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Dale G. Renlund
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles


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This beautiful image of the resurrected Lord greets people as they enter the welcome center adjacent to the new Paris France Temple. It has been a privilege to guide special visitors through this new temple and explain our beliefs in baptism for the dead, eternal families, and the love God has for all people. I am so grateful for the sacrifice and Atonement of Jesus Christ. All men die, but through Christ, all men will be resurrected. As His special witness, I testify that Jesus Christ is our Redeemer from sin, our Savior from death, and our Good Shepherd.

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This past summer I had the opportunity to work with some very talented people in the Publishing Services Department of the Church to prepare this short video clip for the “Special Witnesses of Christ” section of and for kiosks at our many visitors’ centers. I had no idea how much work goes into a film shoot like that, and I was very impressed with the professionalism of this group. I am very grateful to share this message and testimony with the world.

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I celebrated my birthday with the great saints in Ribeirão Preto, Brazil. I can think of no better way to spend my birthday than fulfilling a church assignment. President Perez of the Ribeirão Preto West Stake gave me a gift I will treasure—a jersey for the Brazil national soccer team. What a fun reminder that will be of the wonderful people I met in Brazil and the opportunity to serve the Lord.

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It was a delight to be with President and Sister Uchtdorf at the Fort Collins Colorado Temple dedication.

Many on both sides of the veil thrill today that the beautiful Fort Collins Colorado Temple is dedicated and that its use can bless them. Consider Ezekiel’s vision of the temple. A heavenly messenger showed Ezekiel a vision of a temple and the glory of God filling the temple. He saw a river of water issuing forth from the temple. This water was distinctly unusual in two ways. The first was that while it was initially a trickle, it became a mighty river that could not be crossed. This transformation occurred without any additional source of water. The second unusual aspect was that the river healed everything it touched (see Ezekiel 40–47).

These two unusual characteristics of the river represent two aspects of temple blessings. First, the water that issued forth from the temple represents the blessings that flow from the temple in sealing individuals as families. The water became deeper the farther it flowed, reminding us of the geometric growth that occurs going backward through the generations as the sealing ordinance welds them together. A similar growth occurs in families going forward through one’s offspring.

Second, the blessings of the temple, like the river water, have a remarkable healing capacity. All temples enable sealing and healing.

Blessings flow to you and your family like the power of the river spoken of by Ezekiel. And the river will grow as you continue to perform this work and teach others to do the same. You’ll find personal power—power to change, power to repent, power to learn, power to be sanctified, and power to turn the hearts of your family together and heal that which needs healing.

At #LDSconf, I shared an experience I had as a youth that changed my life. Just before church one Sunday I unwisely lit a firecracker in our small chapel in Goteborg, Sweden, filling the chapel with overpowering sulfurous fumes that were distracting to the members as the came to worship.

I felt horrible for doing it, but my wise branch president kindly helped me to understand the joy that comes from repenting. I will never forget President Lindberg’s compassion. I felt indescribable joy as I knew I had been forgiven. My feelings of guilt vanished, my gloomy mood lifted, and my heart felt light.

I learned that even as we feel godly sorrow for our actions, when we choose to repent, we immediately invite the Savior into our lives. We can feel godly sorrow for our actions at the same time that we feel the joy of having the Savior’s help.

Real repentance must involve faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, faith that He can change us, faith that He can forgive us, and faith that He will help us avoid more mistakes. This kind of faith makes His Atonement effective in our lives. Without the Redeemer, the inherent hope of and joy evaporate and repentance becomes simply miserable behavior modification. But by exercising faith in Him, we become converted to His ability and willingness to forgive sin.

The reach of the Savior’s Atonement is infinite in breadth and depth, for you and for me. But God will never impose repentance upon us. Repentance is a choice—a joyful choice.

I spent some time during our summer break time reading C. S. Lewis’s "The Great Divorce." I was intrigued by much of what I read. One quote in particular that I have continued to ponder is:

“[Mortals] say of some temporal suffering, ‘No future bliss can make up for it,’ not knowing that Heaven, once attained, will work backwards and turn even that agony into a glory. And of some sinful pleasure they say ‘Let me but have this and I’ll take the consequences’: little dreaming how damnation will spread back and back into their past and contaminate the pleasure of the sin. Both processes begin even before death. The good man’s past begins to change so that his forgiven sins and remembered sorrows take on the quality of Heaven: the bad man’s past already conforms to his badness and is filled only with dreariness. And that is why at the end of all things, when the sun rises here and the twilight turns to blackness down there, the Blessed will say, ‘We have never lived anywhere except in Heaven,’ and the Lost, ‘We were always in Hell.’ And both will speak truly.”

Rather than have our mistakes, disappointments, struggles, and trials push us “downward,” we can use them to help us build toward heaven. That is what it means to come unto Christ. As we allow His atoning sacrifice to redeem us, heal us, and strengthen us, we become what we came to earth to become.

As I have recently spent time studying the importance of the establishment of the Church, I have realized that the Lord cares about this because the Church is the "Atonement delivery system." We do believe that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ all mankind may be saved by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel. When the Atonement of Jesus Christ is delivered to Heavenly Father's children, their compliance with the laws and ordinances of the gospel produces the natural fruit spoken of in Jacob 5, and the Lord of the vineyard is keenly interested in both the quality and the quantity of the natural fruit. The Lord of the vineyard intends that the natural fruit remain or endure, that it be gathered in the garners. This latter aspect has been interpreted by leaders of the Church as helping converts receive their temple blessings.

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My wife, Ruth, and I recently attended the Seminar for New Mission Presidents and their wives. One hundred seventy-one new mission presidents will begin service approximately July 1, 2016. The seminar began Thursday morning, June 23, with a message from President Thomas S. Monson and concluded Sunday, June 26, with testimony meetings, presided over by members of the Quorum of the Twelve, in which the sacrament was administered. During the seminar, the other members of the First Presidency delivered messages and every member of the Quorum of the Twelve also participated.

Ruth and I reflected on the amazing spirit that was present throughout. We concluded that it was because of several factors, such as: First, the 171 mission presidents and their wives have promised in sacred places to do what they are asked to do for the Church. Second, they have been asked to do something extraordinary at this time. Third, they are doing it. Fourth, those teaching, presenting, and having anything to do with the seminar logistically have pled for heaven's help to give their best for these 342 Saints. Fifth, the Lord wants to accomplish something extraordinary through the mission presidents and their wives.

The combination of these five elements unlocked the floodgates of heaven, allowing the Holy Ghost to be present in rich abundance both collectively and individually and the outpouring of blessings for each to claim. We are so proud of the 171 couples who are going forth to serve and pray God's richest blessings to be theirs.

Recently Ruth and I went to the temple to be baptized and confirmed on behalf of eight of our deceased ancestors. We found their names by simply going to and looking for them. While it is special to do proxy baptisms for anyone, it is extra special to do it for our family members.

While at the temple, we met a small group of youth from a nearby ward that was also there to do baptisms for the dead. We were inspired by them and their leaders. Many of them were doing baptisms and confirmations for their own ancestors.

Wherever you are, thank you for regularly attending the temple and receiving the powerful protection the Lord wants to give you. I am grateful for those who are receiving both halves of the blessings of the temple by searching for their own ancestors and by helping with indexing. Most importantly, I commend you for being worthy to be in the temple.

For those who have not tried finding a deceased ancestor in need of temple blessings, go to, establish an account, or contact your ward or branch family history consultant for help. Give it a try!

Ruth and I enjoyed being with so many faithful sisters at the BYU Women’s Conference on Friday.

As part of that talk we shared an important lesson that we learned from our daughter, Ashley. When Ashley was just four years old she had developed a highly evolved, go-to-bed avoidance behavior. She simply did not want to go to bed and miss out on any family discussion. One evening, after about five times of getting up, she got up yet another time and said she wanted a snack. Ruth said, “Ashley, you’re just playing with us!” and tucked her in with some firmness. I was actually surprised when, no more than 30 seconds later, she was up again. But this time it was different. She held a paperback Book of Mormon in her hand, her lower jaw was quivering, and with some indignation she said, “But Mom, Mosiah 4:14!”

Where it says, “And ye will not suffer your children that they go hungry.”

Of course, Ashley got her snack. Who can resist a child quoting scripture about parental responsibilities?

After Ashley got her snack and went to bed, we looked at the context of this scripture that she had used so cunningly. We learned that it is not a commandment to give our children snacks at bedtime. It is actually a consequence or a fruit of something else mentioned earlier in the masterful address by King Benjamin.

In Mosiah chapter 4, beginning in verse 12, we read: “And behold, I say unto you that if ye do this ye shall always rejoice, and be filled with the love of God, and always retain a remission of your sins. … And ye will not have a mind to injure one another, but to live peaceably. … And ye will [give your children snacks at bedtime, or you will] not suffer your children that they go hungry.”

These fruits, or consequences, rest on the meaning of “this.” It is certainly desirable because if we do this, we will always rejoice, be filled with the love of God, always retain a remission of our sins, not have a mind to injure one another, but to live peaceably, and will not suffer our children that they go hungry.

We discovered that King Benjamin was teaching that this is to be absolutely converted to Jesus Christ, to remember God’s greatness, to humble ourselves, to pray to God daily, and to stand steadfastly in faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement. If we do this, then all those fruits or consequences flow naturally.

The underlying, fundamental principle we shared is that conversion to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and His Atonement is the key to developing charity, the pure love of Christ. The development of charity then leads to the development of other Christlike attributes.
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