The title of this article comes from a recent article written by Lisa Renlund Hyde, the niece of Elder Dale G. Renlund, one of the newest of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
With so many openings to be filled among the apostles, the internet was full of speculation and criticism about whether The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints would take the opportunity to diversify. Such critics seemed disappointed to get three more “typical upper-middle class white guys born in Utah,” not acknowledging that filling such vacancies is divinely rather than politically orchestrated.
In response to the naysayers that doubted the diversity of experience or contribution that the newly appointed apostles could offer, Elder Renlund’s niece wrote a series of notes about her uncle’s life that may reveal a more diverse background than it would first appear:
- 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.
- Dale and his wife have spent five of their last six years in Africa, where he served in the Africa Southeast Area Church presidency. He traveled extensively throughout his vast territory from Angola to Ethiopia to visit with people in extremely impoverished areas and circumstances. I have heard and read many stories about this time in their lives and the way Dale and Ruth fought to help people and grow the church there. Dale is not afraid to make bold decisions as he advocates for the needs of those he serves. And while most Church authorities in the area operate using only English, he was determined to learn French (the most predominant language in the area) so that he could effectively communicate with the people he served.
To read the rest of the great information provided by Lisa Renlund Hyde about one of the newest apostles, click here.