Latter-day Saint Life

Want a New Apostle With a Diverse Background? He’s Already There


MR says: What a good reminder to all of us not to judge based on appearances, to sustain our Church leaders and their decisions, and to understand that each man called to the apostleship was called for a sacred purpose.

I have been reading many criticisms about the three new LDS Church apostles for being the “typical upper-middle-class white guys born in Utah” with no racial or socioeconomic diversity. While I cannot personally comment on the background of the other two new apostles, I can comment a bit more on the background of my uncle, Dale G. Renlund, the now 12th member of the Quorum of the Twelve. Yes, Dale was born in Utah, but there is so much more to his story that I think people should know:

  • Dale was born to full Scandinavian immigrants who spoke no English when they first came to the U.S. in 1948/1950. All of the three oldest children, including Dale, spoke Swedish as their first language. Their father, my grandfather, was a construction worker, and they were very poor.
  • The entire family moved back to Scandinavia when Dale was about 10 to 13ish, where they spent time in Helsinki, Finland and Gothenbirg, Sweden. They were fully immersed in Swedish culture there and went to Swedish speaking public schools. I have heard many stories about the meager resources they were living on there.
  • When the family came back to Utah, the children spoke no English and had little to no understanding of U.S. culture. They went through a great deal of adjustment.
Lead image from Mormon Observer.
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