Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the First Quorum of the Seventy easily lists his life's priorities. "Family, Church, and career-these three threads of my life have always been intertwined," he says. "I've always tried to do my best with each one." A quick review of his life will show how well he has suceeded.
Ronald A Rasband was born February 6, 1951 in Salt Lake City to Rulon Hawkins Rasband and his wife, Verda Anderson. He was raised in the Church and baptized as a child. He related one of his childhood memories to a reporter for the Church News. He recalled his mother asking him as a young Deacon, "What are your plans as it relates to the Word of Wisdom?"
Perhaps the young lad tried to fudge just a tiny bit as he answered, "I hope to be able to keep it all the days of my life."
But his mother was having no part of any fudging. "I want you to make a commitment to me that you will keep the Word of Wisdom," she demanded.
Young Ronald was trapped... and committed. He has grown to appreciate the wisdom and love of a mother who would so gird her son with such armor. He has grown up to participate in international business and has attended hundreds of banquets and dinner parties at which strong drink was served, but he has remained faithful to the promise a young lad made to his mother.
After completing his secondary education at Olympus High School, Elder Rasband attended the University of Utah. He left after a year to fulfill a mission call to the Eastern States Mission. His testimony grew as he faithfully served the Lord in the Mission Field. He would grow to regard that section of the United States as sacred ground.
After returning to the University of Utah, Ronald met the two individuals who would shape the rest of his life, the girl who would become his eternal companion and the man who would become his boss.
Ronald met Melanie Twitchell through a fraternity for returned missionaries. The initial meeting blossomed into a friendship, then a courtship. They were married in the Salt Lake Temple on September 4, 1973. Their marriage was solemnized by Elder LeGrand Richards of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, a great-uncle of Melanie's. They had five children.
The other individual Ronald met on his return to the University was Jon Huntsman, the famed industrialist and chemical magnate. Brother Huntsman, who later became an Area Authority Seventy, was, at the time, on the Stake High Council on one of the campus stakes. Ronald himself became a Bishop and later a High Councilor while a student at the University. A friendship developed and Ronald later accepted an offer of employment from Elder Huntsman. The job became a career as Ronald demonstrated his abilities and moved upward through the executive track. He would evntually become president and chief operating officer of Huntsman Chemical, which position he held until called into full-time service to the Lord.
In 1996, after a scintillating career, Ronald Rasband accepted a call to serve as President of the New York, New York North Mission. He served with honor and distinction and might have thought of resuming his career with Huntsman upon being released in 1999, but such was not to be. Ronald A. Rasband was never again to return to the world of business. In the April 2000 general conference, Elder Ronald A. Rasband was given an indefinite call to serve full-time as a General Authority in the Church of Jesus Christ. He was ordained a Seventy and received into membership in the First Quorum of the Seventy.
While a member of the Seventy, Elder Rasband served as First Counselor in the Europe Central Area and President of the Utah Salt Lake City Area. He was Executive Director of the Temple Department when in August of 2005 he was called into the Presidency of the Seventy.