Rel A 212 Sec. 10
20 Mar 2017
Dale G. Renlund: Shaped by God to Serve
Often stated in the Church is the idea that for every apostle, their lives leading up to the time of their apostleship prepares them for the apostolic mantle. During the New Testament times, Peter was a fisherman by profession, a humble job that helped prepare him for the times during his ministry when humility was needed most. Paul vehemently fought against Christians before his eventual conversion, which, I believe, propelled him to fight just as persistently in defense of the church. But what about the apostles of modern times? The life of the apostle Dale G. Renlund will be analyzed in an effort to show how the Lord prepared him to be an apostle. Also, I will highlight some of Elder Renlund’s teachings that have impacted me as an individual.
Elder Dale Renlund was born in Salt Lake City, Utah on November 13,1952. He is the son of native Swedes, and was born shortly after they immigrated from Sweden to America. Before he was born, Elder Renlund’s parents were set on being married in the temple. The problem was, at the time there was no temple in all of Europe. But their faith brought them far, and they raised their children in the gospel. When Elder Renlund was 11, his father was called to a mission in Sweden as a builder. During this time, he read the Book of Mormon for the first time. He prayed to ask if it was true and as he explains, “I had a distinct impression: ‘I’ve been telling you all along that it’s true.’ And that was an amazing experience”. (Cook). Even from his early years, he was influenced by good parents who loved the gospel, and also a solid testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon.
Another event that shaped the life of Elder Renlund was he was later sent back to the Swedish Mission as a young man. Because he had lived their previously as a boy, he knew the language well and was able to serve effectively. Of his mission he said, “It was life-changing in terms of commitment and deciding to do the best one can to be a disciple of Christ.” However, what may have blessed and shaped his life the most was the marriage to his sweetheart, Ruth. They were married in the Salt Lake Temple in 1977. He was attending medical school in Utah while his wife was teaching high school. He later stated, “marrying Ruth has been the most amazing thing in my life” (Cook).
After being accepted to John Hopkins medical school, they moved to Baltimore, Maryland. He was called and accepted to be a bishop. Sadly, in 1981, his wife Ruth was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Elder Renlund recalls struggling greatly with chemotherapy treatments on his wife while being a bishop and taking care of his daughter, Ashley, all at the same time. One night as the couple were praying, his wife said, “…we thank Thee for the priesthood power that makes it so that no matter what happens, we can be together forever.” Of the experience...