On Sunday night, Elder Ronald A. Rasband and his wife, Sister Melanie Rasband, spoke to young adults about the importance of choosing to follow the prophet. Sister Rasband spoke first and shared a personal experience she had with President Russell M. Nelson—an experience that she said first caused her embarrassment, but then taught her something about obedience and about President Nelson.
Years ago, when President Nelson was president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Elder and Sister Rasband attended an annual mission leadership seminar in Provo. Sister Rasband was scheduled to attend a meeting with the mission presidents’ wives, and for whatever reason, she arrived late.
“The room was full of our devoted sisters,” Sister Rasband says. “I stepped in near the back of the room, looking for a seat I could slip into.”
But as she was looking for a seat near the back, eye caught the eye of President Nelson, who was seated on the stand.
“He smiled. I smiled back, despite my embarrassment for being late,” Sister Rasband says. Then President Nelson held her gaze as he motioned with his finger for her to come take a seat on the front row. Not wanting to draw attention to her late arrival, Sister Rasband indicated that maybe instead she could stay and sit near the back. But President Nelson continued to smile and again beckoned for her to come and take the front-row seat that had been reserved with her name on it.
“There was power in that pointing finger,” Sister Rasband said.
So she smiled back, took a deep breath, and “walked the long walk” to the seat awaiting her on the front row. After the meeting, Sister Rasband bolted from her seat to try to catch President Nelson and ask forgiveness for not responding to his request the first time. His response was to again smile and lovingly say, “Thank you for being obedient.”
“I’ve thought a lot about that simple experience,” Sister Rasband said. “President Nelson’s request of me was a loving invitation to come forward and be where I was asked to be. To not just settle for a seat in the back but step up and be accountable for who I am and serve in a holier way.”
A similar call is extended to all Latter-day Saints in gathering the kingdom on both sides of the veil.
“Our prophet is inviting each of us to be willing to stand out, step up more courageously. Step into our role as sons and daughters of God in these last days [and] be all that we can be and do what is needed to be done,” Sister Rasband says.
The kindness and patience demonstrated by President Nelson that day reminded Sister Rasband of the love and invitations extended to us by the Savior.
“The Son of God has also invited each one of us to come unto Him to step up and be like Him. The Lord taught, lifted, blessed, forgave, and loved, ministering one by one like President Nelson did for me. Like we can do for others,” she said.
In the player below you can listen to the rest of Sister Rasband’s message, along with personal experiences Elder Rasband shared with several prophets throughout his life.