Elder Rasband encourages students to live honestly



Savannah Hopkinson
Elder Ronald A. Rasband delivers his Devotional address to the BYU Marriott Center on having integrity of heart throughout life. (Savannah Hopkinson)

Elder Ronald A. Rasband, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, told BYU students in his devotional address to have integrity of heart by being moral, ethical and honest in all aspects of life.

Elder Rasband spoke of multiple examples of people from his life who demonstrated integrity of heart, including an inspired leader in Elder Rasband’s life, Jon Huntsman.

“He was a giant of a man by every standard — businessman, philanthropist, church leader, faithful husband, father of nine, a visionary and a loyal, beloved friend of mine,” Elder Rasband said regarding Huntsman.

Huntsman attributed his success in life to his faith in God, the support of his wife and children, and his upbringing, according to Elder Rasband. He expanded on Huntsman’s upbringing to teach of Huntsman’s humble childhood, higher education at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, service in the Navy, and time as the assistant to the President of the United States.

Huntsman worked hard to become a business icon and featured regularly in Forbes magazine, Elder Rasband said. Huntsman’s multimillion dollar empire began with an idea to better package eggs.

Elder Rasband had the opportunity to serve as the elders quorum president in a campus ward where Huntsman served as the high council advisor. This connection led to an offer from Huntsman for Elder Rasband to join Huntsman’s company as an account manager before graduation. The job was an answer to Elder Rasband and his wife’s prayers.

“I learned that marriage is a partnership and that you and your wife or husband are facing life together,” Elder Rasband said. “Sister Rasband and I learned early to counsel together. That spiritual aspect of our relationship, and our trust in the Lord, has been our foundation for many years.”

Elder Rasband said Huntsman set an example of a strong marriage as well as a strong businessman. Huntsman worked hard and expected Elder Rasband to work equally as hard, Elder Rasband said.

Elder Rasband shared multiple stories demonstrating Huntsman’s integrity. Huntsman once was asked to provide a kickback of $250,000 to a government minister living a worldly lifestyle. Huntsman not only boldly declined, but also sold and moved the operation from the Far East, losing millions of dollars, according to Elder Rasband.

Elder Rasband said word spread and Huntsman was not asked to provide “fees” ever again.

“Many of you will be asked in the years ahead to bend the rules, to grease wheels, to look the other way, to compromise,” Elder Rasband said. “It may not be a million dollar deal, and some may assume that is the way things are done, but your integrity will be on the line and the price will never be worth it.”

Elder Rasband asked the audience where their integrity stands in their personal lives, and in regards to their beliefs in the church. He said following President Russell M. Nelson and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in all things is an act of integrity.

“As we see the standards of the world collapsing in every direction, we are often required to stand strong and defend our faith and uphold the integrity of the gospel,” he said.

Elder Rasband spoke on how people depend on the audience members, and how their morality, ethics and honesty will drive the way they treat others.  He then gave a few ways to spot check individual integrity.

He asked the crowd what a current temple recommend represents to them personally and what they seek from the temple. He then asked the crowd how they respond to spiritual promptings and treat friends who are maligning. The final question he asked the crowd was how they keep the Sabbath day holy, and fully live the BYU Honor Code and Word of Wisdom.

These simple questions were meant to help students check their integrity and build their legacy on morality, ethics and honesty.

“I remember standing on the cusp of a professional life. Today you are putting down your foundation of a great work — your life,” Elder Rasband said. “It is up to you to exercise a sense of duty, a recognition of God’s will in your life, and the character best exemplified by the Lord Jesus Christ.”

The next devotional address will be given by Elder Kim B. Clark, General Authority Seventy of the LDS Church, on Tuesday, March 20.

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