For Elder Rafael Eduardo Pino, the strength of his testimony and the power of his conviction that Jesus is the Christ trace back to two key events. One of them was reading the Book of Mormon for the first time at age 17.
“The missionaries asked me to read just a few passages,” he says, “but I couldn’t stop reading it. I carried it around with me everywhere I went. Every time I read it, I felt those same feelings of joy and peace. I am a witness that the system God established to prove the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon works, just as it says in Moroni 10. I received a testimony that the Book of Mormon is true by the power of the Holy Ghost.”
The second key event for Elder Pino was serving a full-time mission in the Venezuela Maracaibo Mission. Even though Elder Pino served in numerous Church callings prior to being sustained to the First Quorum of the Seventy, including as bishop, high councilor, stake president, mission president, and Area Seventy, he is quick to emphasize the importance of his missionary service. “Each calling helps prepare you for future service,” he says, “but the things that are most important to me have their root in the mission field. I still receive blessings from having served a full-time mission.”
Elder Pino was born in Valencia, Venezuela, on October 27, 1955, to Arturo Pino and Josefina Gimenez de Pino. He received a certificate in administration in Caracas, Venezuela. Elder Pino has worked for the Church in a variety of capacities since 1980. He and his wife, Patricia Monica Villa Dassler, were sealed in the Washington D.C. Temple on March 31, 1981. They are the parents of three children.