News Release

Elder Rasband Says Choice ‘Depends Upon Robust Religious Freedom’

Apostle outlines three keys to religious freedom during Brigham Young University Devotional

“My message today is of the fundamental doctrine of agency — the opportunity to choose between good and evil,” said Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“Agency — the freedom to choose — depends upon robust religious freedom,” said the apostle, who addressed thousands of students on the topics of agency and religious freedom during a devotional Tuesday in the Marriott Center at the Church-owned campus of Brigham Young University (BYU) in Provo, Utah.


“We, as members of the Church, must recognize that the erosion of religious freedom will significantly impact our opportunities to grow in strength and gospel knowledge, to be blessed by sacred ordinances and to rely on the Lord to direct His Church,” taught Elder Rasband.

“Choose to feel joy in your very existence as a child of God,” he admonished the students. “You have to look farther than today’s pleasures, disappointments, worldly accomplishments, or current trends to receive needed revelation from God. Do not be fooled; you are not of the world; you are divine.”

Three Keys to Freedom of Religion

Elder Rasband encouraged the students to consider three keys to religious freedom. These include the freedom to believe, the freedom to live our religion, and the freedom to share our faith in Jesus Christ and the knowledge of His gospel with others.

“No one should be forced to compromise what they believe because others may think another way,” he stated. “Because of freedom of religion, I can stand here today and tell you what I believe.”

Elder Rasband said that freedom of religion allows students who attend BYU to learn both secular and spiritual knowledge.

“Freedom of religion means you can attend the temples, be sealed as a family, teach gospel principles as outlined by the Lord in your homes and pray to your Father in Heaven and receive personal revelation,” he explained.

Elder Rasband recalled serving a mission in the Eastern States Mission nearly 50 years ago. He and his companion baptized a young girl and her family, and he was thrilled to be reunited with her not long ago. He expressed his gratitude to be able to share his faith in Jesus Christ.

He said, “As college students, you can be ‘gathering’ people to the gospel in so many ways. Begin with being an ‘example of the believers’ as described by Paul. Choose to exemplify what you believe ‘in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.’” He continued, “You can be a believer to roommates, spouses, neighbors, work associates, even teachers. You can join in service with ‘like-minded’ believers who are not of our faith but who honor God with their lives.”

He added, “Religious freedom is central to our worship and our work in the kingdom of God. Yet we are seeing the secular world draw boundary lines to set religion and even morality aside.”

Elder Rasband concluded his remarks by inviting the audience to serve others and to share their experiences on his Facebook and Instagram pages.

“Every one of us can make a difference, showing love to God’s children whatever their circumstances and choices,” he said.

Visit to watch the broadcast. 

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