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3 new LDS apostles ‘stunned’ by unexpected call

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Elder Dale G. Renlund (left) and Elder Gary E. Stevenson (center) and Elder Ronald A. Rasband were named as the three newest apostles to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles during the afternoon session of general conference on Oct. 3, 2015. (Photo courtesy LDS Church)

Elder Dale G. Renlund (left) and Elder Gary E. Stevenson (center) and Elder Ronald A. Rasband were named as the three newest apostles to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles during the afternoon session of general conference on Oct. 3, 2015. (Photo courtesy LDS Church)

“Stunned” and “unexpected” were two ways the three new apostles for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints explained their experience being called.

Elders Ronald A. Rasband, Gary E. Stevenson and Dale G. Renlund were called to fill the voids in the Quorum of the Twelve at the Saturday afternoon session of the 185th Semiannual General Conference. They replaced Elders L. Tom Perry, Boyd K. Packer and Richard G. Scott who passed away since the April conference.

“None of us knew until we were sustained in conference today, who the three apostles were going to be,” Elder Rasband said in a press conference. … “One thing I do know is that our call comes through a prophet from the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Elder Rasband was previously serving as the senior president in the Presidency of the Seventy before receiving the call. All three of the newly called apostles met with the First Presidency and received their calls on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015.

Elder Stevenson, who was serving as presiding bishop of the Church since 2012, described being called to the Quorum of Twelve as a “knee-buckling” and “unexpected” experience.

“I don’t feel qualified with the exception that I do know that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world.” —Elder Dale G. Renlund

“As I agonized over my inadequacies this week, I received a distinct impression which both chastened and comforted me: to focus not on what I can’t do but rather what I can do,” Elder Stevenson said in his first conference address as an apostle. “I can testify of the plain and precious truths of the gospel.

Elder Renlund similarly said he was “stunned” and “speechless” when he received the call.

“I don’t feel qualified with the exception that I do know that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world,” Elder Renlund said.

Elder Renlund, who served in the First Quorum of the Seventy since April 2009, explained how he came to terms with his calling as an apostle.

“Even though we implicitly trusted President Monson, we recognized that we have both a right and an obligation to personally know down to our very bones that this call is of God. Over the ensuing hours as we have prayed, we have come to receive that assurance by revelation that this call has come from God by prophecy.”

Watch and listen to the first general conference addresses of the newly called apostles here.

Watch the full footage from Saturday’s press conference below.

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