A. Rasband and his wife, Sister Melanie T. Rasband, likely experienced a moment of nostalgia when they spoke Monday at the 2017 Seminar for New Mission Presidents.

Just over two decades ago, the Rasbands attended the 1996 new mission presidents’ seminar before serving together in the New York New York North Mission.

Now a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Elder Rasband testified of the blessings that will come to each couple as they serve the missionaries together.

Serve as one

“As mission president and wife, you have a unique and wonderful opportunity to fully serve side-by-side as ‘one together in the work,’” he said. “You will come to know and love each other more deeply because of the opportunity of working together, testifying, and teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ with your missionaries and watching over them.”

Serving together in the work, added Sister Rasband, offers mission presidents and their wives “priceless opportunities to serve the Lord, the missionaries, and one another.”

“Elder Rasband had traveled a great deal as a businessman before our mission—and I must admit, I wasn’t too sure I could cope with having him around 24/7,” she said with a smile. “But my fears were soon put to rest. As we arrived at the mission home, the sweet assurance and presence of the Spirit gave us comfort and made us feel right at home.”

Be an example of unity

“The missionaries will keep a watchful eye on their president and his wife,” said Elder Rasband.

Many of the young elders and sisters come from less-than-perfect families.

“They will see you as an example of a Christ-centered, eternal couple as you hold hands and show kindnesses to each other,” he said. “They are determining who they want to become as they observe your love and unity.”

“A key to being ‘one’ as mission president and wife,” taught Sister Rasband, “is appreciating and utilizing what [you] each can contribute to your mission experience.”

Elder Rasband reminded the new mission presidents that their wives are full partners in the work.

“She should not be relegated to the kitchen providing meals or only teaching health issues at zone conferences. She is needed and deserves the blessings of also teaching doctrine, bearing testimony, and being actively engaged in the mission.”

Sister Rasband said she and her husband were the beneficiaries of many blessings as they served the missionaries and the people of New York as one.

“Our mission is a treasured, important part of our lives,” she said. “[Being] called to serve as a missionary and a companion to my mission president husband was a personal honor and a blessing.”

Missionaries at the Provo MTC greet new mission presidents and their wives during the 2017 Seminar for New Mission Presidents held Saturday, June 24, through Wednesday, June 28. Photo by Cody Bell.

New mission presidents and their wives greet missionaries at the Provo Missionary Training Center during the 2017 Seminar for New Mission Presidents held Saturday, June 24, through Wednesday, June 28. Photo by Cody Bell.

Mission presidents and their wives are escorted around the Provo MTC campus by young missionaries during the 2017 Seminar for New Mission Presidents held Saturday, June 24, through Wednesday, June 28. Photo by Cody Bell.

A missionary choir performs during the 2017 Seminar for New Mission Presidents held Saturday, June 24, through Wednesday, June 28, in the Provo MTC. Photo by Cody Bell.

Mission presidents and their wives walk on the Provo MTC campus during the 2017 Seminar for New Mission Presidents held Saturday, June 24, through Wednesday, June 28. Photo by Cody Bell.

New mission presidents and their wives converse between sessions of the 2017 Seminar for New Mission Presidents held Saturday, June 24, through Wednesday, June 28, at the Provo MTC. Photo by Cody Bell.

Mission presidents and their wives are escorted around the Provo MTC campus by young sister missionaries during the 2017 Seminar for New Mission Presidents held Saturday, June 24, through Wednesday, June 28. Photo by Cody Bell.

New mission presidents and their wives converse between sessions of the 2017 Seminar for New Mission Presidents held Saturday, June 24, through Wednesday, June 28, at the Provo MTC. Photo by Cody Bell.